Greville Boucheron tiara: Expert discusses Camilla's favourite
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Queen Elizabeth II is the custodian of jewels on behalf of the monarchy, from which the Duchess of Cornwall has borrowed many times. Camilla often wears jewellery once belonging to Prince Charles’s grandmother, the Queen Mother, which were moved to the royal collection after her death in 2002. The mammoth Greville necklace is an impressive five-strand diamond piece which she has worn quite a few times since becoming the Duchess of Cornwall in 2005.
She was first seen wearing the massive necklace as she arrived for The Queen’s Banquet for Commonwealth Heads of Government back in November 2007 in Kampala, Uganda.
Camilla had her pale blue Anna Valentine gown specially made to show it off.
The Duchess was also wearing the family order, a miniature portrait of the Queen surrounded by diamonds and pinned on a silk taffeta bow.
Then in 2018, a special concert was held in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace to mark the upcoming 70th birthday of the Prince of Wales, and Camilla once again brought out her major heirloom necklace for the occasion.
The Duchess of Cornwall wore clustered diamond earrings along with all five strands of the magnificent Greville Festoon Necklace.
Of all the diamond necklaces in the British royal vaults, few have as much gravitas as the incredible Greville Festoon Necklace.
The diamond and platinum necklace was part of the enormous jewellery collection left by Mrs Ronald Greville to the Queen Mother in 1942.
Mrs Greville was a vast collector of jewels, and, much like Queen Mary, was prone to making and remaking pieces from her own collection. This necklace is one of those pieces.
Made by Cartier in 1929, the original incarnation of the piece was a two-row necklace, which is what makes up the bottom section of the necklace today.
But Mrs Greville, always looking to improve her jewels, went back to Cartier in 1938 to have the piece made even more magnificent.
The jeweller added three more rows of diamonds and reworked the back chain sections of the piece.
The result, according to Hugh Roberts, was “comparable in richness to some of the work carried out by Cartier for its Indian clients.”
The five-row necklace is the version left to the Queen Mother, who occasionally wore all five rows for major events.
In 1950, she wore the complete necklace with the original version of the Greville Tiara during the state visit of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands to the UK.
More often, though, the Queen Mother chose to wear just the three-row section from the remodelled necklace for gala events.
According to the Court Jeweller: “The entire necklace is really enormous, basically a giant diamond bib, but the three-row section is a bit more forgiving and easier to wear.”
The Queen Mother also wore the three-row necklace during the German state visit in 1998.
When the Queen Mother died in 2002, the necklace was inherited by Queen Elizabeth II, who has never worn the piece in public.
Instead, it was one of the jewels she gave to the Duchess of Cornwall.
The necklace has been estimated by online jewellers jewellerybox to be worth £8.2million.
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