In memory of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, let’s take a look at a photograph that marked the engagement to his beloved wife, Elizabeth.
The photograph above commemorates the official engagement announcement for HRH Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten. Their engagement was announced on July 19, 1947 at Buckingham Palace.
You can’t see it clearly, but Elizabeth is wearing her new engagement ring. Her diamond ring was designed by Prince Philip and made using diamonds from a tiara that belonged to his mother, Princess Alice.
Happy April 1st! We have a new month and a new gemstone to celebrate! April’s gemstone is diamond and in honor of diamonds, let’s take a peek at a famous diamond diadem.
The Royal Collection Trust refers to this tiara as the Diamond Diadem. These days it is worn by Queen Elizabeth II when she attends the State Opening of Parliament, but it was made in 1820 by Rundell & Bridge for George IV.
This diadem is in the style of a crown and set in silver and gold. There are 1,333 sparkling diamonds to admire. Two narrow bands are completely set with pearls.
The diadem has four crosses; the center of one of the crosses is set with a four carat yellow diamond. There are also four sprays that represent the national emblems of the United Kingdom. Even though the diadem was made for a king, every queen and queen consort has worn it after George IV.
If the diadem looks vaguely familiar to you, it’s probably because you might have seen it in portraits of Queen Victoria. You may have also seen this diadem worn by Elizabeth II on postage stamps and coins.
On February 26, 1952, just twenty days after Elizabeth II took the throne, photographer Dorothy Wilding snapped this photograph of the young queen. You probably recognize the tiara because this photograph is one of the iconic images that became the basis for her image on postage stamps. This was also one of the photographs sent to embassies around the world.
One of the many tiaras in the jewel vault of Queen Elizabeth II is the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara. You probably recognize it from some of the coins and banknotes. The queen enjoys wearing it often. Not only does it suit her well, but it’s also one of her lighter tiaras making it quite comfortable to wear for hours at a time.
There is also a sentimental reason why the queen favors this tiara.
The tiara was given to the Duchess of York (later Queen Mary) in 1893 upon the occasion of her marriage to the future King George V. The diamond jewel was paid for with funds raised by a committee of ladies, the “Girls of Great Britain and Ireland.” The committee was organized by Lady Eva Greville, who would go on to become Queen Mary’s lady-in-waiting.
The diamond tiara, made by Garrard, is in the shape of festoons and scrolls and sits on a diamond-studded band. At one point in time, the tiara used to be topped with pearls. It could also be worn as a necklace or reconfigured to be worn as a small crown.
Queen Mary loved this tiara and considered it one of her most prized possessions. In 1947, she gave the tiara as a wedding present to her beloved granddaughter, Princess Elizabeth. Supposedly, the queen still refers to this tiara as her “granny’s tiara.”
I tell you, it’s a lucky lady indeed who gets to wear a necklace such as this. The Coronation Necklace was made by Garrard for Queen Victoria (along with the Coronation Earrings) after the loss of her jewels. The necklace’s diamond pendant, known as the Lahore Diamond, weighs 22.48 carats and was given to Queen Victoria in 1851.
Queen Elizabeth II wore the Coronation Necklace for her coronation in 1953 (and has worn it plenty of times since then). It was also worn at the coronations of Queen Consort Alexandra in 1902, Queen Consort Mary in 1911 and Queen Consort Elizabeth in 1937.
The Coronation Earrings were worn by Queen Elizabeth II for her coronation in 1953. Since her coronation, the queen has worn the earrings at other important events. The earrings were also worn at the coronations of Queen Consort Mary in 1911 and Queen Consort Elizabeth in 1937.
The magnificent diamond earrings were originally made for Queen Victoria by Garrard. She had the earrings made because in 1857 a good chunk of her family’s jewels were sent to Hanover when Victoria lost a lawsuit about where the jewels belonged. Victoria must have loved the earrings as she wore them quite often.