Buckingham Palace will host a diamond exhibition in honor of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee this year.
The exhibition, called ”Diamonds: A Jubilee Celebration,” will show the various ways that diamonds have been used and worn by British monarchs over the past two centuries. The exhibition also includes an unprecedented number of the Queen’s personal jewels that have been inherited or acquired during her 60-year reign.
Among the pieces included in the exhibition is the coronation necklace and earrings worn by Queen Victoria, the only other monarch to celebrate a diamond jubilee. The necklace consists of 25 graduated cushion-shaped brilliant-cut diamonds and a central 22.48-carat drop-shaped pendant. The necklace was worn by Queen Alexandra, Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Elizabeth II at their coronation ceremonies.
Another piece on display is the diamond tiara frequently worn by the Queen, known as ”The Girls of Great Britain” Tiara. The tiara was originally a wedding present to Queen Mary on behalf of the ”Girls of Great Britain and Ireland” in 1893.
Other pieces in the exhibition include Queen Victoria’s dramatic Fringe Brooch, designed in 1859. The brooch consists of a large emerald-cut brilliant diamond surrounded by 12 large brilliant diamonds, with nine suspended diamond chains.
Also on display is the miniature crown worn by Queen Victoria for her official Diamond Jubilee portrait 1897. The crown was made by R & S Garrard in 1870 and contains 1,187 diamonds.
Among the more modern pieces in the exhibition is the South Africa Necklace, presented to the then Queen on her 21st birthday in 1947 and the Williamson Brooch which features a rare pink diamond set by Cartier in a jonquil-shaped brooch with 200 small diamonds.
The exhibition also includes a number of historic objects that show the skill with which diamonds have been used in different cultures and traditions, such as the 18th century bloodstone box made for King Frederick the Great of Prussia. The box incorporates nearly 3,000 diamonds arranged pictorially to represent flowers, insects and musical instruments.
The exhibition will take place during August and September at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.