06 June 2016

Epsom Derby Diamonds for Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II at the Epsom Derby (Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth II was in her element this weekend at the Epsom Derby, where the Coronation Cup race was officially renamed the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Cup.




Photo: GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images

For her day at the races, the Queen wore one of her most precious brooches: the Cullinan V Brooch. The central, heart-shaped diamond is one of the stones cut from the enormous Cullinan Diamond. The diamond, which is weighs more than 18 carats, was given to Queen Mary by government of the Union of South Africa in 1910. Garrard devised a number of settings for the diamond; for example, it could be worn as the central element of Mary's honeysuckle tiara, in the Delhi Durbar stomacher, or in a few other forms. Queen Mary even wore it in her coronet at the 1937 coronation of her son, King George VI.


Photo: GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images

The simplest setting of this gorgeous diamond is this diamond and platinum brooch, made in 1911 by Garrard. Here's how Hugh Roberts describes it in The Queen's Diamonds: "With heart-shaped stone in pierced collet and claw setting, mounted on a fine radiating platinum web, in symmetrically scrolling and foliate millegrain and pav√©-set brilliant border." The brooch was inherited by the Queen from Queen Mary in 1953, and she's worn it regularly throughout her reign.


Photo: LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

Also at the Derby: Prince and Princess Michael of Kent. Marie Christine wore a lovely pair of earrings with a large cluster drop.


Photo: LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

We also got a few bonus jewels! Well, jewels in cardboard form, that is. Enthusiastic racegoers brought along cardboard cut-outs of Her Maj. Here she's wearing the Vladimir with the Cambridge emerald drops...


Photo: LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

...and here she's guarding a beverage table while wearing the complete Brazilian Aquamarine Parure. I always appreciate a little extra glitter, even when it's flat and made of paper!