01 September 2015

The Bejeweled Reign of Elizabeth II: The 1950s


This month, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom marks an incredible milestone. On September 10, she becomes her country's longest-reigning monarch -- and the longest-reigning female monarch in the history of any country in the world. To celebrate, we're going to be looking more than six decades' worth of royal splendor, with a bejeweled photograph for every year of her remarkable reign. Today, we're kicking things off with a look at the glamorous jewels she wore at the very start of her reign, in the 1950s.



1952: A few months after becoming the monarch, Elizabeth opens parliament for the first time. She wears the George IV Diadem, Queen Victoria's Pearl Drop Earrings, and Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee Necklace





1953: During her coronation year, Baron photographs Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace. She wears the George IV Diadem, the City of London Fringe Necklace, the Greville Chandelier Earrings, Queen Mary's Bangle Bracelets, and the bottom section of Queen Mary's Stomacher



1954: While on her post-coronation tour of the Commonwealth, Elizabeth opens parliament in Melbourne. She wears Queen Alexandra's Kokoshnik, Queen Mary's Cluster Earrings, Queen Mary's Bangle Bracelets, and her own Diamond Festoon Necklace



1955: In Leicester Square, Elizabeth attends the royal premiere of To Catch a Thief (starring another future royal: Grace Kelly). She wears the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, Queen Mary's Cluster Earrings, the Nizam of Hyderabad Necklace, and Queen Mary's Bangle Bracelets



1956: During a visit to Nigeria (four years before its independence from Britain), Elizabeth wears the Vladimir Tiara with the Cambridge Emerald Drops, plus the Delhi Durbar Necklace and Earrings



1957: Elizabeth makes a state visit to the United States. At a state banquet with President Eisenhower, she wears the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, the Duchess of Gloucester's Pendant Earrings, and Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee Necklace



1958: At the German embassy, Elizabeth wears Queen Alexandra's Kokoshnik and Queen Alexandra's Dagmar Necklace (without the cross and the largest pearl pendants) with Queen Victoria's Pearl Drop Earrings and the Dorset Bow Brooch



1959: During a royal tour of Canada, Elizabeth wears her trademark pearl earrings and pearl necklace with the magnificent Cullinan V Brooch