Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mother jewellery: How the Queen Mother’s legacy was passed on through her jewelery and who wears it now includes Kate Middleton and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall

It’s not a secret anymore British royal family has one of the most expensive and most complete collections of jewelry in the world.

Many of the family’s finest works come from Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, whose legacy will forever be associated with her extraordinary jewelry.

Today some of her grandest tiaras, necklaces, earrings and rings are worn by other women to follow in her footsteps including the king, enabling her beloved kingdom to be remembered by generations to come.

Queen Mother
Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mother, photographed at Windsor Castle on July 8, 1941. (Getty)

The days gone by August will see the royal family gather to celebrate the Queen Mother’s birthday – August 4th – so in honor of the former Empress, here are some of her most iconic royal jewels that can be seen today.

Tiara Strathmore Rose

Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon married Albert, Duke of York, in 1923 and the event gave her “the first real experience of owning and wearing very special jewellery”, writes writer Hugh Roberts in Queen Diamond.

Among her many wedding gifts were some notable pieces of jewelry, including a diamond tiara in the shape of a rose bouquet given by Elizabeth’s father, Lord Strathmore.

It is known as the Strathmore Rose tiara.

Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon - later Queen Mother - wears the Strathmore Rose tiara
Queen Elizabeth wore the Strathmore Rose tiara in the mid-late 1920s (exact date unknown). (Getty)

She wore the tiara many times as the Duchess of York, including for official portraits and on her wedding day.

Featuring a bouquet of roses in rose diamonds, set in silver and gold, the tiara was likely made in the late 1800s. It is designed to be worn on the forehead in a bandeau style – popular during the 1920s – but can also be worn over the head in a more traditional way.

The flowers can be removed and worn as brooches and are sometimes exchanged for sapphires.

Queen Mother
Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon left her home for her wedding to the Duke of York, future King George VI in 1923. (Getty)

As Queen Elizabeth, she wore the tiara many times during her husband’s reign and kept it until her death in 2002.

It is now in Queen Elizabeth II’s private collection, but has not been worn by a member of the royal family since.

As the Duchess of York, Elizabeth prefers simple jewelry such as brooches and pearl necklaces.

Tiara Strathmore Rose, courtesy of Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mother. (Getty)

But it would be her husband’s succession to become King after his brother’s abdication that would see Elizabeth, Duchess of York, land an even more impressive jewelery collection as her taste matched that of the Queen Consort.

Cartier Hello tiara

This tiara was purchased by the Duke of York on November 18, 1936, three weeks before succeeding his brother as King George VI, and was worn by his wife while he was still a royal.

Created by Cartier, this tiara is designed in the popular ‘halo’ style to match 1930s hairstyles and features 739 brilliant cut diamonds and 149 stick cut diamonds.

Queen Elizabeth gave the tiara to her daughter, then Princess Elizabeth, as an 18th birthday present in 1944.

The Duchess of Cambridge wears the Cartier halo tiara on her wedding day, April 29, 2011. (Getty)

It was then loaned to Princess Margaret in the 1950s and borrowed by Princess Anne in the 1970s.

When the Queen Mother died in 2002, the tiara became part of the Queen’s collection.

Her Royal Highness lent the Halo tiara to Kate Middleton when she married Prince William on April 29, 2011, at Westminster Abbey.

But it hasn’t been worn by the Duchess of Cambridge since.

Art Deco diamond ring

The Queen Mother had many large rings and her engagement ring was a large sapphire.

But she often swapped her rings, sometimes wearing a pearl ring instead.

Another ring that the Queen Mother sometimes wears on her wedding finger is an Art-Deco emerald cut ring.

Camilla, now the Duchess of Cornwall, showed off her engagement ring at a party at Windsor Castle. (Wire Drawing)

That part was handed over to Prince Charles who then present it to Camilla when he applied.

The platinum ring features a five-carat emerald-cut diamond with three baguette-cut diamonds on either side.

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Author Tina Brown writes in her book Palace Papers that “The Queen approved of Charles choosing Camilla’s engagement ring from one of the Queen Mother’s collection” adding it was “more valuable than the engagement ring given to Diana”.

But, “his grandmother would have died in her grave at Windsor Castle if she had known who was destined to wear her emerald diamond inheritance”.

After their marriage in 2005, the Duchess of Cornwall wore the ring with her Welsh gold wedding ring.

sapphire fringe earrings

Since marrying into the royal family, Duchess of Cambridge had worn some heirloom jewelery and her favorite seemed to be the Queen Mother’s sapphire fringe earrings.

Recently they seen in Kate at Westminster Abbey when he is the host Royal Carols: Together At Christmas concert.

Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, arrives at Buckingham Palace for a gala dinner for US President Donald Trump on June 3, 2019, wearing sapphire and diamond earrings from the Queen Mother and the Queen Mary's Beloved Knot tiara.
The Duchess of Cambridge arrives at Buckingham Palace for a gala dinner for US President Donald Trump on June 3, 2019, wearing sapphire and diamond earrings from the Queen Mother. (Getty)

The earrings were first worn on the Duchess in 2015 at an event inside the Victoria and Albert museum.

