Queen Elizabeth II Chose Priceless Jewelry to Wear For Her Final Portrait

Queen Elizabeth II’s final portrait was released by Buckingham Palace in late September. The late monarch sat for the photo at her home in Windsor Castle back in May, ahead of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations that marked her 70th year on the throne. For the portrait — taken by photographer Ranald Mackechnie — Her Majesty wore a powder blue suit and chose to wear priceless jewelry.

Queen Elizabeth II wears a turquoise hat and suit as she tours Queen Mother Square on October 27, 2016 in Poundbury, Dorset
Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II in 2016 | Samir Hussein/WireImage

Queen Elizabeth II chose a sentimental piece for the photo

One of the pieces that the queen wore was pinned to her chest — the eye-catching Aquamarine Brooch. It features a large emerald-cut aquamarine in the center that is surrounded by “more perfectly symmetrical emerald and oval-cut aquamarines” and “dotted with diamonds,” according to Crisscut Magazine.

The piece was sentimental to the monarch because it belonged to her mother, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. She was known as Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother before her death in 2002. The brooch is estimated to be worth $38,600 (£35,000).

Her Majesty wore priceless jewelry in her final portrait

The other noticeable pieces of jewelry that Queen Elizabeth wore in her final portrait were her signature three-strand pearl necklace with matching earrings. She received the pearl necklace from her father, King George VI, for his coronation in 1937 when she became heir presumptive.

With one single pearl estimated to be worth around $3,500 (£3,000), the fine jewelry and engagement ring experts at UK retailer Steven Stone estimate the queen’s three-strand pearl necklace to be worth “anywhere from $662,000 (£600,000) to $1,103,000 (£1,000,000).”

Queen Elizabeth received the matching rubover set round pearl earrings as a wedding present in 1947 from her beloved grandmother, Queen Mary.  As the heart of Her Majesty’s jewelry collection, those pearl earrings traveled with her all over the world for seven decades. 

They featured a single 12mm pearl with a small diamond on top. And, they were her “earrings of choice when it came to daytime engagements.” They are estimated to be worth $11,000 (£10,000).

According to leading jewelry expert Maxwell Stone, the late Queen Elizabeth had “an impeccable wardrobe” that also included “some impressive jewelry.” He also noted that she was “rarely seen without some of her favorite jewelry pieces — a three-strand pearl necklace and a pair of pearl earrings.”

“All three pieces of jewelry worn in her final portrait have a family connection – the necklace was a gift from her father, King George VI, the earrings were a gift from her Grandmother, Queen Mary and the brooch originally belonged to her Mother. It’s incredibly touching that she continued to wear the pieces throughout her adult life and suggests that they were of great sentimental value to her,” Stone said.

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Considering the vague estimation of the queen’s three-strand necklace, Stone says it’s difficult to say how much the three pieces that she wore for her final portrait are worth collectively. He estimates it could be anywhere between $713,000 (£645,000) to $1,155,000 (£1,045,000).