32 of the most stunning pieces of royal jewellery, from historic crowns to luxury brands

It might just be true what they say - diamonds are a girl's best friend, even when they're royal...

Queen Elizabeth, Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Let's be honest, who doesn't love a sparkler? 

The royals certainly do. While they might not always keep up with the latest jewellery trends, their accessory choices, ranging from glittering tiaras to dazzling earrings and more, always offer a mixture of wearable art, decadent luxury and a connection to history. Whenever the Royal Family are out and about, be it sharing a romantic moment or off touring the world, all eyes are fixated on which trinkets and treasures they'll be wearing.

Here, we take a closer look at some of the most stunning and memorable pieces. 

32 of the most stunning royal jewellery

Queen Alexandra’s wedding necklace

Kate Middleton attends a State Banquet in 2018

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In 2018, the Princess of Wales wore something we'd seen before - the Lover's Knot Tiara - and something we hadn't seen yet her wear, the elusive Queen Alexandra Wedding Necklace. 

Queen Alexandra wore it on her wedding day to Edward VII in 1863. 

The elaborate piece of jewellery includes eight clusters of pendants surrounded by diamonds. Finishing the stunning look, are delicately balanced pear-shaped pearl drops.

The parure originally included a matching tiara, known as the Rundell Tiara, which, royal historian Hugh Roberts reported was "disposed" of by Queen Alexandra's daughter, in his book, The Queen's Diamonds.

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The Cartier Halo Tiara

Kate Middleton on her wedding day in 2011

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Ahead of Prince William and Kate Middleton's 2011 wedding, fans went into a fever pitch speculating on what the now Princess of Wales would wear. Some of the more out-there rumours suggested the Princess was doing away with centuries of tradition by opting against wearing one of the royal tiaras in favour of a flower crown, in keeping with her rural roots. 

This, of course, was debunked when the beautiful bride emerged wearing the dazzling Cartier Halo Tiara. 

The stunning piece of jewellery is made up of 739 brilliant cut diamonds and 149 baguette diamonds, and it dates back to 1936, when Queen Elizabeth II's father, King George VI, commissioned Cartier to make something magnificent for his wife, the Queen Mother.

Queen Mary's Emerald and Diamond Choker

Princess Diana dancing with Prince Charles

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One of the most memorable pieces of jewellery ever worn by the late Princess of Wales was the Delhi Durbar Emerald Choker, an art deco diamond and emerald piece gifted to her by the late Queen as a wedding present. 

It was first gifted to Queen Mary by the Delhi Durbar during her visit to India with King George in 1911. Meant to be worn as a choker, the ever-daring Diana surprised everyone when she wore it as a headband – cementing a whole new look and creating an iconic jewellery moment.

Kate Middleton's tanzanite set

Kate Middleton wearing a blue outfit with matching jewellery

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Beautiful blue jewellery is a recurring theme for the Royal Family, but the Princess of Wales wore something new and out of the blue (pun not intended) when she attended the 2022 Order of the Garter Service. 

The deep blue stone used for both the earrings and matching necklace is tanzanite, a rare stone found only in Tanzania. The pendant necklace features 20 round brilliant-cut diamonds, set around a central stone. 

Tanzanite is one of the world's newest discovered gemstones - and is only mined in one place. A true luxury fit for a (future) Queen.

The Delhi Durbar Necklace

Queen Elizabeth II wearing the Delhi Durbar necklace

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Throughout her history-making 70 years on the throne, Queen Elizabeth II was gifted some of the finest jewels in the world. Some were given to Her Majesty herself, and some she inherited from past generations. 

One such inherited heirloom was the stunning Delhi Durbar necklace. 

Set with nine emeralds owned by Queen Mary's grandmother and an 8.8-carat Cullinan VII diamond, the necklace originally was part of a collection made for Queen Mary's appearance at the Delhi Durbar, a ceremony marking King George V's succession as King Emperor of India in 1911 - he would become the last Emperor of India before the dissolution of the British Empire.

The Three-Strand Pearl Necklace

Queen Elizabeth II wearing her signature pearl necklace

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When one thinks of timeless elegance and classic royal jewellery, pearls immediately spring to mind. 

The late Queen Elizabeth II popularised the gemstone ever since she was a young woman. She was just 25 years old when she lost her father, and the pearl necklace that she received from him as a young girl became a significant, sentimental favourite - so much so that she had an identical one made.

