A standout piece from the exhibition at Buckingham Palace will be the Diamond Diadem, instantly recognisable as the headpiece worn by the Queen on postage stamps from 1953 – 1971. Created for the coronation of King George IV in 1821, it consists of a band of two rows of pearls either side of a row of diamonds, with 1,333 brilliant-cut diamonds making up the design. Queen Elizabeth II is not the only monarch to have worn it when modelling for postage stamps, either; her great, great-grandmother Queen Victoria was also featured wearing it on the Penny Black stamp. Alongside the diadem will be the famous Dorothy Wilding portrait of Elizabeth wearing it, taken just weeks into her reign.
Another highlight is the Delhi Durbar necklace, which features the iconic Cullinan diamond, the largest ever found. It was originally owned by Queen Mary, noted for her penchant for jewellery, who had it made from nine emeralds given to her by her grandmother. It was worn by Her Majesty in another famous sitting with Dorothy Wilding – the last before the photographer’s retirement in 1958.
There will also be a display of brooches worn during the Queen’s visits to Commonwealth countries at Windsor Castle, including the Flame-Lily Brooch, the emblem of Zimbabwe, which the Queen wore on her mourning clothes while travelling back to Britain from Kenya after learning of the death of her father.
Finally, at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, visitors can see outfits worn by the Queen during her Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees, as well as gifts she has received while on official engagements in Scotland.