Queen’s best brooches: Cullinan brooch contains piece of largest diamond ever discovered

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 V Heart Brooch.

It is one of Her Majesty’s best brooches for several reasons.

Most notably, the heart-shaped jewel marked the world’s most important diamond discovery.

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.

Charlotte explained: “It [the brooch] was named after Thomas Cullinan, the mine’s chairman.

“It remains, well over a century later, the largest rough diamond ever found.

“The Queen’s Cullinan V, IV and III brooches each incorporate diamonds from the Cullinan collection.”

The jewellery expert continued: “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 V Heart brooch features a heart-shaped diamond which is surrounded by smaller diamonds and set in a platinum frame.

Her Majesty has worn this beautiful brooch on many occasions.

One of the jewel’s most unforgettable outings was when the Queen wore it to make a surprise appearance at London Fashion Week in February 2018.

The Queen sat front row beside American Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour at Richard Quinn’s fashion show, looking elegant and stylish in a silver jacket with a matching skirt, black patent heeled shoes, and black gloves.

Her Majesty also wore the Cullinan V Heart brooch for an official portrait to celebrate the Duke of Edinburgh’s 99th birthday, taken a few months before his death.

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