Ever since 1858 all the Queens of England can be seen wearing their iconic and traditional Coronation Necklace or coronation of themselves or their husbands. It has become a part of their family heritage. As you might have seen the new Queen of England, Queen Camilla wearing this Diamond Necklace, here is a background story of it.
Worth of The Coronation Necklace
The Queen of England’s Diamond Necklace is commonly known as Coronation Necklace. King Albert gifted it to Queen Victoria in 1958. Ever since then it has been passed down to generations of queens of the UK. This “the Coronation Necklace” was made by using 28 cushion-cut diamonds that are worth 161 carats in total. The main pendant, alone, weighs 22.8 carats. Therefore, it is the most expensive piece of jewelry in the world which stays in possession of the royal family of England.
But Where did the Queen of England’s Diamond Necklace come from?
Well, the official name of “The Coronation Necklace” is “The Lahore Necklace”. The diamond used in the main pendant is known as The Lahore Diamond. But, the name has been changed to justify the colonizers’ possessions of the jewels. So, all the diamonds that are used in making this Queen of England’s Diamond Necklace are from the treasures of the Indian Subcontinent during the time of colonization.
The diamonds were not gifted to the British but were stolen from India’s Toshakana treasure. In 1849, British colonizers invaded the Lahore Fort and got hands on one of the most expensive treasures of the world. This treasure was cataloged by the then administrator of the Lahore Fort, Dr John Login. This treasure included 5 bags of Diamonds from which The Lahore Diamond Necklace or the Coronation Necklace is made from, 134 large gharras of gold jewelry and precious stones, expensive cashmere shawls and chongas, and relics of Holy Prophet including some locks of his hair, walking stick, shoes, cap. The rest of the items of Toshakhana treasure have not been recorded as they are now private property. But the diamonds used in the Queen’s necklace were the official property of the Indian subcontinent that was stolen illegally by the British colonizers.
The Coronation Necklace was originally created for Queen Victoria by King Albert in 1858 that she wore on her Diamond Jubilee.
After her demise, the necklace was passed down to Queen Alexandra who publicly wore it in 1902 during her coronation ceremony. Then, Queen Mry wore it in 1911, followed by Queen Mother Elizabeth in 1937.
The recent wearer of this most expensive necklace in history was Queen Elizabeth II. She first put it on during her coronation ceremony in 1953 along with specially made cushion cut diamond earrings. Throughout her reign, she wore it on special state events.
Currently, the Lahore Diamond Necklace is the property of Queen Camila who is the wife of the existing king of England, King Charles. Her whole coronation outfit was iconic and bland of the traditional pieces of jewelry along with the most expensively designed dress and jewelry. Bruce Oldfield designed Queen Camila’s dress. Her shoes were made of the same silk used in her dress. Moreover, she also wore the iconic Queen Mary Crown that consists of 2,200 diamonds in total.
This was the story behind the Queen of England’s The Coronation Necklace which was officially named “The Lahore Diamond Necklace”.