Pearls became so symbolic for the late Queen that her family paid tribute to her by wearing their own set at the late monarch's funeral. 

Queen Camilla's Van Cleef and Arpels bracelet

Queen Camilla wearing her Van Cleef and Arpels charm bracelet

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When Camilla became Queen Consort in 2022 following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, she suddenly had access to the world's finest collection of trinkets and treasures - and while fans have seen Queen Camilla wear more historic pieces, she still relies on some of her personal favourites. 

A long-time fan of Van Cleef and Arpels, Camilla is thought to favour the Vintage Alhambra charm bracelet. 

It's not the only piece by the French jewellers owned by Her Majesty, who has been sporting various pieces since her first appearance at the Buckingham Palace Garden Party in 2005. 

Meghan Markle's Cartier Juste un Clou necklace

Meghan Markle

(Image credit: Getty Images)

There's something that just makes sense about Meghan Markle's penchant for Cartier. The French brand was a favourite of another Hollywood star turned princess, Grace Kelly, and Meghan continues showcasing the Quiet Luxury, understated elegance.

One such piece showcased at Prince Harry's Invictus Games was the Juste un Clou necklace. Set with 57 diamonds, Juste un Clou translates to "just a nail" in French, and the quirky design is made to look like a long nail wrapped around the wearer's neck.

Princess Diana's Cartier Tank Francaise

Meghan Markle in a beige halter neck and a Cartier watch

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Princess Diana started wearing the exquisite gold Cartier Tank Française watch around 1996, just after her divorce from Prince Charles. 

One of the houses most iconic timepieces, the Cartier Tank has adorned the wrist of everyone from Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama. 

Meghan Markle debuted Diana's Cartier Tank Française during the 2018 Invictus Games. 

Princess Diana's Swan Lake set

Princess Diana attending a performance of Swan Lake in 1997

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One of the houses most associated with crafting jewellery for the royals, Garrard, would create a stunning set for Princess Diana that would go on to have bittersweet significance. 

The jewels, made of platinum, were set with 214 diamonds and seven large South Sea pearls. Dubbed the the Swan Lake set after the princess wore them to the ballet during her last official engagement before her untimely death in 1997, the jewels would be sold in 2017 for a staggering £13.8 million.

Kate Middleton's emerald necklace

Kate Middleton attending the 2018 BAFTAs wearing an emerald necklace

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In 2018, Kate Middleton appeared at the 2018 BAFTAs sporting a baby bump and an elaborate emerald necklace set. 

While less is known about this spectacular set, the pieces are believed to be part of a private gift set given to her after her 2011 wedding to Prince William.

They are set with white diamonds, yellow diamonds, and square-cut emeralds, which are set within a floral border of diamonds.

Queen Mary's Diamond Bandeau

Meghan Markle on her wedding day, 2018

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For Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's 2018 wedding, the American Duchess continued a centuries-old tradition of royal brides wearing a tiara for the first time. 

Princess Victoria Mary of Teck first received the dainty, elegant tiara as part of her wedding gifts upon her marriage to the Duke of York in 1893 - in 1910 the couple would become better known as King George V and Queen Mary. The tiara's first life wasn't as a headpiece at all but as a brooch. In 1932, Queen Mary commissioned Garrard to make a new tiara using the County of Lincoln Brooch as its focal diamond. 

The cluster style of the original brooch is mirrored in a set of smaller pave-set diamond clusters placed on either side of the tiara, and the central brooch remains detachable. 

The tiara wowed fans when Meghan Markle wore it on her wedding day, partly because the stunning piece hadn't been worn since 1953!

Queen Camilla’s snake necklace

Queen Camilla

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Queen Camilla has always perfectly balanced the traditional with her own touches, keeping her own jewellery collection in rotation alongside pieces from the royal vaults. 

Before officially becoming Queen Consort, Her Majesty showed off her unique style with this snake inspired necklace, composed of a number of diamonds decorating the body of the snake and two glistening rubies for the eyes.

The provenance of the necklace has never been confirmed, however, various reports claim it might have once belonged to her grandmother. However, others have previously suggested the necklace was a gift from King Charles. 

Queen Mary’s Diamond Bar Choker Bracelet

Kate Middleton at a State Banquet wearing a diamond bracelet and red dress

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Originally designed as a choker in the Art Deco style of the 1920s, the Diamond Bar Choker Bracelet wasn't seen for decades after Queen Mary died in 1953. 

