Fit for the Queen: Her Majesty wears the Girls Of Great Britain Tiara And Coronation set at a state banquet at Buckingham Palace last year
Wherever the Queen has travelled, diamonds have never been far away.
Now the jewels that tell the story of her reign – and those of her predecessors – are to go on public display to celebrate her 60 years on the throne.
In a fitting tribute to her Diamond Jubilee, the dazzling collection charts the Queen’s love affair with the precious gemstone – from her 21st birthday to the present day.
They include the exquisite diamonds of her coronation at the tender age of 27, which were worn to complement the enormous Imperial State Crown.
Also on display will be the jewels given to her on her 21st birthday as well as the crown she refers to as ‘Granny’s tiara’, having been a wedding present from her grandmother in 1947.
Diamonds: A Jubilee Celebration will be the focal point of the Palace’s 2012 summer opening, and is to include an unprecedented display of some of the Sovereign’s personal jewels.
The exhibition, opening for two months at Buckingham Palace in August, also explores the gemstone’s association with British monarchs during the last 200 years.
Queen Victoria’s famous miniature crown, containing 1,200 diamonds, will be on display.
Many of the pieces have undergone transformations through the ages – having been re-cut or used in new settings depending on the fashion or the preferences of the queens or princesses who used them.
Sixty years on the throne: Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh wave to the crowds from the Buckingham Palace balcony on the day of the Queen's Coronation, 2 June 1953
Asked how much the entire collection is worth, the Royal Collection’s Jonathan Marsden has said: ‘It’s like asking the weight of the world. Absolutely pointless and impossible to calculate. But it will be a truly spectacular exhibition.’
Diamonds: A Jubilee Celebration will take place at Buckingham Palace in August and September. Visit www.royalcollection.org.uk for more details.
Treasure: This snuff box made for King Frederick the Great of Prussia, c.1770-75 will be among the attractions