Her Majesty’s personal crown jewels! From her favourite pearls and £40,000 diamond brooch to sapphires from the President of Brazil for her coronation – and the 3 carat engagement ring from Philip she never removed

  • Queen Elizabeth II has died at the age of 96 after 70 years  on the throne, it has been announced  this week 
  • The monarch was renowned for an extensive jewellery collection that could dwarf most wardrobes
  • Her Majesty’s much-beloved pearl necklace and earrings were a renowned part of her day-to-day look 
  • The royal also opted for highly glamorous pieces, donning glittering pendants and jewels for evening events 
  • Generous monarch often lent pieces to senior royals including Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and Camilla 

Throughout her life, the Queen amassed a jewellery collection full of family heirlooms, priceless treasures and gifts from world leaders. 

The monarch was rarely seen without diamonds, pearls or gemstones adorning her clothes, with royal commentators sometimes suggesting she used the pieces to send unspoken signals.

Particular attention was paid to her brooches: Her Majesty would often choose one with a connection to the person, country or organisation she was visiting. 

The Queen was renowned for generously loaning both elaborate and simple pieces to royal wives including Meghan Markle, Sophie Wessex, Kate Middleton and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, over the years.   

Now, upon her death at the age of 96 after 70 years on the throne, FEMAIL looks at Her Majesty’s jewellery collection. 

The Queen was rarely seen without a dazzling array of diamonds, pearls and gemstones decorating her bright and colourful clothes (pictured, in 2022 at the Platinum Jubilee celebration wearing her favourite pearl necklace, earrings and one of her favourite brooches the Kensington Bow brooch) 

Her Majesty was often gifted her pieces for special occasions and wore wedding gifts throughout her life (left). She was renowned for generously loaning pieces to other royals including Kate Middleton (pictured right, at the Jubilee wearing the Queen’s earrings) 

The Queen’s amazing collection of jewels included glittering brooches, earrings and necklaces. 

Some have been passed down to Her Majesty through the royal family, while others were gifted to the monarch to mark important milestones, including her wedding, coronation and jubilees. 

The most impressive jewels were reserved for high profile occasions like state dinners. 

Otherwise the Queen preferred to keep her jewellery low-key and was rarely seen without three strings of pearls gifted to her by her grandfather. 

The Queen was able to recall the meaning and occasion behind each item she had been gifted over the years, experts have claimed. Pictured left, in 1983 on a banquet in India, and right, in 2007 wearing a necklace gifted by President of Brazil for the Queen’s Coronation in 1953

The monarch, pictured here on one of her final engagements in July 2022, always wore her engagement ring in a sign of her dedication to her husband Prince Philip 

The Queen’s remarkable memory  

Journalist Sali Hughes, author of Our Rainbow Queen, explained the Queen had an ‘outstanding memory’ and put it to good use when it comes to her wardrobe. 

‘There are no mistakes; there are no accidents,’ Hughes said in an interview with Vanity Fair. 

‘Everything is forensically thought of, considered, and documented, and her memory is outstanding.  

‘She does not forget who gave her something, and she doesn’t forget the meaning it has when she was given her gifts and her jewellery.’ 


The Royal Collection was held in trust by the Sovereign for her successors and the nation, and was not owned by The Queen as a private individual. 

However she did have her own smaller private collection, which she has been known to loan to members of the royal family for formal occasions and state visits, at her own discretion.


While we associated the Queen with her incredible Royal Collection of priceless tiaras, intricate brooches and dazzling diamond earrings, she was, like many Englishwomen of a certain age, most at ease in her pearls. 

Pearls were the Queen’s first ‘serious’ piece of jewellery. 

When her grandfather George V celebrated his Silver Jubilee in 1935, he gave both his granddaughters pearl necklaces. 

Among the collection Elizabeth owns today are two stunning necklaces – the 18th-century Queen Anne pearl necklace and the 50-pearl Queen Caroline necklace, both given as a wedding present from her father. 

Her favourite necklace for quiet days was her single-strand version, one of the first pieces she acquired, and very much in the English tradition, matching the timeless elegance of her treasured pearl and diamond studs. 

Meanwhile the royal also had a huge range of other opulent necklaces, including the stunning sets gifted from her coronation in 1953. 

One striking set formed from unusual aquamarine stones, was a gift from the President of Brazil for the Queen’s Coronation in 1953.    

The striking necklace was made by Mappin & Webb in Rio de Janiero, and the stones are set in diamond and platinum surrounds.