It would have a second life as a bracelet, appearing around the wrist of the Queen Mother in 1975. The Queen Mother marked her 75th birthday with a series of portraits by Norman Parkinson, showcasing how she'd customised her mother's choker. 

Some years later, the choker continues to be worn as a bracelet, with Kate Middleton favouring it for various occasions, including at the Chinese State Banquet in 2015. 

The Queen Mother’s Amethyst Sautoir

Queen Camilla at the Skyfall premiere, 2012

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From her Van Cleef and Arpels shamrock bracelet to a ballerina brooch, Queen Camilla loves a bit of whimsy when it comes to her jewellery, which might explain her decision to wear this romantic, heart-shaped necklace. 

However, there's plenty of history dating way back before Camilla. 

Queen Alexandra presented this to her granddaughter, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (aka The Queen Mother) as a wedding gift in 1923. 

While not many photos exist of the Queen Mother wearing the necklace, which includes a heart-shaped amethyst in the centre of a pearl and diamond necklace, she would eventually pass it down to her family. Queen Camilla wore it to the premiere of the James Bond movie, Skyfall, in 2012.

The Queen Mary Russian Fringe Tiara

Queen Elizabeth wearing the Queen Mary Russian Fringe tiara

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The late Queen Elizabeth II wore many a crown during her 70-year reign, but the Queen Mary Russian Fringe Tiara will always have a special place because it's what she opted to wear for her wedding to Prince Philip. 

At the time, the then Princess Elizabeth was lent the tiara by her mother for the wedding day in 1947. The tiara's was originally made for her grandmother, Queen Mary, from a diamond necklace given by Queen Victoria for her wedding in 1893.

Since then, Anne, Princess Royal, wore the tiara during her wedding to Captain Mark Phillips and Princess Beatrice was the last to wear it, during her wedding to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in 2020. 

Kate Middleton's Kiki McDonough earrings

Catherine, Princess of Wales at the Coronation Garden Party

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It's not just blue clothing that the royals show a preference for - hues of blue shimmer their way throughout the jewellery collections for the likes of Catherine, Princess of Wales.

One of the Princess's favourite designers, Kiki McDonough, provided these blue gemstone hoop earrings in the Lola style. Made from white gold, topaz and diamonds, Kate wore them for the Coronation Garden Party in 2023. 

The Lotus Flower Tiara

Kate Middleton wearing the Lotus Flower Tiara

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The Lotus Flower Tiara bloomed back onto the scene in 2013 and delighted royal fans, after the floral crown hadn't been seen since 1993. 

When Princess Margaret's son, David Armstrong-Jones, married Serena Stanhope in 1993, Princess Margaret lent the crown to her daughter-in-law. And then it wasn't seen until Catherine, Princess of Wales wore it for a diplomatic reception in 2013. Kate has since worn the crown on multiple other occasions. 

The crown originally belonged to the Queen Mother, who commissioned Garrard to transform a necklace given to her in 1923 into a tiara instead.

Kate Middleton's Elsa Peretti Tiffany necklace

Kate Middleton

(Image credit: Getty Images)

When Kate Middleton and Prince William announced to the world that they were engaged in 2010, naturally most of the attention went to the sapphire engagement ring as the young couple beamed from the hallowed grounds of St James's Palace. 

However, jewellery experts made note of the future Queen's dainty necklace. It might not be as flashy or extravagant as other pieces, but for those in the know, it's a real collector's item. 

Kate wore a Tiffany necklace, from the Elsa Peretti collection. Elsa Peretti's tenure at Tiffany and Co revolutionised jewellery design and are hugely sought after pieces. 

The Poltimore Tiara

Princess Margaret on her wedding day

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When it came to her first wedding, to Antony Armstrong-Jones, Princess Margaret kept true to her independent and trailblazing ways, opting against borrowing a tiara from the royal vaults and going out to secure her own. 

The glamorous Princess bought herself her own crown, the Poltimore Tiara. Picked up at an auction in 1959 for just under £5,000.

The tiara originally belonged to Florence Bampfylde, Lady Poltimore, wife of the second Baron Poltimore and was made in 1870 by the House of Garrard.

