Celebrity of the Week
(courtesy of Gem Find)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth whose reign thus far has only been exceeded in length by her ancestor Queen Victoria is celebrating her Diamond Jubilee.
But while 60 years on the throne is certainly an achievement, Queen Elizabeth has plenty of actual diamonds to celebrate, as well. The queen's jewels – a collection that, unlike the Crown Jewels, is not owned by the state but is the personal property of the reigning monarch – dates back to the 16th
century and can be rivaled by few diamond collections in the world.
As befits the jewels of a royal ruler, Queen Elizabeth II's collection contains 14 dimond tiaras including the 19th-century George IV State Diadem and the George III Tiara, commissioned in 1820 and 1830, respectively. One of the more recent additions to the queen's tiara collection is the Burmese Ruby Tiara, which she ordered from royal jewelers Garrard &
Co in 1973. This tiara features 96 diamonds and Burmese rubies that were a present from the people of
Burma (now Myanmar.)
Queen Elizabeth's tiaras became the subject of popular speculation ahead of the recent royal wedding with fans of Prince William and Kate Middleton (now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) going so far as to place bets on which tiara the queen would lend her granddaughter-in-law. As it happens, the queen offered Kate her choice, and the bride selected the Cartier Halo Tiara, which the queen received as an 18th birthday present from her mother.
The jewels of Queen Elizabeth II include a number of spectacular diamond necklaces many of which – like the King Faisal of Saudi Arabia Necklace and the King Khalid of Saudi Arabia Necklace – were gifts from other royalty. The collection also features diamond jewelry that belonged to Queen Victoria, like the diamond bow brooches, the Prince Albert Sapphire Brooch, and Victoria's diamond earrings.