It came with matching earrings – and in 1958 she was presented with a large brooch and bracelet. The stones are perfectly matched – it took a year to collect them from mines across Brazil. 

The Queen’s much beloved glittering Festoon necklace, gifted to the royal by her father,  is pictured during an outing to a concert with President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy in America in 1983

Where did the Queen keep her extensive jewellery collection? 

At home in Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle, the jewellery she wore regularly was not kept in one of the boxes of battered leather lined with mushroom velvet that house her ‘grand occasion’ pieces. 

Instead, they lived on trays that house stones according to colour — rubies, sapphires, emeralds. 

The nation continued to supply the Queen’s aquamarine collection, including providing stones for a tiara she had adapted in 1971.

She toned down the piece by replacing the pendant with a smaller stone, and attaching the aquamarine to her tiara.

The royal also adored jewellery presents from family members, including one glittering Festoon necklace given to Princess Elizabeth in 1950 by her father that remained her favourites throughout her life.

It was made from 105 loose diamonds that were kept in reserve at Garrard, stored in pouches marked ‘C’ for Crown, in case a monarch wanted to extend a necklace or improve a tiara.

Queen Mary, the Queen’s grandmother, was said to have made regular use of the service. 

The resulting triple strand necklace has rows of graduated stones, suspended between two diamond triangles.

It was also the Queen’s preferred necklace for wearing without a tiara.

Among the Queen’s more recent pieces was a gift from Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, former Emir of Qatar, during a state visit to Britain in 1985.

A diamond ‘swag’ shape, set in gold and designed around two central gemstones, it came with a matching set of earrings — and had been one of the Queen’s favourite ruby pieces ever since.

Because of its rich, exotic colour, she preferred it for foreign engagements, such as this state banquet in Turkey in 2008, but has also worn it twice to the state opening of Parliament. 

The royal also lent her Nizam of Hyderabad necklace, originally created by Cartier in 1930s to family members.

One of the Queen’s more recent acquisitions was the necklace and earring set from Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, former Emir of Qatar, who gifted it to the royal during a state visit to Britain in 1985. 

Did the Queen ever wear gold?  

The Queen rarely wore gold jewellery, but opted for this gold and emerald piece to a film premiere in 2004

The Queen rarely wore gold, preferring silver or platinum for her everyday jewels, so this gold and emerald necklace is something of a curiosity in the royal collection.

It’s a pared-down look, more akin to costume jewellery than royal regalia, worn to a film premiere in London in 2004 – and paired with matching emerald drop earrings in a pretty bow shape.

The provenance of the 18-stone chain is unknown, and Her Majesty wasn’t known to have worn it before or since, suggesting it may have been a gift not quite to her taste.  

It was gifted to Majesty as a gift when she married in November 1947 and consists of a long chain of 38 diamonds (reduced from the original 46) with a diamond-encrusted snap. 

The centre of the necklace was pave-set with detachable double-drop pendant 13 emerald-cut diamonds and a pear-shaped drop. The original necklace consisted of eight double-drop and three triple-drop pendants. 

Kate Middleton borrowed the diamond stunner to attend a black tie Portrait Gala in 2014 at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

It set off her midnight blue Jenny Packham evening gown, which was plain to show off the beauty of her diamonds.

Left, The Queen wearing the Nizam of Hyderabad necklace –  part of the Royal Collection – which was made by Cartier, the George IV State Diadem and the insignia of the Order of the Garter, circa 1953. Right, the Duchess of Cambridge wearing the necklace in 2014


Brooches, usually worn on the left shoulder, were a favourite for the royal and the Queen was believed to have over 100 in her collection. 

A selection that would go with an outfit were presented to her – usually three at a time – by her senior dresser and confidante Angela Kelly on special trays that once belonged to Queen Mary.

The royal had a wide variety of different brooches which she often wore with her usual pearl earrings and necklace, including a spray of flowers brooch by the people and government of Australia during her Coronation tour of 1954.

She was also regularly seen in the Queen Mother’s Shell Brooch from the late Queen Mother’s jewellery collection, a shell shape consisting of solid rows of diamonds with a single pearl cradled at the base, and strings of diamonds suspended underneath.

The Queen had a huge selection of brooches, with over 100 in her personal collection. One of her favourites was the Cullinan V Brooch, given to Queen Mary, the Queen’s grandmother, by the people of South Africa in 1910 (pictured wearing it during a visit to Tuvalu in South Pacific)

One of the royal’s favourites was the Kensington Bow brooch, a wedding gift from the residents of Kensington to her grandmother in 1893, costing £450 (about £40,000 today). (pictured in 2005 visiting Bristol university)

It was occasionally suggested the royal selected her brooches in order to send a signal about her beliefs (pictured left, with President Obama and Michelle Obama, wearing the pin they gave her in 2011, and right, the pin) 

One of the royal’s favourites was the Kensington Bow brooch, a wedding gift from the residents of Kensington to her grandmother in 1893, costing £450 (about £40,000 today). 

