We always greatly enjoy our yearly visit to Buckingham Palace to view exhibitions as part of the annual Summer Opening of the State Rooms, but sadly due to Covid, this has not been possible since 2019. However this year, the State Rooms shone brightly as magnificent jewels from Her Majesty The Queen’s personal collection were on display as part of Platinum Jubilee: The Queen’s Accession.
Just weeks after the Accession, the first official female royal photographer, Dorothy Wilding, shot official portraits of The Queen and these photographs are on display for the first time alongside items of jewellery worn for the portrait sittings. A total of fifty-nine photographs were taken by Wilding, showing The Queen dressed in a variety of gowns by Norman Hartnell.
Above, the Diamond Diadem is one of Her Majesty’s most widely recognised pieces of jewellery. Wilding’s photographs were used as the basis of The Queen’s image on postage stamps from 1953 until 1971, as well as providing the official portrait pf Her Majesty which was sent to every British embassy throughout the world, making the Diadem instantly recognisable to millions of people across the globe.
Created for the extravagant coronation of George IV in 1821, the Diamond Diadem is set with 1,333 brilliant-cut diamonds and consists of a band with two rows of pearls either side of a row of diamonds, above which are diamonds set int he form of a rose, a thistle and two shamrocks, the national emblems of England, Scotland and Ireland. The Queen wore it on the day of her Coronation and has worn it on her journey to and from the State Opening of Parliament since the first year of her reign.
Above is the stunning Queen Mary’s Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara. The Queen has worn the tiara regularly throughout her reign and is depicted wearing it on certain issues of British and Commonwealth banknotes and coinage. In 1947 Queen Mary gave the tiara to her granddaughter, Princess Elizabeth, as a wedding present. The Queen has the upper section and bandeau reattached in 1969 and has since become one of her most recognisable jewels.
Below is the Vladimir Tiara, a favourite of The Queen’s. The tiara has a mechanism which allows it to be interchangeable. Here shown with emerald drops but it but it can also been worn with pearl drops or no drops at all. The tiara was commissioned by the Duchess Vladimir from the Romanov court jeweller, Bolin. The Duchess established a grand court at St. Petersburg’s Vladimir Palace with a jewellery collection to match!
Below is the spectacular Delhi Durbar necklace which incorporates nine emeralds originally owned by Queen Mary’s grandmother, the Duchess of Cambridge, as well as an 8.8 carat diamond pendant cut from the Culling diamond – the largest diamond ever found. The necklace was made for Queen Mary as part of a parure of jewellery created for the Delhi Durbar in 1911. Her Majesty The Queen inherited the necklace in 1953 and wore it in a portrait sitting for Dorothy Wilding in 1956.
When Princess Elizabeth attended the coronation of her parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth on 11 May 1937, she wore this cream dress with gold embellishment, along with a purple robe made from silk velvet, gold ribbon and ermine.
Below, Princess Elizabeth also wore this gold coronet made by the Crown Jewellers.
We hope you can continue the Platinum Jubilee celebrations with a visit to this very special display celebrating Her Majesty The Queen’s Accession and the start of a historic reign in February 1952.
Platinum Jubilee: The Queen’s Accession runs until 2 October 2022. For further information please visit: www.rct.uk
CELLOPHANELAND* were guests of Buckingham Palace and the Royal Collection Trust.