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The Duke of EdinburghThe Queen

The Queen’s loving nod to Prince Philip on his 99th birthday

The Queen and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
By Titanic Belfast -, CC BY 2.0, Wiki Commons

He’s been at her side for over seven decades and as the Duke of Edinburgh marks his 99th birthday, the Queen added a special tribute to the celebratory photograph. For the picture, taken at Windsor Castle, Her Majesty wore the Cullinan V brooch with its famous heart shaped diamond.

The brooch is one of the Queen’s favourite pieces. It’s been part of her collection since 1953 when she inherited it from her beloved grandmother, Queen Mary.

The heart shaped central stone was cut from the Cullinan Diamond, the largest gem of its kind ever found. The brooch we see today was originally part of a parure used by Queen Mary in 1911 at the Delhi Durbar, the event which marked her succession as Empress of India.

The Cullinan Diamond was presented to King Edward VII in 1907 and the two largest gems cut from it are part of the Crown Jewels. The other major stones were turned into jewels for Queen Alexandra and Queen Mary. All those private pieces passed to the Queen in 1953.

The heart shaped stone weighs 18.8 carats and is surrounded by pave cut diamonds, set in platinum.

Prince Philip is marking his 99th birthday in lockdown at Windsor Castle with the Queen. The couple have been living at the castle since mid March, arriving just before coronavirus restrictions were put in place across the UK.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton, a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. June has been a reporter, producer and editor, picking up several awards over the years. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.