South Africa warns Queen Camilla: Don’t you dare wear the Cullinan diamond

The photos in this post are from a Buckingham Palace state dinner in 2018 for the king and queen of The Netherlands. This was one of the last times Queen Elizabeth II wore the famous Cullinan diamond, which is the f–king enormous diamond brooch she wore on her blue and gold sash for the dinner. While the Cullinan was found in South Africa, it was cut in the Netherlands, which is why she wore it to that state dinner in 2018. But times, they are a’changing. Since QEII’s passing, there has been a renewed interest in calling out the British monarchy for their enormous pile of stolen and colonized loot. India has pretty much made it impossible for Queen Camilla to wear the Koh-i-Noor diamond for the coronation, and now South Africa is leaning on the Windsors to keep them from flaunting the Cullinan during this week’s state visit.

It is the largest rough-cut diamond ever found, mined in South Africa in 1905 before being presented to King Edward VII as a gesture of friendship and loyalty. However, the Queen Consort has been urged not to wear the Cullinan diamond during next week’s state visit by Cyril Ramaphosa, the South African president, amid calls for it to be returned to the nation.

Zwelinzima Vavi, one of South Africa’s best known trade unionists whose father worked in the gold mining industry during the height of apartheid, said that if the diamond was worn by either the Queen Consort or the Princess of Wales it would be a “most unfortunate” reminder of the colonial era’s past.

Members of the Royal family traditionally wear jewellery that honours the UK’s relationship with the nation of their hosts or visitors. Queen Elizabeth II is said to have been aware that her jewellery “could often speak louder than words” and used it to send messages of friendship. But the Queen’s death prompted an online petition in South Africa that has attracted almost 8,000 signatures, calling for the diamond to be returned and placed in a South African museum.

Mr Vavi said that if they were worn next week it would “be like spitting in the face of South Africans”. He added: “It would be most unfortunate and would be flaunting the history of Cecil John Rhodes in our faces and, of course, the colonial era’s mining industry – a period where the minerals and the land were taken from us which we then had to fight for.”

Susan Booysen, one of South Africa’s best known political analysts, said it was “hard to imagine” the diamond would be worn.

“Given South Africa’s history and the effects of the colonial period, especially within the mining industry, this would, I am sure, shock Mr Ramaphosa and many South Africans,” she said. “Surely, surely this would not happen.”

Buckingham Palace has not revealed which pieces of jewellery will be worn by members of the Royal family during Tuesday’s state banquet.

[From The Telegraph]

Camilla and Kate couldn’t WAIT to get their hands on all of the jewels but now that QEII isn’t around, all of these countries are going to keep ratcheting up the pressure, to the point where there will be few royal jewels left to wear. Of course, the tacky-ass Windsors will still refuse to return any of their stolen loot, but they won’t be able to wear any of it publicly, which is kind of funny. Kate and Camilla were desperate to drape themselves in all of the excessive Royal Collection pieces and now they can’t.

There have already been some articles about the state dinner and which tiaras Camilla and Kate will wear. My money is on Kate wearing one of the tiaras she’s already worn with little fanfare, like the Cambridge Lover’s Knot. Camilla will probably wear the Greville Tiara, just because that’s one of the biggest and gaudiest (and she has no taste).

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images and Robin Utrecht/Look Press / Avalon.

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73 Responses to “South Africa warns Queen Camilla: Don’t you dare wear the Cullinan diamond”

  1. girl_ninja says:

    They are such a disgusting lot. Just give back the jewels and other riches that your family and country have STOLEN from so many countries, apologize on behave your your ancestors and government and MOVE on. They are just so stupid and greedy, I cannot with these people.

  2. Roo says:

    Ha! I love this for those witches! Even with their tax-free billions, these people are too trashy to give back stolen loot. We all know how horrific the diamond mines were and how badly the workers were treated. To swan around with those blood diamonds now is the height of trash.

    • Tacky says:

      That’s why they won’t give the diamonds back and risk opening the flood gates for millions of looted and stolen items that should be repatriated. The litigation would overwhelm British institutions.

      • C says:

        There’s a 1963 law prohibiting giving back pieces from the British Museum. Of course there is language that dances around the issue by saying they can designate the piece as “unfitting” in any of the collections and thus give it up, but they won’t.

