The Crown Jewels are one of the most iconic symbols of the British monarchy, having complemented royal life for centuries. The jewels, sometimes referred to as the Ceremonial Regalia, display some of the world’s finest and most spectacular precious stones, attracting millions of visitors every year.

But which jewels make up the Ceremonial Regalia? And how did the collection evolve over time before reaching Queen Elizabeth II? With her Majesty marking 70 years on the throne in 2022, there has never been a better time to explore the rich history of the exclusive jewellery so entwined with her glorious reign.  

With extensive knowledge of jewellery valuation and history, Susan Rumfitt is the perfect guide to exploring this majestic history.  

The Coronation Regalia 

At the very heart of the royal collection lays the iconic coronation jewels, which date to the restoration of the monarchy under Charles II in 1661. Symbolically, the crown jewels signify the transfer of authority between monarchs, a tradition dating to 973 AD.  

King Edward’s Crown 

King Edward’s crown is the central piece in this collection, worn by Elizabeth during her coronation in  1952. This magnificent piece was primarily made from royal gold dating to the 11th century. The crown weighs nearly five pounds, enough to give anyone an achingneck — this is certainly the case for young  Elizabeth who wore the piece for nearly three hours!  

The Cullinan Diamonds 

Perhaps the most enticing item in this collection, however, is the Sovereigns Sceptre, held in the hand of the monarch during coronation. Atop this iconic item lies the most precious crown jewel of all: the Cullinan I diamond. Cut from the 3000-carat stone found in South Africa in 1905, the diamond is the largest top-quality cut white diamond in the world, an astonishing 530.2 carats.  

Additional cuts of the Cullinan Diamond also appear elsewhere in the collection. The dazzling Cullinan II features at the centre of the Imperial State Crown, surrounded by 2,868 diamonds, 17 sapphires, 11  emeralds, 269 pearls and 4 rubies.  

The Cullinan III and IV Diamonds are also personal favourites of the Queen, which she sported as a broach on her Diamond Jubilee – how fitting!  

George VI’s State Diadem Crown

Elizabeth first wore this crown on the journey from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey on the day of her coronation and has worn it countless times since. The piece was made for George IV in 1821,  featuring over 12,000 diamonds and 200 pearls in the shape of English pearls, Scottish thistles and Irish shamrocks.

This crown is an iconic image in everyday national life, even if you don’t recognise it. Look closely at a British stamp, however, and you’ll see the piece in all its glory.

The Queen’s Favourites 

Two pieces close to the Queen’s heart are the coronation necklace and earrings made for Queen Victoria in 1858. Her Majesty first wore the diamond set on her coronation day, continuing to favour the pieces to wear on formal occasions.  

Find your own fine jewellery today

The crown jewels present the finest example of the legacy of family heirlooms. Her Majesty’s Platinum celebrations will take place in the first week of June, providing you with plenty of time to polish up your collection or invest in a precious heirloom yourself! 

At Susan Rumfitt Fine Jewellery, our team have extensive knowledge of jewellery valuation, repair and design, as well as offering the finest antique jewellery sales in our collection. We have operated from the heart of Harrogate since 2006 and are excited to help you find the perfect piece to make you feel just like royalty. 

Browse our catalogue or contact us on 01423 705 198 to arrange an appointment today.