With the upcoming premiere of Netflix’s The Crown, we thought this was an excellent opportunity to revisit the Queen’s jewelry collection, taking a look at the pieces know will be featured in this season’s episode and what else we can expect when it comes to the royal jewelry collection.
From what producers have revealed, season 3 of The Crown will span the years 1963-1977 of the Queen’s reign, covering the Queen’s late 30s to mid-40s. And with the history of this time period one of global change, it makes sense that the season’s tagline reads “Times change. Duty endures.” Another thing that endures is the royal family’s dazzling jewelry so let’s get to it!
With the official trailer which came out in mid-October (watch below), we know that the costumes for this coming season are as spectacular as any we’ve seen. While there are more diamonds in the trailer than in most of our jewelry boxes, there were three iconic pieces that stood out.
In the teaser trailer and in the full-length trailer, Queen Elizabeth, played by Olivia Coleman, is shown wearing the George IV State Diadem. This is a very traditional-looking crown made from silver, gold, diamonds, and pearls. The diamond-encrusted figures include 4 crosses-pattée (a Christian symbol) and 4 floral sprays that represent the national emblems of the UK. This diadem was originally created for George IV in 1821 for his coronation but has since traditionally been worn by queens and queen consorts for very special occasions, such as the opening of Parliament and coronations. It is also the crown the Queen wears for the portraits used for the UK’s stamps.
In the full-length trailer, we see the Queen in a horse-drawn carriage on her way to her Silver Jubilee celebrations wearing the Williamson Jonquil brooch. The brooch, one of the Queen’s favorites, includes 170 small brilliant-cut, 12 baguette-cut and 21 marquise diamonds. At the center of the flower is the world’s finest pink diamond which was given to the Queen as a wedding gift from Dr. John Williamson who owned a diamond mine in Tanzania. He also gifted her the rest of the clear diamonds which were all given to Cartier to create the brooch.
As a refresher for show fans and history for new viewers, in the show’s second season, Princess Margaret married photographer Tony Armstrong Jones (in 1960). As portrayed in the show, the Princess hoped her wedding and marriage would somewhat upstage her sister the Queen. In the trailer, we see Princess Margaret, played by Helena Bonham Carter, posing for a photograph in her bathtub wearing nothing but a diamond tiara. This is the Poltimore Tiara which we saw the Princess wear at her wedding. Unlike other tiaras that were made or received by the royals as gifts, it is believed that the Princess bought this tiara for herself for her wedding. The tiara was made in the 1870s by crown jeweler Garrard for Lady Poltimore and can be transformed into a fringe-style necklace and 11 brooches. It was sold at auction by Christie’s in 2007 for $1.7 million.
Besides the trailer, there will be plenty of other beautiful outfits and jewelry to see in the upcoming season. A little bit of historical research on the Queen’s reign in the 60s and 70s brought out a few pieces that we are bound to see on the small screen.
In her 1966 portrait, taken by photographer Yusuf Karsh, the queen wears two pieces that we’ve definitely seen before, the Queen Alexandra Kokoshnik tiara and the George VI Festoon necklace.
The Queen Alexandra Kokoshnik Tiara was given to Queen Alexandra on her 25th wedding anniversary is 1888. “Kokoshnik” refers to the style of the tiara, one that was very popular in the late 19th century (and is coming back in style today!). It is made up of 61 diamond bars and is still often worn by the Queen.
The George VI Festoon Necklace was commissioned by King George, the Queen’s father, for her in 1950. In includes three strands of 83 brilliant-cut diamonds. While King George often purchased items from jewelry houses such as Cartier for his family members, he had the royal jeweler, Garrard, create this piece.
In her 1969 portrait, taken by Anthony Buckley, the queen wears two pieces that we still often see her wearing today: the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara and a matching necklace and earrings set that is set with diamonds and large aquamarines.
The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara was given to Princess May of Teck (later Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth’s grandmother) as a wedding present by a committee of women. Now worn often by Queen Elizabeth, the tiara’s design has been tweaked a few times by royal jeweler Garrard and includes, among the many diamonds, 13 round brilliant diamonds.
The Brazilian Aquamarine and Diamond Set includes a pair of earrings and a necklace, both featuring large rectangle aquamarines. As the set was given to the Queen as a present for her coronation by the president of Brazil, the gemstones were sourced in Brazil and are set in scrolled diamond and platinum surrounds. Since she liked the set so much, Queen Elizabeth had a matching tiara made and has worn the full set together many times.
Although not included in the trailers, photos showing a scene depicting the investiture of Prince Charles have been buzzing around for months. For those wondering, investiture is a centuries-old ceremony where the king or queen’s eldest child is formally acknowledged as the Prince of Wales (next in line for the throne). There is some dramatic family history around the coronet Prince Charles wore to his investiture that we’re sure the series will dive into. When the Queen’s uncle, the former King Edward VIII, went into exile after abdicating the throne and marrying Wallis Simpson, he took the coronet he had worn to his own investiture with him. Not wanting to cause a stir with the former king, a new coronet was designed for Prince Charles to wear, designed by Louis Osman and gifted to the Queen by the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths.
There are some interesting rules in how the investiture coronet should look. Traditionally, the crowns of monarchs include 2 arches while the investiture coronet has just one, signifying that while the Prince of Wales outranks other royals but not the monarch. And for Prince Charles’ coronet, the designer chose a noticeably futuristic design that was so popular in the 1960s and compliments the Queen’s interesting hat choice for the occasion.
We can’t wait for The Crown to return for its third season, both for the drama and for the jewels. Stay tuned for updates on jewelry the pops up once we start binging!
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