We've all paid our tributes to Queen Elizabeth II this week.

As the longest reign in British history came to its end the nation - and much of the world - mourned.

And every aspect of her remarkable life was retold and remembered. 

For us at JewelStreet, that naturally meant considering what is surely one of the greatest collections of jewellery in world history. 

Elizabeth II wearing the Queen Mary Fringe Tiara and the City of London Fringe Necklace

Here we look at that collection. What it meant for Elizabeth II personally. And how it will evolve from here. 

The Queen's Jewellery Collection: centuries in the making

Queen Elizabeth II, and now King Charles, was both a person, and a public figure. Some of the jewels the Queen wore were personal possessions. Others were considered the possession of The Crown.

The Crown Jewels, of course, belong to the Crown. This is a complex and disputed term but it effectively means they will be handed down from one monarch to the next. 

This collection has been centuries in the making. Even as the crown has passed from family to family. 

The Queen's personal collection of jewellery was much more of her own making, and a much truer mark of her personal taste.

She inherited much of it from a family who descend from Queen Victoria and are connected to many other European royal houses. She was also been gifted pieces and bought them herself. 

Some highlights of the Queen's jewellery collection

The Queen's personal collection is commonly reported to hold around 300 pieces.

Some had particular personal resonance. Others had ceremonial or historical meanings. 

Here are a few:

The Queen's engagement and wedding rings

A close up of Queen Elizabeth II's hand showing her rings

A close-up showing the late Queen's engagement and wedding rings

Most of us treasure these most personal items of jewellery most of all. If reports are accurate, the Queen will be buried wearing her wedding ring. It will almost certainly keep a secret known only to her, Prince Philip, and an engraver who put the private message from her husband onto the Welsh gold band before their wedding in 1947. Very little gold is mined in the UK. It's likely that it's almost all gone, so Welsh gold is a finite resource, and very rare. The gold in this ring came from near Dolgellau in south Snowdonia. 

The engagement ring was designed by Prince Philip with its makers, Philip Antrobus jewellers. It is made of platinum and holds 11 diamonds, the largest of which is a 3-carat solitaire. It is supported by 5 smaller diamonds on each side. The stones were very personal. Philip selected stones taken from a tiara owned by his mother. 

3 special tiaras 

 Tiaras are something not many of us wear. But not many of us attend hundreds of state occasions every year, and the Queen's collection of tiaras was large, and contains many pieces of major historic and personal significance. 

Here are 3. 

The Lover's Knot tiara

The Queen wearing the Lover's Knot Tiara


Elizabeth II wearing the Lover's Knot Tiara at the Royal Ball in Brisbane, 1954

One of the most famous images of this fine, historic piece was taken with not the Queen but Princess Diana wearing it. That was in 1985 on a famous visit to the USA. The tiara was made in 1913 for Queen Mary, as a copy of a much older piece owned by her grandmother. Queen Mary supplied the jewels - diamonds and pearls - to populate a French-inspired neo-classical piece that has been much photographed. Diana was gifted it on her wedding, but returned it to the Queen on her divorce. It has been worn a number of times by the Duchess of Cambridge. 

The Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara

Elizabeth II wearing the Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara in a potrait from 1959

The Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara is a history lesson. It came into the royal family when Queen Mary bought it in 1921. It is named for Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia, who sold it. It was made in Russia, by Carl Edvard Bolin. It was first gifted in 1874, as a wedding present fof Grand Duchess Maria Pavlona, who willed it to Vladimirovna, her daughter. This timeline means it made out it out of Revolutionary Russia, reportedly with British agent, Albert Stopford, who grabbed it from the Vladimir Palace in Petrograd (now St Petersburg). It has been altered a number of times, with emeralds or the original pearls hanging from the loops. 

The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara 

Elizabeth II wearing the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara in an official portrait

If you feel like you've seen this piece before, you probably have. UK readers may have seen it countless times as the Queen wore it in official portraits that have been reproduced on millions of stamps and banknotes. It's also special as the first tiara Elizabeth owner as queen - a wedding present from Queen Mary. She had been given it as a wedding gift in 1893, by the Girls for whom it is named - via a fund-raising committee, Lady Greville, and Garrard & Co jewellers. It is glittering with diamonds and crowned with pearls. 

The Prince Albert Sapphire Brooch

Elizabeth II, pictured in 2012, wearing the Prince Albert Sapphire Brooch

This brooch is among the most historic pieces of jewellery in the Queen's collection. Its name reflects that it was given by Prince Albert to Queen Victoria the day before their wedding in February 1840. Its simplicity is impactful in a way that is typical of the royal collection. 

Who will inherit the Queen's jewellery collection?

The Queen's collection of 16 tiaras, 98 brooches, 46 necklaces and 37 bracelets will be willed. Some pieces my be given to the Crown, and become part of the national collection, many others will be given to Elizabeth II's many relatives. 

Already, some iconic pieces have become publically associated with other members of the Royal Family. Sometimes in what are read as highly symbolic ways. 

Catherine, Princess of Wales, wearing the Maple Leaf Brooch on a tour to Canada

The Queen's will will not be made public. However, in time, royal watchers and jewellery experts will see who wears which pieces of jewellery. The collection is very strongly associated with the Queen's official life as the monarch of the UK, and the likelihood is that the majority of it will pass to the next monarch, King Charles III, and his Queen Consort Camilla. 


Queen Consort Camilla wearing the Greville Tiara in 2019

JewelStreet is deeply saddened by the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. We join with the rest of the nation in mourning the loss of our monarch.