The brooch features two rows of diamonds set in silver and gold, tied in a ‘bow’ around a single large diamond, and it was often used to secure a sash or as a clasp for remembrance poppies. 

Among the brooches she favoured was the Cullinan V Brooch, which was an unusual and distinctive heart shape. 

The royal had a wide variety of different brooches which she often wore with her usual pearl earrings and necklace (pictured left, The Queen was given this spray of flowers brooch by the people and government of Australia during her Coronation tour of 1954, the Queen was presented with this brooch from the people and government of Australia. It depicts a spray of flowers with mimosa leaves and tea tree blossoms in white and colored diamonds. pictured right, The Queen Mother’s Shell Brooch from the late Queen Mother’s jewellery collection and takes the shape of a shell made of solid rows of diamonds with a single pearl cradled at the base and strings of diamonds suspended underneath.)

Another of the 2,500 wedding presents given to the Queen on her marriage to Prince Philip, the Carrington Sapphire Feather brooch (right) was a gift from Carrington jewellers. A fine diamond feather with a sapphire centre, it’s always paired with blue or purple, as here in 2019 

The Queen was generous with her jewellery collection, often lending pieces to other senior royals. The New Zealand Fern brooch was presented to the Queen in 1953 by the women of Auckland. She is seen wearing it in 2008 (left) and it was loaned to Kate for her 2014 tour of Australasia (right)

The diamond, of 18.8 carats, was one of six numbered stones cut from the Cullinan diamond, the biggest in the world, and given to Queen Mary, the Queen’s grandmother, by the people of South Africa in 1910.

Many have suggested the Queen may have tried to send messages with her selection of brooches – some commentators pointed out the royal wore a brooch given to her by President Obama when she met President Trump on a visit in 2019. 

When Prince Philip was in hospital in 2021, the Queen paid tribute to her late husband with her brooches for public appearances.

The Queen kept Prince Philip close to her heart while he was in hospital in 2021 by donning significant brooches for public engagements – in February, she chose to wear the same six-petal diamond flower brooch she had worn when the couple announced their engagement in 1947 (left and right) 

The Queen kept her husband close to her heart in 2021 while the Duke spent several weeks in hospital, donning the same six-petal diamond flower brooch she wore when the couple announced their engagement in 1947 for a virtual engagement.

The monarch wore the glittering accessory on a video call with health leaders from Windsor Castle in which she made a historic intervention in the coronavirus vaccination drive, suggesting it is selfish not to have the jab.

And during his funeral on April 18, Her Majesty brought out the diamond Richmond Brooch, a present from the town of Richmond for her grandmother Queen Mary’s 1893 wedding to the future King George V which she inherited. 

The Queen wore a brooch gifted to her by Prince Philip during a visit to the Royal Navy flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth

The gold Scarab brooch, with ruby and diamond embellishments, was a 1966 gift from the Duke of Edinburgh (pictured the couple together in 1966, with the Queen wearing the brooch)

Weeks later, as she visited the Royal Navy flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth, the Queen wore a brooch gifted to her by Prince Philip.

Her Majesty, 95, paid tribute to her beloved husband of 73 years, who died on April 9 2021 aged 99, by wearing the piece, which she teamed with a brick-red military-style cashmere coat for her appearance at HM Naval Base, Portsmouth.

The gold Scarab brooch, with ruby and diamond embellishments, was a 1966 gift from the Duke of Edinburgh. 


When the Queen turned 21, jewels flooded in, mostly in the form of gifts from relatives.

Among them was a pair of heavy diamond chandelier earrings that had been given to her mother Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother as a wedding present. 

Soon, she had acquired many other pairs of earrings that could be worn only with pierced ears, and so in 1951, just before her state visit to Canada, the 25-year-old Queen gave in to the inevitable and had her ears pierced.

Some of the royal’s favorite earrings remained her pearl pieces throughout her life, with the Queen often choosing a simple stud or pearl drop for her daily appearances. 

