From huge, flawless diamonds to magnificent rubies, sapphires, and pearls, Queen Elizabeth’s jewellery collection features some of the world’s most eye-catching jewels.
And, while earrings and necklaces normally take centre stage, the Queen is most famously known for wearing a variety of beautiful brooches.
It’s thought that she owns over 98 incredible brooches which are not only extremely high value, but also have special meanings behind them.
To find out more, fine jewellery and engagement ring experts at Steven Stone took a close look at 25 of the most iconic brooches from her collection to reveal the estimated value and the heart-warming story behind them.
Leading diamond expert Max Stone said: “Queen Elizabeth has some of the most incredible jewels I’ve ever seen. Whilst it’s difficult to put a price on them, as they come with so much history and legacy, after analysing 25 of her most iconic brooches, I’d estimate them to be collectively worth over £90,000,000.”
“The biggest and most expensive of all Queen Elizabeth's brooches is the Cullinan III and IV brooch. This is because it features two large stones cut from the Cullinan diamond - the world's largest diamond ever found. This one brooch alone is worth £50,000,000.”
Take a look below to see the estimated value and more importantly, the sentimental meaning behind each piece.
Just from looking at this incredible piece of jewellery, it’s clear that this is the biggest and most expensive of all Queen Elizabeth's brooches.
The Cullinan III and IV brooch is made of the third and fourth largest stones cut from the famous Cullinan Diamond. The jaw dropping 3,106 carat uncut diamond was presented to King Edward VII in 1907, and it was cut by Joseph Asscher in Amsterdam the next year. Whilst the two largest stones cut from the diamond are set in the Sovereign’s Scepter and the Imperial State Crown, the pear-shaped 94.4 carat Cullinan III and the square-cut 63 carat Cullinan IV were presented to Queen Mary by the Government in 1910.
In 1911, she commissioned Carrington and Co. to make a platinum brooch setting for the stones.
In 1953, Queen Elizabeth inherited the brooch, however she doesn’t wear it very often. In 1959, she loaned the brooch to London’s Ageless Diamond exhibition, and in 1012 it was part of another exhibition at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
The Williamson Diamond Brooch features one of the rarest flawless pink diamonds in the world, which is why our experts have given it such as a high value.
Mind in Tanzania at the Williamson mine by Canadian geologist, John Thoburn Williamson, the uncut 54.5 carat pink diamond was given to Princess Elizabeth as a wedding gift.
In 1953, the rough gem was cut and polished to a weight of 23.6 carats and used to feature in this platinum brooch by Cartier alongside another 203 white diamonds, including brilliants, marquises, and baguettes.
Most notably, her Majesty wore the brooch for the 1981 wedding of Prince Charles to Princess Diana, And, in 1999, she chose it for the wedding of her youngest son, the Earl of Wessex, and Sophie Rhys-Jones.
One of Queen Elizabeth’s most incredible jewels is the Prince Albert brooch, which dates back to the 1800s.
In 1840, Prince Albert secretly commissioned Garrard to make a sapphire and diamond brooch for his bride to be, Queen Victoria. He gave her the brooch on the night of their wedding, and was so adored by Victoria, that she wore it frequently.
After taking a close look, our diamond expert, Max Stone, said: "The ring contains a large oval or cushion shaped sapphire, which is at least 40cts. The breath-taking gem is also surrounded by 12 large diamonds, which look to be around 12cts.”
“Due to the clarity and intense colour of the sapphire it was possible sourced from Burma. If it was to be sold today, it would be worth around £8,000,000, thanks to its historic legacy.”
After being passed down to Queen Elizabeth II, it became a staple accessory, featuring in many of her most iconic outfits.
Not only that, but the brooch is said to have inspired the design for Kate Middleton's engagement ring, which was originally given to Princess Diana from Prince Charles.
Now, one of the world's most famous engagement rings, it features a 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire surrounded by 14 diamonds and set on an 18-carat white gold band.
The Cullian V brooch features another stone cut from the famous Cullinan diamond, first owned by Queen Mary, who alongside the Cullian VI and VIII, was presented a selection of other stones cut from the original showstopper.
This beautiful heart-shaped diamond weighing 18.8 carats was set in platinum by Garrard in 1911, to create a multi-purpose piece, to be used in different items of jewellery. Queen Mary wore it on her crown for the 1937 coronation, and as the centre stone on her famous honeysuckle tiara on many occasions.
