We’re getting close to the top of our Platinum Jubilee countdown of the Queen’s best platinum jewels, and today’s piece is a true star: the Cullinan V Brooch.
Just like the glittering brooch we featured yesterday, this royal brooch features a large gemstone produced from the grand Cullinan Diamond. The enormous rough diamond, discovered in South Africa in 1905, weighed more than 3000 carats. It was decided to present the diamond to King Edward VII of the United Kingdom, and it was subsequently sent to the workshop of the Asschers in Amsterdam to be cut.
Nine major diamonds were produced from the stone, along with 96 smaller diamond brilliants. The fifth stone cut from the Cullinan is an 18.8-carat heart-shaped diamond. Queen Mary is the one who was able to decide how the Cullinan V should be set, and the primary setting selected was this intricate diamond and platinum brooch. The heart-shaped diamond radiates out of the center of the piece.
But Queen Mary being Queen Mary, the diamond was also designed to be worn in other ways as well. Here, she wears it in the center of her honeysuckle tiara, which was made for her by Wolff & Co. for Garrard in 1914. (She’s also wearing more Cullinans on her bodice, in the form of the Cullinan III & IV Brooch.)
The brooch setting of the Cullinan V could also be combined with other pieces to make larger corsage ornaments. Here, she wears the Cullinan V Brooch between the sections of the Cullinan VI & VIII Brooch. It was also sometimes worn with the Delhi Durbar Stomacher. (She’s wearing the tiara from the Delhi Durbar Parure here, with the Cullinan III and IV diamonds set in it.)
The Queen inherited the Cullinan V Brooch from Queen Mary in 1953. She wore her grandmother’s brooch often from the start. Here, she wears the brooch to watch a cricket match at Highclere Castle in August 1958. The castle was home to one of the Queen’s best friends, her racing manager, the 7th Earl of Carnarvon. (It’s also, famously, where Downton Abbey is filmed.)
The Queen has worn the brooch over a years for a whole range of events and occasions. We’ve seen it for everything from major family moments to important state occasions to significant religious celebrations. Here, the Queen wears the brooch for the annual Royal Maundy service at Liverpool Cathedral in April 2004.
Here, in November 2010, she wears the brooch for the official farewell ceremony at the end of her state visit to Oman.
One of the most sentimental appearances for the brooch in recent years came in October 2018, when the Queen wore it for the wedding of her granddaughter, Princess Eugenie. The romantic heart-shaped brooch is a perfect choice for a wedding celebration!