Made with diamond scrolls evoking flowers and nature, the crown is the epitome of Victorian-era jewellery. The framework is comprised of both silver and gold metals, with brown ribbon intricately woven in, meant to match Margaret’s hair colour and give the illusion that it was floating above her head.

Princess Diana’s sapphire and diamond earrings

Kate Middleton wearing Princess Diana's sapphire earrings

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The sapphire-and-diamond earrings worn by the Princess of Wales for Trooping the Colour in 2023 delighted and excited eagle-eyed royal jewellery fans. 

The pair had previously belonged to the late Princess Diana, who showed them off on various occasions, including at the Met Gala in 1996.  

Kate regularly pays tribute to her late mother-in-law through her style choices, and the most obvious connection is with the engagement ring Prince William presented her with - it is the sapphire ring inherited by his late mother.

The Cambridge Emerald Cluster brooch

Queen Elizabeth II

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Considering their enviable reputation and memorable hue, emeralds aren't too common throughout the royal jewellery collections, which makes the Cambridge Cluster Emerald Brooch a distinct treat. 

With a round cabochon emerald surrounded by two rows of large diamonds and a line of smaller diamonds between, the brooch was left to the Queen by her grandmother Queen Mary, in 1953.

It is part of the Cambridge Emerald Collection, which has an interesting backstory. 

In 1818, when King George III's seventh son, Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, married Princess Augusta of Hesse, they visited Frankfurt where a State lottery was held in aid of charity.

As the story goes, the Duchess bought some tickets and won a small box containing some forty graduated cabochon emeralds which would be used to create the pendant and other pieces, including a pair of drop earrings. 

The Strathmore Rose Tiara

Kate Middleton attends the State Banquet for the President of South Korea

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Strathmore Rose Tiara was a wedding gift given to the Queen Mother by her father, Lord Strathmore, before she married the Duke of York in 1923. 

Playful and romantic, the headpiece is designed to look like a garland of wild roses and was originally purchased from London-based jewellers Catchpole & Williams. 

Most recently, it was worn by the Princess of Wales at a state dinner for South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and First Lady Kim Keon Hee. Given Catherine's love for nature - and the fact she reportedly wanted to wear a flower crown to her 2011 wedding - this could very well become a favourite of hers in the future. 

Princess Diana's Sapphire and Pearl choker

Princess Diana wearing the 'revenge' dress and sapphire choker

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When Princess Diana stepped out in London's Hyde Park wearing *that* revenge dress, it's pretty much all anyone could focus on. 

But, cast your gaze up a bit, and there was the most stunning pearl and sapphire choker complementing the daring look. 

The extravagant sapphire and diamond choker was a wedding gift from the Queen Mother. In the book, The Royal Jewels, fashion historian Suzy Menkes described the iconic piece as a "duck egg of a sapphire, surrounded by a double row of diamonds and mounted as a brooch."

The Williamson Diamond Brooch

Queen Elizabeth II

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Williamson Pink Diamond brooch is the second most valuable brooch in the royal collection, estimated at around £25 million.

The brooch features a pink diamond set at the centre which was discovered in 1947 at the Williamson mine in Tanzania by John Williamson. The uncut stone - weighing in at 54.5 carats - was given to the then Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip upon their wedding in November 1947 and was displayed at St. James’s Palace ahead of the royal wedding.

After being cut, Her Majesty reportedly turned to Cartier to make a brooch fitting of spotlighting the stone. The brooch saw the introduction of an additional 203 white diamonds - a mixture of brilliants, baguettes, and marquises. Made of platinum, it was completed in 1953, the same year that Princess Elizabeth was crowned Queen Elizabeth II.

The Nizam of Hyderabad

Kate Middleton wearing the Nizam of Hyderabad necklace

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One of the most luxurious collections of jewellery in any of the royal vaults around the world is the Nizam of Hyderabad.

This Cartier-designed necklace is composed of a staggering 38 diamonds, including 13 emerald-cut diamonds and a pear-shared drop centre diamond. The necklace was a wedding gift to the then-Princess Elizabeth in 1947, gifted to her from the last ever Nizam of Hyderabad - one of the richest rulers of the time. 

It is estimated to be worth more than £63 million.

The Lover's Knot tiara

Princess Diana

(Image credit: Getty Images)

One of the most recognisable and popular tiaras, the Lover's Knot has become a favourite of Catherine, Princess of Wales just as it was for the late Princess Diana.

