As Queen Elizabeth II received her very own Barbie doll, courtesy of Mattel, to celebrate her 96th birthday and 70th year on the throne, our jewellery experts at Steven Stone, couldn’t help but notice she’s wearing some very spectacular jewels.
According to the BBC, the Barbie Tribute Collection series launched last year with a doll paying homage to American actress and entertainment trailblazer Lucille Ball.
The stunning figurine modelling the monarch is dressed in an ivory gown with blue ribbon, featuring intricate details, including a £5,000,000 tiara, along with pink and blue ribbons modelled after ones given to her by her father George VI and grandfather George V.
To find out more, we took a close look at the jewellery worn by the doll, in order to see if we could spot any more similarities…
The diamond fringe tiara
Commissioned by Queen Mary in 1919, it was originally a fringe necklace that was a wedding day gift from Queen Victoria, which she often wore in her hair.
However, Queen Mary was fond of customising her jewellery pieces, so 26 years after her wedding day in 1893 she asked royal jeweller Garrard to make it into a kokoshnik-style piece, consisting of 47 graduated brilliant and rose-set tapering bars, separated by 46 narrower spikes, which could still be removed to make a necklace.
It was later given to Queen Elizabeth I as a wedding gift and was often worn by Princess Margaret, before the tiara was returned to Elizabeth II.
The Queen Mother also loaned the tiara to her daughter Queen Elizabeth II to wear at her wedding in 1947. According to the Court Jeweller, there’s a well-known story about the tiara, which involved a huge mishap. It’s believed that when the tiara was placed on the bride’s head, it snapped – and had to be repaired by jewellers Garrard before she could walk down the aisle.
The second Windsor bride wear the tiara was Princess Anne, who wore it to her wedding to Mark Phillips in 1973.
Our jewellery estimates the tiara is worth a staggering £5,000,000.
Could this be the Nizam of Hyderabad necklace?
Although not officially announced by Mattel, the necklace featured on the Barbie doll also looks remarkably similar to the Queen’s Nizam of Hyderabad necklace, which is by far one of the most precious pieces of jewellery from the British royal family. The necklace, which was made by Cartier in 1935, is extremely intricate featuring over 50 diamonds nestled in an abstract floral design. Our experts believe it is has a value of around £60,000,000 to £65,000,000.
The necklace was a wedding gift to Princess Elizabeth from the Nizam of Hyderabad, who was known at the time as one of the wealthiest people in the world.
It is believed that the Nizam of Hyderabad requested Cartier allow Queen Elizabeth II to choose anything she fancied from their impressive collection of jewels. The Queen opted for a tiara with three detachable flower brooches – and what we now know as the Nizam of Hyderabad Necklace.
The necklace has been one of the Queen’s most talked about pieces of jewellery, thanks to the incredible diamonds featured in the necklace.
If this does ring true, that means the Queen’s incredible figurine would be wearing over £65,000,000 worth of jewellery – perhaps even more as she’s also wearing a stunning pair of diamond drop earrings which could very well be recreating Queen Mary’s diamond frame earrings which are estimated to be worth around £750,000.