Day-to-day Her Majesty often wore the simple but chic Queen Mary’s Button Earrings, which feature a pearl and a diamond (pictured here visiting the Royal British Legion Industries Village, Aylesford in November 2019)

The Queen regularly wore pearl drop earrings, but often chose the Ladies of Devonshire earrings for formal day events (pictured waving to the crowds from the balcony of Buckingham Palace during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2017) 

Day-to-day, the Queen often chose between two almost identical pearl earrings. 

The royal’s favourite earrings for casual wear were the simple Queen Mary’s Button Earrings, which featured a single pearl with a small diamond on top. 

Meanwhile she would wear the Ladies of Devonshire earrings for more formal day events, such as the Diamond Jubilee service or the Order of the Garter service, as well as for evening occasions.

Queen Mary gave the Devonshire Earrings to her granddaughter, Princess Elizabeth, as a wedding present in 1947. 

The  Queen is believed to have gifted Meghan Markle a similar pair of earrings to her own for their first joint engagement in June 2018

A present to the Queen from the kingdom of Bahrain to celebrate the Queen’s wedding to Prince Philip in 1947, the Bahrain pearl drop earrings were hidden away from public view for many decades but have recently been seen more regularly.

The Queen chose to wear the pieces to the Remembrance Day service in 2015, with Kate Middleton wearing them the following year to the same event. 

The Countess of Wessex has also sported the diamond-supported pearls. And Kate, who is known to adore a pearl earring, also wore them while staying at Balmoral during the summer of 2018. 

The Bahrain Pearl Drop earrings were a present to the Queen from the kingdom of Bahrain to celebrate her wedding to Prince Philip in 1947

Kate wore the jewels as she joined Prince William and other senior royals at the Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee

Sophie, The Countess of Wessex, also wore the Bahrain pearl drop earrings in 2012 to attend a performance of the Massed Bands and Bugles of The Rifles at the Royal Albert Hall

Kate has also donned another set of the Queen’s diamond-and-pearl earrings, which the monarch herself last wore in 1977.

In 2016, the Duchess was spotted wearing them while on a trip to Canada, and later in the year in Holland. 

The Queen gifted Meghan Markle a similar (but smaller) pair prior to the Duchess’ first royal joint engagement without her husband. 

The monarch continued to generously lend her earrings to her granddaughters-in-law during the final years of her life. 

At the Silver Jubilee in 1977, the Queen donned a pair of diamond-and-pearl earrings that she hasn’t worn since in public. However, the monarch has gifted them to her grandaughter-in-law, with Kate spotted wearing them twice in 2016

New generation, same jewels: The Duchess of Cambridge was spotted wearing the same earrings in 2016 during a royal visit with Prince William to Canada, they appeared again on a trip later that year to the Netherlands 

In 2021, the Duchess of Cambridge honoured the Queen on her birthday by borrowing her pearl earrings for a visit to an air cadet centre. 

Kate borrowed the silver jubilee diamond and pearl earrings from the monarch who first wore them to celebrate her silver jubilee in 1977.

The visit, which took place on the Queen’s 95th birthday, was carried out in honour of the Duke of Edinburgh, who was Honorary Air Commodore-in-Chief of the squadron for 63 years before Kate took over as Commandant-in-Chief in 2015.  

But it was not just pearl pieces that the royal favoured, with the royal occasionally donning large costume-style jewellery from her collection of diamond pieces.  

The Duchess of Cambridge honoured the Queen on her 95th birthday by borrowing her pearl earrings for her visit to an air cadet centre

The origin of the stunning large teardrop-shaped diamond adornments is unknown and they may even be a more modern addition to the Queen’s collection. 

The monarch was spotted wearing them at the State Opening of Parliament in 2012 before they were next seen gracing Kate’s ears, most notably at a gala held at Kensington Palace in November 2017. 

The royal would also occasionally don pieces that were part of a set with her elegant necklaces, such as the aquamarine set gifted to her by the President of Brazil for her coronation. 

The origin of these teardrop-shaped earrings is unknown and they may have first been seen in public as late as 2012, when the Queen wore them to the State Opening of Parliament. A different look: Kate has worn the drop diamond earrings on a number of occasions including at a dinner while on a royal visit to Sweden and Norway

A closer look: The Duchess of Cambridge at a 2017 Gala Dinner for The Anna Freud National Centre held at Kensington Palace in 2017

All that glitters! The Duchess of Cambridge borrowed the Queen’s emerald and diamond earrings and matching bracelet (both pictured) for the Caribbean tour in 2022 (left) Treasured: The Queen has worn the set on a number of occasions, including at a reception for the Obamas in 2011 (right). There is also a necklace (seen here) which Kate did not wear 

When she was not wearing her trademark pearls, the Queen opted for pendants such as these dazzling purple stones, part of the Kent Amethyst set, which belonged to Queen Victoria’s mother. 