This hanging pearl and diamond tiara was crafted by the House of Garrard, the crown jeweller, more than 100 years ago. The enchanting tiara was originally commissioned in 1913 by Queen Mary, the grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II. It was based on a design worn by her grandmother, Princess Augusta of Hesse, based on a distinctive lover's knot motif.

It became synonymous with Princess Diana, who used it to crown a pearl-encrusted Catherine Walker outfit that came to be known as 'the Elvis look' in Hong Kong.

The Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara

Princess Eugenie on her wedding day

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Princess Eugenie's wedding day jewellery made history. 

Eugenie wore the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik tiara when she walked down the aisle to Jack Brooksbank in 2018, and she became the first member of the Royal Family to have worn the tiara in public. 

With an estimated worth of around £10M, the tiara is made of rose-cut pave diamonds, set in platinum, and adorned with six emeralds. The centre features a 93.7 carat cabochon-cut emerald.

The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara

Queen Elizabeth II

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A tiara with a touching backstory, and one which many in the United Kingdom will perhaps be more familiar with than they realise. 

The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara was a wedding present gifted to Queen Mary in 1893, purchased with money raised by a committee of women chaired by Lady Eva Greville (who also lends her name to another fabulous headpiece, the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik tiara and would become a Lady-in-Waiting). 

In November 1947 Queen Mary gave the tiara as a wedding present to her grand-daughter, the then Princess Elizabeth.  

The reason the tiara holds such significance is that it's the one worn by Her Majesty on most banknotes and coins used in the U.K.

The George IV State Diadem

Queen Camilla wearing the George IV State Diadem

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Made for the Coronation of King George IV in 1820, the state diadem is rich in history (and diamonds). 

It has been worn by every queen and queen consort since 1820.

The epic headpiece is made of 1,333 diamonds, with its central diamond weighing
four carats.

The Cullinan III and IV Brooch

Queen Elizabeth wearing the Cullinan diamond brooch

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The magnificent Cullinan III and IV brooch is one of those pieces of jewellery which could only belong to one of the oldest monarchies in the world. 

The brooch reportedly uses the third and fourth largest stones cut from the famous Cullinan Diamond, the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever found totalling 3106 carats which was presented to King Edward VII in 1907 and cut by Joseph Asscher. When it was cut, the smaller stones each received a Roman numeral, from I to IX. 

Wondering where the first and second largest stones are? They are in the Sceptre and the Imperial State Crown.  The brooch is the most expensive in the royal vault, worth an approximated £50 million.

Princess Diana and Kate Middleton's sapphire engagement ring

Kate Middleton

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The engagement ring which has belonged to two Princesses of Wales past and current might not be the most valuable or the most historic, but it has become arguably one of the most iconic and treasured pieces of jewellery in recent history. 

Featuring a serene 12-carat oval sapphire surrounded by 14 solitaire diamonds, the ring was first presented to Princess Diana by Prince Charles. 

It is said that His Majesty picked the ring from the House of Garrard to present to his future wife (along with a few others) as it reminded him of a sapphire and diamond brooch which was treasured by his grandmother. Diana, it's believed, picked it from the offerings as it matched her famous blue eyes.

For years, it was reported that Prince Harry inherited his late mother's ring, and he selflessly gave it to William to propose to Kate with. However, none of this was true, as Harry cleared up in his 2023 memoir, Spare. 

He wrote, "The papers published florid stories about the moment I realized Willy and Kate were well matched, the moment I appreciated the depth of their love and thus decided to gift Willy the ring I'd inherited from Mummy, the legendary sapphire... A tender moment between brothers, a bonding moment for all three of us, and absolute rubbish. None of it ever happened. I never gave Willy that ring because it wasn't mine to give. He already had it. He'd asked for it after Mummy died, and I'd been more than happy to let it go."

Jack Slater
Freelance writer

Jack Slater is not the Last Action Hero, but that's what comes up first when you Google him. Preferring a much more sedentary life, Jack gets his thrills by covering news, entertainment, celebrity, film and culture for woman&home, and other digital publications.

Having written for various print and online publications—ranging from national syndicates to niche magazines—Jack has written about nearly everything there is to write about, covering LGBTQ+ news, celebrity features, TV and film scoops, reviewing the latest theatre shows lighting up London’s West End and the most pressing of SEO based stories.