Queen Elizabeth II frequently wore a breathtaking piece of jewellery throughout her lifetime – the Delhi Durbar necklace. She wore it on numerous official occasions, including a 1956 photoshoot for Dorothy Wilding.
The necklace’s scandalous family history and other details have been analysed by fine jewellery experts at the UK jewellery label, Steven Stone.
Maxwell Stone, a jewellery expert told Express.co.uk: “The Delhi Durbar necklace is perhaps one of the most famous pieces that Queen Elizabeth II wore throughout her reign and the late monarch was clearly fond of it.
“Not only did she wear it to multiple state occasions, but she wore it for a portrait sitting for Dorothy Wilding in 1956.”
The expert gave some information regarding the necklace and the jewels that feature inside the pendant.
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Mr Stone added: “Set in platinum and gold, the Delhi Durbar necklace consists of nine of the celebrated Cambridge emeralds that look to be upwards of 20 carats, and six large diamonds that look to be upwards of 10 carats.”
The necklace also features a very famous diamond, according to the experts, which would have a significant meaning for the late Queen.
Mr Stone explained: “Impressively, it also features a diamond cut from the Cullinan diamond, which is the largest diamond ever found.”
In addition, the expert provided a value for the jewel: “I’d estimate the piece to be worth a staggering £3million.”
This £3million necklace has a scandalous history, according to Steven Stone experts.
The emeralds that feature in the necklace previously belonged to the Countess of Kilomrey.
She was the mistress to Prince Francis, the younger brother of Queen Mary, who was the grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II.
After Francis’s death in 1910, he bequeathed his mistress, the Countess of Kilomrey, the emeralds and all of his jewellery.
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This would have been a scandalous story in 1910 for the Royal Family, who is supposed to represent good virtues and family values.
Therefore Queen Mary, the wife of King George V, bought all the emeralds from the Countess.
She then requested that the Court Jewellers at the time, Garrard, create a necklace using these emeralds.
After Queen Mary’s death in 1953, the majority of her jewellery collection was inherited by Queen Elizabeth II, including this necklace.
She wore the necklace many times during her reign, including a state visit to Tehran in 1961.
Then in 1996, she was photographed wearing the jewel on a visit to Thailand.
In 2014, the late Queen posed with the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, inside Windsor Castle wearing the jewel.
The following year, Queen Elizabeth wore the necklace with the late Duke of Edinburgh, then-Prince Charles and Camilla during a trip to Malta.