However, most of the time, the Cullian V diamond featured in a brooch setting, which was passed down to Queen Elizabeth II, who has worn it frequently over the decades.
From London Fashion Week in February, 2018 to her annual Christmas broadcast in 2008, it’s one of the Queen’s most famous pieces.
This time using a marquise and emerald cut diamond from the world-famous stone, the Cullinan VI and VIII brooch is another royal treasure.
The Cullinan VIII is the emerald-cut 6.8 carat diamond on top, and Cullinan VI is the 11.5 carat marquise diamond that acts as a pendant.
Although the Queen occasionally wears this brooch, she wears the Cullinan V, its heart-shaped counterpart, much more frequently
The Fringe brooch was first owned by Queen Victoria, after asking Garrard to create a large diamond chain corsage to wear on the top of her low-cut bodices.
As stated in its name, the fringe brooch features a large brilliant-cut stone, along with incredible diamond fringes.
The piece was made using diamonds from an ornament given to her by Ottoman Sultan Abdul Mejid I of Turkey. Queen Victoria had already partially dismantled the ornament in 1870 to set a selection of the diamonds into her Small Diamond Crown. The remains included a large emerald-cut diamond, surrounded by 12 large brilliants, suspending nine graduated pampilles, which were used to make the brooch.
It was passed down to the Queen Mother before Queen Elizabeth II, who has worn it on several occasions including the State Banquet for the President of Turkey, Abdullah Gul, held ay at Buckingham Palace in 2011.
The aquamarine clip brooches were a gift to Queen Elizabeth as an 18th birthday present from her parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, in 1944.
The stunning pair features vivid blue aquamarine stones, along with diamonds in an art deco design. Although many experts thought the brooch was designed by Cartier, this particular piece was made by Boucheron.
Holding so much sentimental value, she wore them on her first public outing following the death of her husband, Prince Philip.
She also wore them to her Queen's Speech at the 2021 State Opening of Parliament and upon the visit of former US president Barack Obama in 2016.
With so many incredible jewels to play with, Queen Victoria had three bow brooches created using a selection of diamonds she already owned.
But why? According to The Court Jeweller, all the jewels that had once belonged to her grandmother, Queen Charlotte, were awarded to her cousin, the King of Hanover. She lost numerous pieces, including a set of three diamond bow brooches, which Queen Victoria wanted to recreate in her honour.
After Queen Victoria's death, they were left to the royal collection, meaning they will be passed down from monarch to monarch in the years to come.
Now in the hands of Queen Elizabeth, she prefers to wear them as separate pieces, rather than as a trio. She wore one of them as part of her Diamond Jubilee on June 13, 2012, on a visit to Nottingham with the Duchess of Cambridge.
This incredible brooch presented to Queen Elizabeth during her Commonwealth tour in 1954 was a gift from the Australian prime minister.
The Australian Wattle brooch symbolises the national flower of Australia, made of platinum and set with white and yellow diamonds.
Alongside numerous trips to Australia, the Queen has worn this brooch to many grand events.
She wore it to her first in-person engagement for 2021, along with the 2006 Chelsea Flower Show, and the wedding of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.
Another bow that appears in the Queen’s brooch collection is the Lover’s Knot brooch, this time inherited from Queen Mary.
This is the largest bow brooch owned by the Queen, featuring stunning pave diamonds set in gold and silver.
Queen Elizabeth wore the brooch for the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton on April 29, 2011. along with Princess Margaret’s wedding in 1960. The name ‘Lover’s knot’ marks the occasion and has a special meaning.
Queen Mary's also passed down her Lover's Knot tiara which is part of the same collection. This is now worn by Kate Middleton.
The centre stone for this piece is a beautiful large pearl, surrounded by rows of sparkling diamonds. It features a detachable a pearl pendant on a diamond chain and was originally a gift to Queen Victoria from her family for her Diamond Jubilee in 1897. She designated it an Heirloom of the Crown upon her death, and it soon became a favourite of Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) who wore it to the wedding of the current Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.
The Queen Mother wore the brooch religiously, and as an heirloom of the crown, it should have passed to Queen Elizabeth II on her accession to the throne in 1952. However, she kept it for another half century, wearing it on both her 99th and 101st birthdays.
