Our survey of the Queen Mother’s glittering jewelry legacy continues today with a closer look at four of her favorite royal bracelets—and the way the royals are still wearing them today.
When King George VI ascended to the throne in 1936, his wife, Queen Elizabeth, received a cache of royal jewels earmarked for the use of the British queen. Among these heirlooms of the crown was a dazzling diamond bracelet. Made for Queen Victoria, possibly as early as the 1830s, the bracelet features five square sections with a floral design, with large brilliants in the center of each section. Elizabeth loved to pair the bracelet with other jewels that belonged to Victoria, including the Indian Circlet and the Crown Rubies, as well as the Fringe Brooch.
The bracelet was one of the crown pieces that the Queen Mother kept in her jewelry box after her husband’s death in 1952. Queen Elizabeth II inherited it in 2002, and she’s worn it occasionally since. Here, she wears the bracelet with the Girls of Great Britain & Ireland Tiara and the Coronation Diamonds for a state banquet in honor of the Emir of Kuwait at Windsor Castle in 2012.
The Queen Mother’s collection also included this set of five bracelets from Cartier. The set included all-diamond bracelets, as well as bracelets set with sapphires, emeralds, and rubies. Here, Elizabeth wears several of the bracelets stacked on her left wrist, plus the Lotus Flower Tiara, the Persian Turquoise Brooch, and a whole lot of pearls. The set, which was a gift from her husband, also came with a tiara frame, allowing three of the bracelets to be worn together as a bandeau.
The bracelets now belong to the Queen, and she wears them on occasion, usually one or two at a time. She’s wearing one of the all-diamond bracelets on her right wrist in this photograph, taken during her 92nd birthday celebration at Royal Albert Hall in April 2018.
From Queen Mary, Elizabeth inherited this diamond bracelet, which could also be converted to be worn as a choker necklace. The jewel has an Art Deco feeling about its design, with lots of geometric features and several large brilliants. Here, the Queen Mother wears the bracelet with Queen Victoria’s Rubies and one of her own Cartier Ruby Floral Clips for the RADA Diamond Jubilee celebration in 1964.
The Queen Mother also had a dazzling diamond bracelet with a distinctive quatrefoil pattern. In 1958, she wore it with several other sparkling jewels—the Greville Tiara, Queen Alexandra’s Wedding Necklace, the Greville Peardrop Earrings, Queen Victoria’s Fringe Brooch, and Queen Victoria’s Bar Brooch—at the Guildhall for a celebration after her return from a Commonwealth tour.