Here’s What Happens to Queen Elizabeth II’s Jewels After Her Death

·3 min read

King Charles III is inheriting more than just Queen Elizabeth II's crown.

Following the death of Her Majesty on Sept. 8, the King is now in charge of the Crown Jewels, which have been handed down from British monarchs since the 17th century. The Queen also leaves a vast personal collection of jewelry, which members of the royal family, including Kate Middleton, have borrowed on occasion.

Charles now has access to the vast collection of objects that make up the Crown Jewels, which the Historic Royal Palaces website notes is comprised of more than 100 objects and contains more than 23,000 gemstones. These jewels, including the Sovereign's sceptre with Cross and the Sovereign's orb, are reserved for State Occasions and coronations. The two objects were on display, along with the Imperial State Crown, on Her Majesty's coffin during her lying in state and funeral.

As for the Queen's private jewelry collection, according to the Jewellery Editor, the late monarch leaves behind more than 400 pieces ​which are stored in a secure vault 40 feet below Buckingham Palace. Such items included in the collection are the Diamond Diadem crown, made for King George IV in 1820, as well as her beloved three-strand pearl necklace, gifted to her as a young girl by her father King George VI.

Queen Elizabeth II's Royal Funeral

But as to whom gets what from the collection, royal experts suggest much of the collection will go to Queen Consort Camilla, as well as the Princess of Wales. "There is a hierarchy in all of this," Katie Nicholl, who has written several books about the royal family, told Entertainment Tonight Sept. 16. "The Queen Consort, really, gets first choice of the queen's jewelry. And after that is Princess of Wales, of course, Kate. The Duchess of Sussex, I'm sure, will come in for some jewelry at some point, but she is much further down the pecking order."

Queen Elizabeth II
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Though the palace hasn't confirmed which jewels have been given to the Queen's children—her will is private—royals experts Lisa Levinson and Nicholl suggest that Princess Anne, the second eldest of the Queen's children, will receive her mother's engagement ring. I

The palace has yet to share details about what pieces the Queen will be buried in, though royal experts believe it won't be anything of material significance to the monarchy. "Her Majesty is an incredibly humble woman at heart," Levinson, head of communications at the Natural Diamond Council, told Metro Sept. 16, "who is unlikely to be dressed in anything but her simple Welsh gold wedding band to rest and a pair of pearl earrings."

Already, royal watchers have spotted members of the royal family wearing pieces from the Queen's collection in her honor. For a state reception Sept. 16, Kate wore the Queen's favorite pearls, as well as the Queen's Silver Jubilee diamond and pearl earrings. She later wore a choker—made of pearls gifted to the Queen by the Japanese government in the '70s—for the Queen's funeral Sept. 19.

King Charles III, Camilla, Queen Consort, Queen Elizabeth Funeral
FRANK AUGSTEIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Likewise, Queen Consort Camilla has been seen sporting the Hesse Diamond Jubilee brooch, a priceless heirloom gifted to Queen Victoria in 1897. The Queen Consort began wearing the heart-shaped pin shortly after her wedding to Charles in 2005.

The brooch caught the eye of royal watchers as it included a sapphire, even though royals typically wear diamonds and pearls as part of their mourning attire. "The Queen was famous for speaking through her brooches and now the Queen Consort takes on that mantle," Rachel Garrahan, British Vogue's jewelry and watch director, said Sept. 19. "It is one of Camilla's oldest pieces and its royal story links to her past and the monarchy's future."

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