Camilla will wear £52m worth of late Queens jewellery at coronation
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Today, it was announced that Queen Mary’s Crown will be used for the coronation of Camilla, the Queen Consort at Westminster Abbey on May 6, 2023. The choice of Queen Mary’s Crown is the first time in recent history that an existing crown will be used for the coronation of a Consort instead of a new jewel being made, mainly due to sustainability reasons.
Some minor changes will be made by the Crown Jeweller, in keeping with the tradition that new jewels should be added to reflect the grandiosity of the occasion and Queen Camilla’s individual style.
These changes will pay tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II, as the Crown will be reset with the Cullinan III, IV and V diamonds, which are worth a combined total of £52million.
The diamonds were part of Queen Elizabeth’s personal jewellery collection for many years and were often worn by Her Late Majesty as brooches.
The Cullinan diamonds have been set into Queen Mary’s Crown on previous occasions. Cullinan III and IV were set temporarily in the Crown for the 1911 Coronation, and the Cullinan V was inserted when the Crown was worn as a regal circlet at King George VI’s Coronation in 1937.
In order to make the crown look different from how it looked when worn by Queen Mary herself, four of the crown’s eight detachable arches will be removed to create a different style for Queen Camilla.
Queen Mary’s Crown was made by Garrard’s for the 1911 coronation. The design was inspired by Queen Alexandra’s Crown of 1902.
Like Queen Alexandra’s Crown, it can be worn without the arches in the form of a regal circlet, which Queen Mary wore for the coronation of her son, King George VI, in 1937.
Fine jewellery experts at Steven Stone have spoken to Express.co.uk about the jewels that belonged to Elizabeth II, that Camilla wants to be inserted into Queen Mary’s Crown for the coronation.
In terms of the Cullinan III and IV diamonds, the experts said: “Just from looking at this incredible piece of jewellery, it’s clear that this is the biggest and most expensive of all Queen Elizabeth’s brooches.
“The Cullinan III and IV brooch is made of the third and fourth largest stones cut from the famous Cullinan Diamond.
“The jaw-dropping 3,106-carat uncut diamond was presented to King Edward VII in 1907, and it was cut by Joseph Asscher in Amsterdam the next year.
“Whilst the two largest stones cut from the diamond are set in the Sovereign’s Scepter and the Imperial State Crown, the pear-shaped 94.4 carat Cullinan III and the square-cut 63 carat Cullinan IV were presented to Queen Mary by the Government in 1910.
“In 1911, she commissioned Carrington and Co. to make a platinum brooch setting for the stones.
“In 1953, Queen Elizabeth inherited the brooch, however, she didn’t wear it very often. In 1959, she loaned the brooch to London’s Ageless Diamond exhibition, and in 1012 it was part of another exhibition at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.”
This brooch has an estimated value of £50million.
In addition, the Cullinan V brooch has an estimated value of £2million.
Steven Stone experts said: “The Cullian V brooch features another stone cut from the famous Cullinan diamond, first owned by Queen Mary, who alongside the Culluan VI and VIII, was presented a selection of other stones cut from the original showstopper.
“This beautiful heart-shaped diamond weighing 18.8 carats was set in platinum by Garrard in 1911, to create a multi-purpose piece, to be used in different items of jewellery.
“Queen Mary wore it on her crown for the 1937 coronation, and as the centre stone on her famous honeysuckle tiara on many occasions.
“However, most of the time, the Cullian V diamond featured in a brooch setting, which was passed down to Queen Elizabeth II, who wore it frequently over the decades. From London Fashion Week in February 2018 to her annual Christmas broadcast in 2008, it was one of the late Queen’s most famous pieces.”
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