This is no doubt a piece the monarch keeps close to her heart, and whilst she often loans many of her brooches out, this one has always remained in her jewellery box.
The name of this brooch reveals that it first belonged to the Duchess of Teck, however now it sits with the present Queen who’s sported it for some important events.
The brooch is packed with sentiment as it was given to the Duchess of Teck, mother of Queen Mary, by the Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria when he was named godfather of her son Prince Francis.
Its design forms a plaited circle with a beautiful pearl at the centre and edged with 12 brilliants in cut-down settings. The brooch also has three detachable baroque pearl pendants.
Celebrating another child, Queen Elizabeth II stayed true to the brooches history by wearing it in Prince Edward’s first official photograph, taken at Buckingham Palace in 1964.
She also wore the brooch to a State Banquet for US President Barack Obama at Buckingham Palace on May 24, 2011.
One of the smaller pieces we’ve analysed, the Greville Scroll brooch is part of a large collection of jewels given to the Queen Mother from wealthy figure Dame Margaret Greville.
Made by Cartier in 1929 and inherited by Queen Elizabeth II, this brooch features three exquisite pearls and eight large brilliant-cut diamonds.
Whilst the Queen Mother often pinned this piece to her hats, today’s monarch has primarily worn it for low-profile moments, usually taking place at Buckingham Palace.
Originally a tiara, these jewels were a gift from one of the world’s wealthiest men, The Nizam of Hyderabad, who gave Queen Elizabeth II a diamond necklace and tiara for her wedding in 1947.
Although dismantled to make another headpiece, the original floral design tiara, set in diamonds and platinum and made by Cartier, featured three detachable brooches, depicting gorgeous roses.
The Queen kept these detachable brooches and has worn them frequently – either as a pair or individually. She wore two of the smaller rose brooches at Government House in Melbourne, during her tour of Australia in 1954.
The diamond necklace also remains in its original condition and has been worn by the Duchess of Cambridge on several occasions.
Despite its name, this brooch isn’t connected to Kate Middleton, the current Duchess of Cambridge, the jewel belonged to Princess Augusta of Hesse-Kassel, the wife of Prince Adolphus, who was the Duke of Cambridge in the 1800’s.
Princess Augusta is seen wearing the brooch in portraits from 1877, before it was passed into the royal collection soon to be worn by Queen Mary to her granddaughter’s (Princess Elizabeth) christening.
The Duchess of Cambridge brooch features a large central pearl, surrounded by a ring of diamonds.
Hanging from the cluster is another pearl which is connected by a string of m even more diamonds.
Now in the possession of Queen Elizabeth II, she wears this brooch with and without its detachable pearl drop.
She wore it in portraits released to mark her 50th birthday, and at the funeral of Lord Mountbatten in 1979.
Originally part of Queen Adelaide's collection, in 1837 three pairs of Wheat-Ear brooches were given to Queen Victoria, who had three of them re-made.
Today, Queen Elizabeth II mainly wears them as a pair on her jackets, but has, in the past, worn the brooches as clips in her hair.
In 2018, the Queen loaned three of Queen Victoria’s Wheat Ear Brooches to her granddaughter, Princess Eugenie, who wore them in her hair for the Wedding Dinner at Royal Lodge, Windsor.
In 1958, the Queen Mother commissioned Cartier to make the Palm Leaf brooch for her using diamonds from her existing collection.
The design holds a similar resemblance to a paisley motif, taking its English name from the Scottish town of Paisley, where weavers produced shawls featuring the design in the nineteenth century.
This was an appropriate choice for the Queen Mother, who came from a Scottish aristocratic family.
She wore the brooch days before the funeral of her husband, King George VI, and continued to wear it years after his death.
Queen Elizabeth II has paid tribute to her mother by also wearing it for many public events. She wore it during Donald Trump’s visit to Buckingham Palace in 2018 and most recently on day five of Royal Ascot in 2021.
She made her first appearance at the racing event on its final day, wearing a colourful mint ensemble and the glittering diamond brooch beautifully above her heart.
A piece with heaps of sentimental value, Queen Elizabeth II most recently wore this brooch for the funeral of her husband, Prince Philip.
Inherited from her grandmother Queen Mary, the large and ornate diamond brooch features a pearl in its centre.
Of all the brooches in her collection, this one has been a regular in the Queen's wardrobe.
