Cover The Queen wears the Vladimir Tiara and the Delhi Durbar necklace in a portrait by Dorothy Wilding (Photo: Royal Collection Trust/©All Rights Reserved)

Everything you need to know about the British monarch’s most treasured jewels—which are now on show—and the stories behind them

Jewels from Queen Elizabeth II’s personal collection are now on show in a dazzling exhibition titled Platinum Jubilee: The Queen’s Accession at Buckingham Palace. Open from now through October 2, the exhibition celebrates the longest reign of a monarch in British history and offers a rare glimpse at the crown’s most treasured pieces, many of which carry personal significance. The pieces are shown alongside portraits of the Queen wearing them, shot by the photographer Dorothy Wilding. Take a look at them below.

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The Wedding Mementoes

A stunning platinum necklace set with 300 diamonds was a wedding present from the Nizam of Hyderabad. The Nizam had left instructions with Cartier in London that the then Princess Elizabeth should select a gift there for herself.

The Dorset Bow Brooch is a wedding gift from the Queen’s grandmother Queen Mary. It dates back to 1893: diamond set brooches, replicating a ribbon tied in a bow, were at the height of fashion.

The Birthday Gifts

An art deco-style sapphire and diamond bracelet by Cartier was an 18th birthday present from the Queen’s father King George VI.

And for her 21st birthday, she was given a Garrard & Co brilliant-cut diamond necklace by the Government and Union of South Africa. The necklace originally encompassed 21 diamonds. It was shortened in 1952; six stones were removed and made into a matching bracelet, which is also on display.

The Crowning

On the Queen’s accession in 1953, a portrait sitting was arranged, and the image would be for use on bank notes, coins and postage stamps. The new monarch could not wear a crown, however, as her coronation had not yet taken place. Instead, a diamond diadem, originally made for King George IV in 1820, was worn by the Queen in her portrait.

Now one of Her Majesty’s most recognisable jewellery pieces, the striking headband is set with 1,333 brilliant-cut diamonds.

The Prized Possession

The Delhi Durbar necklace by Garrard & Co has nine emeralds as well as an 8.8-carat diamond pendant, which is cut from the Cullinan diamond. The necklace was originally owned by Princess Augusta of Hesse-Kassel, the Duchess of Cambridge, who was Queen Mary’s grandmother.

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