Diamonds are one’s best friend

Selections from the monarchy’s considerable diamond collection will be displayed at Buckingham Palace in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Some of the most priceless designs ever to grace the heads (and necks, and wrists, and fingers) of British monarchs over the centuries will be shown in the Palace’s summer exhibition. It’s a glittering and timely follow-up to 2011’s exhibition, when 600,000 visitors thronged the Palace for an up-close view of the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding gown.

The 2012 exhibition will feature plenty of genuine, pinch-me-they’re-so-opulent pieces.


‘It is entirely appropriate that a sumptuous display of diamonds—a stone which carries associations of endurance and longevity—should be mounted at Buckingham Palace to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen,’ Curator Caroline de Guitaut said.

Among the highlights are the necklace and earrings the Queen wore for her Coronation in 1953, previously worn by Queen Victoria to her investiture as monarch (the royals: they love a hand-me-down).


The miniature diamond crown Victoria wore for her Diamond Jubilee portrait will also go on show, along with brooches and a necklace of South African diamonds gifted to Elizabeth on her 21st birthday.

Pieces of the less wearable persuasion will be included too. A bloodstone box made for King Frederick the Great of Prussia features a design of flowers, insects and musical instruments across its surface—all rendered in nearly 3,000 diamonds.

Diamonds: A Jubilee Celebration will be on show at Buckingham Palace from 30 June to 8 July, when it will close for Olympic-related Palace functions. The exhibition will reopen from 30 July to 7 October.

See The Queen through the Ages, our Style File of Elizabeth II

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