He later wore it at a gala inside Buckingham Palace in June 2019 which was held in honor of US President Donald Trump’s visit to the UK.

They are set in an Art Deco design with a diamond fringe suspended from clusters of sapphires and diamonds and they move smoothly when worn.

The Duchess of Cambridge at Westminster Abbey in December 2019. (Samir Hussein/WireImage)

The earrings are likely to be Kate’s favorite because they match her sapphire engagement ring, which previously belonged to Diana, Princess of Wales.

The Queen Mother started wearing earrings in the 1960s but the sapphire may have come from a jewelery line given by Queen Mary for her 1943 wedding.

Greville ornate necklace and Greville tiara

Made by Cartier, the Greville Festoon necklace was bequeathed to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, in 1942 from wealthy public figure Margaret Greville, a collection that includes 60 pieces.

The necklace features five rows of diamonds, though she often wears them with just three for a less dramatic look.

The necklace was one of the Queen Mother’s largest collections, before being given to her daughter the Queen in 2002.

The Duchess of Cornwall wears a Greville ornate necklace and Greville tiara in Uganda in November 2007. (Getty)

Her Majesty has since lent it to the Duchess of Cornwall, along with the rest of Mrs Greville’s legacy – a tiara that has come to be known as the Greville tiara.

It features many diamonds set in a geometric honeycomb design and is one of the Queen Mother’s most worn tiaras.

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The tiara was made by Boucheron in the 1920s but renovated by Cartier in 1953 at the request of the Queen Mother.

It is one of only three tiaras worn by the Duchess of Cornwall. Her access to others, and the royal family’s larger collection of gems, will increase when she becomes Empress.

Maple leaf brooch

Queen Elizabeth’s jewelery collection grew when her husband, the King, gave her more extravagant jewellery, which, as Hugh Roberts explained, was even more important after abdication to “uphold the dignity and continuity of the monarchy”.

Created by Asprey & Co in 1939, the Maple leaf brooch was presented to Queen Elizabeth by King George VI on their State Visit to Canada in 1939.

The Duchess of Cambridge wears the Queen Mother’s diamond maple leaf brooch in Canada on July 8, 2011. (Getty)

Like all of the Queen Mother’s jewellery, the brooch was inherited by her daughter who often wears it to visit Canada – the Commonwealth country Her Majesty visits the most.

The Queen then lent the brooch to the Duchess of Cambridge for her royal tour of Canada with Prince William in 2011.

Lotus Flower Tiara

The Duchess of Cambridge wore another Queen Mother tiara which was a gift from her husband.

But the Lotus flower tiara is not always a headpiece.

Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mother, wearing the Lotus Flower tiara, in this portrait taken in 1927. (Getty)

The Queen Mother had a tiara made of a necklace her husband gave for their wedding.

Garrard, who made the original necklace, used gemstones to make the tiara which became one of the Queen’s favorite pieces of jewelry in the early years of her marriage.

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Queen Elizabeth wore the tiara many times during her husband’s reign before being passed on to her youngest daughter, Princess Margaret, who often wore the tiara.

The Duchess of Cambridge wears the Lotus tiara at Buckingham Palace on October 20, 2015. (Dominic Lipinski/WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Tiaras can be worn with diamond or pearl toppers.

The Duchess of Cambridge wears the Lotus Flower tiara for a state banquet at Buckingham Palace in October 2015 for China’s president.

It is just one of the three tiaras worn by Kate since the royal wedding.

seashell brooch

This beautiful cut is shaped as a scallop shell and features a pavé-set diamond around a single pearl.

The brooch was bequeathed to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, by Winifred Hope and later became the collection of Queen Elizabeth II.

Queen Elizabeth II wears her mother’s Scallop-Shell brooch at Royal Ascot on June 22, 2019. (Getty)

The Queen has worn the brooch many times including at Zara and Mike Tindall’s wedding at Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh, Scotland, on July 30, 2011.

coronation necklace

To mark his coronation in 1937, King George VI gave his wife a necklace made of 40 diamonds that became known as Queen Elizabeth’s coronation necklace.

The piece was worn at coronations along with Queen Victoria’s coronation necklace and later in her official coronation portraits and other important photographs in 1939 and 1948.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, wore the Queen Mother’s Coronation necklace on her 60th birthday in 2007. (PA/Hugo Burnand/Clarence House)

The coronation necklace was later inherited by the Queen and loaned to the Duchess of Cornwall.

Camilla wore the necklace to celebrate her 60th birthday, but the necklace was shortened from 14 stones to just nine.

The Duchess of Cornwall may choose to wear the necklace again at the coronation of her husband, Charles.

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The most spectacular brooch worn by Queen Elizabeth II

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