      • Christine says:

        Wait, seriously?!?! They PASSED A LAW in England, whose only purpose can be described as nefarious as hell. They seriously ensured England never had to give back a single bit of stolen loot, because it is against the law…in England???

  3. Duch says:

    That diamond necklace looks like it needs a proper cleaning. yuck

    • SomeChick says:

      saw that. or perhaps they went for size over color when creating the necklace…? either way, it doesn’t look great.

    • Little Red says:

      Any chance they are old mine-cut diamonds?

      • C says:

        So apparently George VI commissioned that three strand diamond necklace in 1950. So it’s apparently 73 collet set diamonds from the collection. Given they were already heirlooms in 1911 and the collet setting which can sometimes give a bit of a “nude” cast to the diamonds when being worn, its appearance isn’t surprising.

  4. Becks1 says:

    So there are several Cullinan diamonds. One is in the…sceptre, I think, of the monarch? that’s Cullinan I, and Cullinan II is in the Imperial State Crown. They are part of the Crown jewels. QEII owned several of the diamonds personally though, including the ones pictured in this post. I’m assuming Camilla has them now.

    So if they keep on keeping on, at the coronation we will see at least two of the Cullinan diamonds and the Koh-i-noor.

    For the state dinner, I definitely think Kate will wear a new tiara. I just can’t think of which one. The Lovers Knot is already pretty big.

    • C says:

      I can see something like the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland making an appearance. I would have thought we’d see Kate or Camilla in the Queen Mary Fringe at some point but then Beatrice wore it for her wedding so maybe she’s still borrowing it.

      • Becks1 says:

        I would not be surprised to see the Girls make an appearance. I feel like that’s one of the few QEII tiara’s that would make a statement, like Camilla or Kate saying “I GOT AN UPGRADE!!!”

        Well I should say….i’d be surprised but not shocked, you know? that tiara is SO associated with QEII that I kind of think it should be retired to a museum, but Camilla loves bling and Kate loves status, so we’ll see how this shakes out.

      • C says:

        Camilla already wears the tiaras I would have assumed she’d pick out, I think only something even more official like the George IV State Diadem will come out for her (you can wear that to non-Parliament or coronation events right?)
        And yes, given that they had Kate in the Queen’s triple-strand necklace at one of the funeral luncheons, I also think they’ll give her a bit of an upgrade.

      • Layla says:

        Lol with the way Kate’s been going at it lately I wouldn’t be surprised if (this is hugely unlikely but) she wore the queen Mary’s bandeau that Meghan wore because you know “anything out can do I can do better than youuu”

    • JustBitchy says:

      What the queen wore in 2018 are called granny’s chips- how’s that! Queen maxima’s Stuart tiara in its full glory was another reason why I believe e QE2 pulled out the chips. The Stuart set has a history with GB

  5. Sugarhere says:

    Events are taking a foul turn for the Buffoons Monarchs. The unforgivable way they’ve treated Meghan is alerting institutions around the globe to take heed of any further abuse.
    The British Royals are literally on global abuse watch. A storm of swords and discontent is brewing.

    • NicoleNoelo says:

      This isn’t about how “they allegedly treated” Meghan. It’s about the spoils from the British empire.

    • SIde Eye says:

      I agree with you @Sugarhere – I think the way they have treated Meghan, and their own bloodline heirs who are of African descent is a further affront to these countries. It reveals that these people still think in 2022 that they are better than POC. They can’t hide behind these things happened in the past as if they are just victims of history by coincidence.

      So I can see how it intensified the winds or maybe accelerated the calls to return the jewels. We’ve had Black Lives Matter and social media being the great equalizer that elevates the voices of the people so that these tools no longer control the narrative through their racist press. We know India has loudly been asking for their diamond back but now it’s South Africa and other countries are sure to follow.

      It is the height of tackiness and beyond low brow to hold on to stolen jewels. Just return them FFS! Their refusal to do so will be their demise. I wish the fictional Netflix character Lupin would steal the entire loot back and return it to each country. Like one day Kate and Camilla walk into the vault to find it completely empty and a note inside that says “gotcha”.

      • Sugarhere says:

        @SideEye: Thanks for elaborating. These jewels were stolen centuries ago, but the reason the former British colonies show particularly sensitive now, regarding their plundered national treasures, is that the Royals have scorned and maligned someone they consider to be one of their own, at least from a symbolical standpoint, namely the Duchess of Sussex.

