Visitors will get to see the famous State Diadem which is the crown the Queen is wearing on postage stamps and coins. The Queen wears this crown to the State Opening of Parliament each year. Notice (photo above) that the stones are set in the shape of a rose, thistle and shamrock, the national flowers of England, Scotland and Ireland. How exquisite! People have often remarked about its feminine style, and so it’s interesting to note that it was actually made for George IV in 1821.
Also on display will be a number of Cullinan Diamonds (aka The Star of Africa). The original raw gem was found in South Africa in 1905, the largest of its kind, at 3106 carats. It’s been cut into smaller diamonds and featured in brooches, tiaras and other royal jewelry.
Another favorite that will be featured is the Coronation Necklace (see photo above). This was made for Queen Victoria and has been worn by every queen since.
Majesty magazine recently did a nice article about the Queen’s diamonds. It’s essentially a summary of the new book by Sir Hugh Roberts, appropriately titled The Queen’s Diamonds. It is described as a “lavishly illustrated account of part of her . . . jewellery collection . . .” At over 300 pages, it sure sounds like it’s got plenty to admire.
Looking at all the jewelry got me to wonder what the difference was between a diadem and tiara? Diadems had their start as cloth adornments and gradually evolved to include jewels. It appears that a diadem completely encircles the head. A tiara, on the other hand, does not. So, there’s your jewelry fun fact for the day.
Check opening times for Buckingham Palace if you are interested in seeing the exhibit this summer. And don’t forget that the Tower of London features other Crown Jewels. Also, you can get a very good deal on Sir Hugh Roberts’ book on Amazon. com.