From July 2012, Buckingham Palace will be opening its doors once again for the summer as the Queen opens the State Rooms once again for public viewing. This is an amazing opportunity to look round one of the most magnificent working royal palaces not just in the UK, but the whole world. But as an extra treat to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee, the exhibition also includes a special exhibit of Her Majesty’s jewellery collection.
The exhibition offers up the chance to view priceless diamond rings, tiaras, crowns and much more, many of which have never before been on public display. The Queen’s jewellery collection is one of the very finest in the world. Some of the pieces will be familiar to many; you may recognise the crown that she regularly wears on State occasions.
However, there are some world first’s being shown at the exhibition, one of which is bringing together for the first time ever, jewellery pieces made from the world’s single largest ever mined diamond.
The Cullinan Diamond was found in 1905 in South Africa and weighed a whopping 3,106.75 carats. After at first being discarded, (no one believed a stone that big could actually be a diamond) it was presented to King Edward VII in 1907 by the Transvaal Government. The stone was prized not only for its immense size, but also for its exceptional clarity, a stunning blue-white colour, and purity.
Once the mined stone was cut, the largest polished diamond from the stone, weighing 530.4 carats, was named the Great Star of Africa and was mounted into the Sceptre with the Cross, which is the Sovereign’s Sceptre and makes up part of the famous Crown Jewels.
The Imperial State Crown also contains a stone cut from the Cullinan Diamond. The exhibition will showcase brooches set with the other five smaller stones and the Delhi Durbar Necklace. A diamond ring, set with the smallest of the nine stones (4.4 carats) cut from the original mined diamond, will also be exhibited.
This pear-shaped diamond ring, a popular shape today for engagement rings particularly for the way it sits alongside a wedding ring, is known as a pendeloque. Together, these pieces of the Cullinan Diamond collection promise to be entirely breath-taking.
Other fantastic and famous jewellery items on display at the Diamond Jubilee exhibition at Buckingham Palace will be the gorgeous matching pendant and earrings given to Queen Victoria by Prince Albert and worn by the Queen during her coronation.
A necklace and bracelet presented to the Queen for her 21st birthday by the South African Government, as well as ‘Granny’s Tiara’, a favourite tiara of the Queen’s which was a gift from her grandmother, Queen Mary.
Running until 7 October, tickets are on sale from the Royal Collection website. A day out at Buckingham Palace promises to be an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience for the whole family.