Edward VIII praises Queen Elizabeth II's reign in 1969
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The Queen is rarely seen without a brooch on her lapel, usually worn to complement her strikingly bright outfits. But Her Majesty’s brooches are more than just pieces of beautiful jewellery: they symbolise deeper meanings and reveal significant aspects of the Queen’s life.
Her Majesty not only has a vast brooch collection, but it is also one of the most impressive selections in the world.
It is thought that the monarch has up to around 100 brooches, with special ones on regular rotation.
Charlotte White, Head of Design at 77 Diamonds, Europe’s largest online jeweller, commented on the Queen’s much-loved jewels.
She said: “The Queen’s spectacular and extensive collection of brooches spans world-record breaking, historical and sentimental pieces.
“There are several priceless brooches owned by the Queen that are steeped in history and you could say these jewels attest to the sheer wealth and power of the British monarchy.”
One of these historical brooches is the Cullinan III and IV brooch.
This jewel forms part of a three-piece brooch collection, all cut from the same diamond.
The brooches are some of Her Majesty’s most valuable possessions since they mark the world’s most important diamond discovery.
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The Cullinan was found in a South African diamond mine in 1905 and remains the largest rough diamond ever discovered by Western archaeologists, weighing 3,107 carats.
The Queen has three Cullinan brooches, which were passed down to her from her grandmother, Queen Mary, in 1953.
These are the Cullinan III an IV brooch, the Cullinan V brooch, and the Cullinan VI and VIII brooch.
The first of the trio is the most valuable of all, estimated to be worth a whopping £50million, according to fine jewellery and engagement ring experts Steven Stone.
Diamond expert Max Stone said: “The biggest and most expensive of all Queen Elizabeth’s brooches is the Cullinan III and IV brooch.
This is because it features two large stones cut from the Cullinan diamond – the world’s largest diamond ever found. This one brooch alone is worth £50,000,000.”
This brooch is essentially two brooches in one as the pear-shaped Cullinan III diamond hangs from the square-cut Cullinan IV jewel.
The former diamond weighs a staggering 94.4 carats while the latter weighs 63.6 carats.
Queen Elizabeth II inherited the Cullinan III and IV brooch from her grandmother in 1953, but Her Majesty has barely worn the jewel since, according to the Court Jeweller.
However, the Queen did opt to wear it for a state visit to the Netherlands in 1958, and for a thanksgiving service at St. Paul’s Cathedral on the year of her Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
Charlotte, of 77 Diamonds, told Express.co.uk more about the Queen’s Cullinan collection, saying: “The Queen inherited these legendary diamonds from her grandmother, Queen Mary, in 1953, who adapted the Delhi Durbar Tiara to make the III and IV brooches in 1912.
“The Cullinan set also includes the largest clear-cut diamond in the world, the Cullinan I, which is mounted in the Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross, while the second-largest is featured in the Imperial State crown.”
The Cullinan III and IV brooch is the most expensive brooch in the Queen’s jewellery box, but the Williamson diamond brooch closely follows it, estimated to be worth £25million.
The third most expensive brooch is the Prince Albert brooch.
This sapphire and diamond piece is thought to be worth £8million, according to Steven Stone.
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