THE Queen will be laid to rest wearing two pieces of plain jewellery – her Welsh gold wedding ring and pearl earrings.

But she leaves behind a dazzling collection of crowns and personal jewellery, including items containing nine stones cut from the largest diamond ever found.

The priceless Cullinan, named after the owner of the Premier Mine in South Africa, was presented to King Edward VII in 1907.

He sent it to the world’s best cutter, Joseph Asscher of Amsterdam, who split the 3,106-carat stone – and promptly fainted.

Mike Ridley tells the stories behind the jewels of the crown.

GIRLS OF GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND TIARA

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IN 1893, the astonishing sum of £5,000 was collected from girls in Great Britain and Ireland to buy a wedding present for the future Queen Mary.

This diamond tiara was bought from royal jeweller Garrard and the rest of the money was given to widows and orphans of men lost when HMS Victoria sank that same year.

Queen Elizabeth called it ‘Granny’s tiara’.

CROWNS, ORB AND SCEPTRES

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THE St Edward’s Crown, which King Charles will be crowned with, was made in 1661 for Charles II’s coronation and the restoration of the monarchy.

It cost £13,000 – about the same as three warships. Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell had sold or destroyed the medieval royal regalia, removing the jewels and melting the gold into coins stamped ‘Commonwealth of England’.

The Sovereign’s Orb, centre, representing Christ’s authority on Earth, is covered with 365 diamonds, 18 rubies, nine ­emereralds and nine sapphires. The Sovereign’s Sceptres with Dove and Cross, far right, were a snip at £1,465.

Since 1911 the cross has held Cullinan I, the main cut of the world’s biggest diamond, a gift to Queen Mary from South Africa.

The Imperial State Crown, contains jewels from Charles II’s 1661 crown, remade and added to for George I in 1714, Victoria in 1838 and the Queen’s father, George VI, in 1937.

QUEEN VICTORIA’S COLLET NECKLACE AND EARRINGS

THE Queen wore this stunning, 160-carat diamond necklace and matching earrings at her Coronation in 1953.

Made from 28 stones, they belonged to her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria, who bequeathed them to the Crown on her death in 1901.

DELHI DURBAR NECKLACE

JEWELLERS in India who made a crown for George V also created an emerald necklace for his wife Mary.

She added the Cullinan VI diamond. In 1981 the Queen gave Diana an Art Deco choker of emeralds, which the Princess turned into an amazing headband.

GREVILLE PEAR-DROP EARRINGS

WEALTHY widow Dame Margaret Greville left all her jewellery to the Queen Mum, including these dazzling earrings made by Cartier in 1938.

They were also worn by the Queen and Princess Diana.

QUEEN VICTORIA’S STUD EARRINGS

VICTORIA had two perfectly matched, brilliant-cut diamonds set into ear studs, which she wore in an 1837 portrait when she was 54.

Queen Elizabeth, who inherited them from Queen Mary, wore Victoria’s stud earrings throughout her life, including at the annual Garter Ceremony in Windsor.

ROYAL FAMILY ORDERS

A GIFT from the Sovereign to close family members. They are never publicised and the first anyone knows about them is when a royal wears one, like Diana in 1982.

The Queen often wore one given to by her father George VI. Queen Consort Camilla wears one given by Elizabeth. On State occasions, the Queen Mum would wear two – one from her husband and another from her daughter.

KING GEORGE III FRINGE TIARA

THIS piece, with its vertical rows of diamonds, belonged to King George III and was first worn by Queen Victoria.

In 1947, the Queen Mum lent it to her daughter as ‘something borrowed’ for her marriage to Philip.

On the day of the wedding the tiara’s frame snapped. The court jeweller raced to his workshop under police escort to repair it in time for the ceremony.

Princess Anne also wore it at her wedding to Captain Mark Phillips in 1973, as did Princess Beatrice, above right, when she married Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in July this year.

THE CULLINAN BROOCH

THE Queen called it ‘Granny’s Chips’, Cullinan III and IV, cut from the world’s biggest diamond, was given to Queen Mary by South Africa in 1907.

It is the single most valuable piece of jewellery Elizabeth owned and she wore it rarely, on special ­occasions, such as at Buckingham Palace on her 2012 Diamond Jubilee.

Cullinan I, worn by Mary at her coronation in 1911, below right, was later set in the Sovereign’s Sceptre With Cross.

KING GEORGE IV STATE DIADEM

THE King personally designed this diamond-encrusted diadem for his Coronation but changed his mind and never wore it.

Instead, Queen Victoria wore it at her Coronation and used it for the next 30 years. Queen Elizabeth wore it every year for the State Opening of Parliament – and was pictured wearing it in postage stamps.

PRINCE ALBERT SAPPHIRE BROOCH

THE day before their wedding in 1840, Albert gave Queen Victoria this magnificent brooch, an oblong sapphire surrounded by 12 round diamonds.

On her death, she specified it was to be held in trust for all future Queens. Queen Elizabeth wore it many times, including at a lifeboat launch in 1972.

CAMBRIDGE LOVER’S KNOT TIARA

QUEEN Mary left this stunning diamond and pearl tiara to the Queen, who wore it at state occasions.

In 1981 the Queen gave it to Diana when she married Prince Charles. And Prince William gave it to his wife Catherine, who like Di, wore it with pearl drop earrings.

GRAND DUCHESS VLADIMIR’S TIARA

MARIE, wife of Russia’s richest aristocrat Grand Duke Vladimir, spent a fortune on a diamond and pearl Cartier tiara.

Smuggled out of Russia after the 1917 revolution, Queen Mary bought it and left it to our Queen in 1953.

QUEEN ALEXANDRA’S KOKOSHNIK TIARA

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SHE was given this on her silver wedding anniversary to the Prince of Wales in 1888 by the UK’s 365 peeresses.

It is identical to one owned by her sister, the Empress of Russia. Queen Mary and her granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth, wore it often.

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