The set also included three brooches, a necklace and hair combs, but the earrings — worn to a state banquet in Portugal in 1985 – are the only items seen in public.

These ornate diamond frames, each containing an oval pearl drop, are the Duchess of Gloucester’s Pendants, first owned by Queen Mary’s great aunt. 

They passed to the Queen on her grandmother’s death in 1953. She chose them for her wedding in 1947, on a visit to Mauritius in 1972 and wears them often nowadays.

If she’s not wearing her trademark pearls, the Queen opts for pendants such as these dazzling purple stones (left), part of the Kent Amethyst set, which belonged to Queen Victoria’s mother. These ornate diamond frames (right), each containing an oval pearl drop, are the Duchess of Gloucester’s Pendants, first owned by Queen Mary’s great aunt


The Queen mainly wore bracelets for formal occasions and events, such as foreign tours and the State Opening of parliament. 

The royal had many diamond bracelets, and mainly choose them for black tie events, occasionally if she didn’t wear a tiara. 

Her collection included a set of two matching bracelets composed of chain links between diamond plaques which came from Queen Mary’s collection.

The Queen regularly wore bracelets for black tie and formal events, donning two diamond pieces for the State Opening of Parliament in October 2019 

Mary bought them in 1932, and then had a matching one made three years later to hold a 9.75 carat diamond from the Premier Mines given to her during a visit to South Africa.

The bracelets were made to join together to create a choker. They are nearly identical, one having a larger plaque for the South African diamond. 

One of the sets the Queen most often wore was the sapphire set.

The royal often wore the glittering pieces of jewellery to formal black tie events, donning the chain links between diamond plaques from Queen Mary’s collection over white gloves. The Queen also had a selection of pearl evening watches for formal events (pictured left in Canada in 2002) She occasionally wore bracelets as part of a set of jewellery (pictured right, leaving the Ritz after celebrating her Golden Jubilee in 2002 wearing emerald-cut sapphires and diamonds collection, which included a necklace, earrings, a bracelet and a ring).

It began with a mid-19th century set of necklace and earrings bought by her father, King George VI, at Carrington & Co. and given to her as a wedding present in 1947. 

The set features a necklace of emerald-cut sapphires surrounded by diamonds and separated by individual diamonds, plus a pair of earrings, each with a large sapphire in a diamond cluster. 

As given to the Queen, the necklace had 18 sapphire clusters, which she had shortened in 1952. 

The Queen was often seeing wearing her gold watch, which she was gifted during her visit to Canada in 1951, as her go-to timepiece (pictured, in 2003 with George Bush) 

In 1959 the largest cluster was turned into a pendant to hang on the necklace and was fitted with a pin for use as a brooch.

The royal also made a habit of wearing a watch every day, which was as much as a staple to her look as her pearls and her wedding and engagement rings.

Her gold watch, which she was gifted during her visit to Canada in 1951, was her go-to timepiece.


There is one notable omission from the Queen’s jewel box: she very seldom wore rings.

Although she received a stunning square-cut diamond engagement ring with diamond side stones set in platinum from Prince Philip, the ring was barely seen as the Queen tended to cover her hands with gloves when in public.

‘She doesn’t much like her hands,’ said royal editor Ingrid Seward, ‘and prefers not to draw attention to them.’

The Queen covered her hands with gloves – but always wore her engagement and wedding rings 

In the later part of her life, the Queen often wore gloves for public events, so it was difficult to see if she was wearing any rings.

However, when she was seen without gloves on, she always wore her wedding and engagement rings. 

Prince Philip proposed to Princess Elizabeth with a simple and elegant diamond ring. 

The 3 carat diamond solitaire flanked on each side by 5 smaller diamonds, all set in platinum, with all of the jewels taken from a tiara owned by Philip’s mother, Princess Alice.

The Queen, pictured here in 2022, was believed to wear her engagement ring and wedding ring every day, but the pieces were often hidden because the royal regularly wore gloves for public events 

The square cut ring was set in platinum.

Meanwhile her wedding ring was made from Welsh gold and was given to the Queen’s parents for their wedding in 1923.

It furnished rings for the Queen Mother, the Queen, Princess Margaret, Princess Anne, and Diana, Princess of Wales before it ran out.  

The Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding ring was later created from a piece of Welsh gold the Queen gifted Prince William after the couple’s engagement.


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