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The Crown Jewels

  |   By Nicole Keen

Queen Elizabeth II sitting pretty on her wedding day in 1947.

Let's face it, Kate Middleton's stunning engagement ring isn't the only amazing piece of jewellery she's going to be wearing over the next year. Indeed, jewellery has always played an important role in the Royal Family, especially when it comes to weddings. Take Queen Elizabeth II as an example: the seriously impressive pieces she sported for her 1947 wedding to Prince Philip were actually gifts from her mother and father—family heirlooms that had been passed down through the generations.

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The Crown Jewels

The diamond fringe tiara (which is still one of the Queen's favourite pieces) was originally made for Elizabeth's grandmother, Queen Mary. Her double strands of pearls (which are actually two separate necklaces) are known as the Queen Anne and Queen Caroline necklaces. It's also interesting to note that sapphires (like Kate's ring) seem to be a common thread in the world of royal weddings, dating as far back as Queen Victoria. On the day of her wedding to Prince Albert in 1840, Victoria donned a sapphire and diamond brooch that was a surprise gift from her beloved groom. In more recent memory, Princess Diana received a sapphire brooch as a wedding present from the Queen Mother. She famously converted the brooch into a show-stopping 7-strand pearl choker. So, do you think Kate will wear any of the above on her wedding day? One can only imagine the spectacular gifts that will be bestowed upon her on the eve of her wedding to Prince William. Speaking of which, since 1923 all royals have exchanged Welsh gold wedding bands, and it's likely this latest duo will follow suit—it's only fitting for William of Wales and his future Queen, wouldn't you agree?

This article was originally published on Nov 17, 2010
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