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British Royals

The striking jewels that combine the stories of two royal families

It is a set of sapphires that brings together the histories of several royal dynasties and which made its mark again when a brand new queen wore it for a major event at the start of a new reign. The sapphires of the Royal Family have a fascinating tale to tell.

Queen Camilla wore the Belgian Sapphire Tiara to the first State Banquet of the reign of King Charles III. Her Majesty chose it for the South African State Visit in November 2022 and wore it with a striking royal blue Bruce Oldfield gown. 

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Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II acquired this tiara to complete a set of jewels that meant a huge amount to her. 

Elizabeth received a set of Victorian sapphires from her father to mark her wedding in 1947. The suite of incredibly large sapphires included a necklace and earrings, with a ring and a bracelet added shortly after. They are usually referred to as the Victorian sapphires because they are thought to have been created around 1850. 

Queen Elizabeth II chose to add to the suite again. In 1963, she decided to purchase a tiara to match the sapphires. The tiara already had a royal past of its own as a necklace. 

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Princess Louise of Belgium became Princess Louise of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha upon her marriage and had an expansive jewellery collection, including a stunning sapphire and diamond necklace. 

When Elizabeth bought the necklace in 1963, she had it mounted on a tiara frame and wore it frequently through the 1990s.

It is fitting that the new Queen chose to wear one of the late Queen’s favourite tiaras.

In addition to the Belgian Sapphire Tiara, Queen Camilla wore the Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II as well as the sash and star of the Order of the Garter at the State Banquet.

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Historian and blogger at AnHistorianAboutTown.com