Notably, she wore it the opening of New South Wales parliament in 1954, on her very first tour to Australia with Prince Philip.
The Kensington Bow brooch was given to Queen Mary as a wedding present in 1893.
Made by Collinwood and co in 1893, the people of Kensington gifted this unique brooch to Queen Mary as a wedding present, to mark her long association with Kensington Palace, which is where she grew up.
Queen Mary wore the brooch pinned to the bodice of her dress in her official coronation portraits, along with numerous other important events.
Queen Elizabeth II is also fond of the brooch. In November 2017, she used the brooch to pin her poppies at the Festival of Remembrance and often wears it as an accessory to daytime outfits.
With so many bows to choose from, Queen Elizabeth II will never run out of options. Queen Mary’s Dorset Bow brooch was a wedding present from the town of Dorset and forms the shape of a tied ribbon.
This brooch was amongst a collection of Queen Mary’s jewels presented to Queen Elizabeth II on her wedding day in 1947.
It replicates a natural ribbon-tie, featuring pavé-set white diamonds, with a hinged pendant loop.
The ribbon has diamonds on the outer edges, whilst the bow’s knot contains some larger cut diamonds.
While Queen Elizabeth II doesn’t wear it as much as some of her other brooches, it’s been pinned to her outfits for several special occasions, including the christening of her eldest, Prince Charles, in 1948 and Princess Anne’s wedding in 1973.
This is the second aquamarine brooch to appear in the Queen’s magnificent collection, alongside the pair of clip brooches we looked at earlier.
However, this piece holds a special meaning as it was one of her mother’s brooches, which she wore a lot throughout the 1930’s and 1940’s when art deco style was a huge fashion trend.
It contains a large emerald-cut aquamarine in the centre, which is surrounded by more perfectly symmetrical emerald and oval-cut aquamarines, dotted with diamonds.
It wasn’t until 12 years after her mother’s death that Queen Elizabeth II wore the brooch in public, until she stepped out at Royal Ascot with the colourful gem pinned to her jacket.
She also wore it earlier this year in June at the annual Trooping the Colour event.
In 1939 on their state visit to Canada, King George VI gave Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, a stunning diamond brooch to honour their trip.
The Canadian Maple-leaf brooch was made by Asprey and features diamonds set in platinum, formed in the shape of the sugar maple tree leaf, the national emblem of Canada.
It was inherited by Queen Elizabeth II who normally wears it during Canada Day celebrations. She most recently wore it in July 2021 for a video conference with the Canadian Prime Minister.
Not only that, but the Queen has been known to loan the brooch to the Duchess of Cambridge, including her royal tour to Canada with Prince William in 2011.
This sea-life inspired brooch was once owned by the Queen Mother and is officially called the Courtauld Thomson Scallop-Shell Brooch.
Made in 1919, it was left to Queen Elizabeth, wife of George VI, in 1944 by Courtauld-Thomsen’s sister, Winifred Hope Thomsen.
The shape, as you may have guessed, represents a scallop-shell and features pavé-set diamonds around a single pearl.
The Queen Mother wore it often, most notably during her 100th birthday celebrations in 2000.
It was then passed down to the Queen who wore the brooch to the wedding of Zara and Mike Tindall at Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh, Scotland, on July 30, 2011.
Another gift from across the pond, this diamond and platinum brooch was presented to the Queen by Lady Allum, wife of the Mayor of Auckland, on behalf of the women of Auckland in 1953.
The silver tree fern it represents is one of the most recognisable symbols of New Zealand.
Her Majesty wears the brooch for visits to New Zealand, and in April 2014, she loaned the brooch to the Duchess of Cambridge to wear during her family visit to New Zealand.
This brooch has a heart-warming story, which is probably why it’s one of the Queen’s most frequently worn pieces of jewellery.
It takes the form of a flame lily, the national flower of Zimbabwe, and was given to Princess Elizabeth as a 21st birthday present by school children of the country in 1947.
In 1952, as she was set to embark on her Commonwealth tour, she wore the brooch on her return to London from Kenya following the death of her father King George VI, and on several other occasions near the time of her father’s death.
Over the years, the brooch has remained a firm favourite, with the Queen wearing it on many grand occasions. From her Christmas speech in 2011 to Royal Ascot in 2017, it’s clear this piece of jewellery is always close to her heart.