The Queen's Jewels
The private jewelry collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, it is perhaps the only truly great jewelry collection in the world today. This impressive collection is rather unique not only because it is worth over $300 million but also because of its history.
Some of the most impressive items can trace their origins to faraway places like India, South Africa and Burma.
By looking at photographs from years past, we can clearly see seven generations of the royal family wearing the same jewels, these items are not kept in a museum, but are actually used on a State occasions and private family events. It is indeed quite impressive to look at how some of these jewels have changed over the years in order to fit the taste and needs of its owners.
Most items in the Queen’s Private Jewelry Collection were inherited, but Her Majesty has added modern pieces to the collection, most notably the modern Aquamarine Parure, a set which Her Majesty the Queen received in 1953 as a gift from the President and People of Brazil, later in 1957 the Queen had a tiara made to match the set of aquamarines. Later in 1968 when in Brazil, the Queen was again presented with aquamarines in the form of a V-shaped hair ornament, the stones from this item were later added to the tiara.
The royal jewels are historically important as it helps the British Monarchy bring about that sense of continuity and stability.
Queen Mary whose love and appreciation for fine jewels is reflected throughout the Queen’s Jewelery Collection is perhaps most responsible for the rapid expansion of the collection. She received a large number of jewels when she married and by 1930 she had amassed a collection greater than any of the collections of any previous Queens.
Such a large collection of jewels requires a lot of vault space, as such in every royal residence there are rooms that are reinforced and is where items of value like jewelry are stored, at Buckingham Palace for example the jewels are kept in the royal vault deep underground in an old air-raid shelter.
When Her Majesty the Queen travels within the United Kingdom to her different residences in England and Scotland, her jewels are transported in special leather cases, and when traveling abroad a selection of items are chosen for each occasion.
Her Majesty the Queen has said on several occasions that she is not a fan of jewels, and prefers to wear items which are comfortable, and which have sentimental value to her, but her position as Sovereign requires her to wear glittering tiaras, magnificent necklaces and bracelets and majestic robes of state. As it was once said, a Queen must be seen to be Queen, as such Her Majesty has a duty to be regal, and that is a duty that she fulfils with excellence.