Some had to be smuggled past a revolutionary mob. Some had to be prised from the grasp of a royal mistress. The majority were presented as tokens of esteem, reverence and — for the most part — love.
Together, they comprise surely the finest collection of diamonds in the world. And now, in honour of her Diamond Jubilee, the Queen has authorised the first public study and display of these dazzling symbols of majesty.
These are the ‘other Crown Jewels’, the ones which do not reside in the Tower of London. They live at Buckingham Palace, or wherever the Queen happens to need them. These diamonds are not set in ceremonial regalia like orbs or sceptres, restricted to royal rituals.
They are ‘heirlooms of the Crown’, the Monarch’s personal jewels – handed down from Queen to Queen — and worn for everything from a royal awayday to a family wedding or a state banquet.
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