        There were numerous occasions in history when South Africa could have rightfully claimed its property but refrained from doing so: Nelson Mandela went on a state visit to England in 1996, was warmly welcomed by Queen Elizabeth, but the stolen jewels were not brought up in the conversation, which tells us that now is the time the formerly colonized nations are just about fed up with the disrespect and ready to pull the plug. The undignified treatment of Meghan is indeed what reignatated their ire.

      • SIde Eye says:

        Exactly, you are spot on @Sugarhere. As a POC and a Black woman I found the treatment of Meghan so offensive. I took it personally. I grew up in Canada – we revered the Queen and Princess Diana. Charles’ treatment of Diana turned me off the RF, but even my cold cold heart melted seeing Charles walk Meghan down the aisle and extend his arm to Doria. All of a sudden all was forgotten! I was so hopeful that day and completely swept up in it. That wedding affected me even more than Diana’s and I was a child when I saw Diana’s wedding.

        I am so mad at myself for having been fooled by these people for even a day. They are who they are. I feel like a sucker that I fell for it for a moment. Never again. They are horrible people who will deny their own blood their titles because they are racists. They can go pound sand.

  6. Jais says:

    It’s honestly kind of stomach turning to see that picture of the queen. Essentially, it’s a little old lady ostentatiously draped in colonial jewels. It’s embarrassing. Like that’s an image to be celebrated and bowed down to? There’s still a lot of love for the queen by a lot of people but retrospectively these images are just not good. Technically, they weren’t at the time either.

  7. Amy Bee says:

    Hopefully they will have the good sense not to wear it.

  8. Lucy says:

    I can’t remember who, but when Kate wore something huge and inappropriate for the occasion, it was pointed out that she’s doing that because she has no private parties. She doesn’t go to private galas and parties where she can break out the giant, not ok to wear in public jewels among other aristocrats and their ill gotten jewels. I how they have to give them all back.

    • Rapunzel says:

      I don’t know if it’s me you’re referring to, as I might not be the only one who said it, but I know I posted something saying this. I don’t think Kate goes out evenings to show the jewels. She’s got no important events that we don’t see her at.

      I suspect her nights are filled with beauty treatments and bitch sessions with Carole.

      • Julia K says:

        Just because we don’t see pictures doesn’t mean they don’t go to aristo country dinners, galas etc. The aristocracy is usually pretty private about what they do behind closed doors so not having photos is not surprising. Just saying we can’t assume something we don’t know about. You could be right about no social life, you could also be wrong.

      • Cairidh says:

        Probably both Kate and Carol wear them while drinking and smoking and watching tv.

      • Lucky Charm says:

        @ Julia K, if Kate spent her evenings getting all dressed up and going to galas, she’d find some way to count that as “work” and add to the CC. Even without pictures we would know about it lol.

      • Lucy says:

        Probably was you, Rapunzel! I thought it was very perceptive

    • Flowerlake says:

      Personally, I don’t understand some people’s obsession with wearing sparkling stones.

      Have someone design beautiful clothes for you, finished with meaningful embroidery and people can shine too, withoit putting some sparkling stone on you.

      The obsession with them caused enough misery.

  9. Lauren42 says:

    Seriously, what part of the monarchy ISN’T a reminder of colonialism and racism and every other thing we’d like to think we’ve moved past? How can anyone argue to keep this institution when everything that founded it, that ran it, and that funded it is so problematic. It makes me so… angry! And angry that more people aren’t angry about it, tbh…

    • Nic919 says:

      Cooing over jewels and dresses really doesn’t have the same cache as it did when people conveniently forgot how these jewels were obtained and who finds the money to get the fancy outfits.

      And the UK establishment media really shot themselves in the foot when they decided to bash Meghan non stop for the cost of what she wore because now that she’s gone and not costing taxpayers money, it’s impossible to ignore the massive expenses still incurred by the remaining royals. Some of the media will ignore it but when Camilla and kate are draped in stolen jewels for a state dinner, it won’t play the same way as it has in years past.

    • Ravensdaughter says:

      Point well made!
      What would it take to dissolve the British monarchy? It’s not impossible, but I don’t think Parliament has the stomach for it. Could they streamline it so that the British monarchy would be more like the Scandinavians or the Netherlands? One could hope for that.
      It is absolutely outrageous that the Queen’s estate passed without an estate tax. But, that would mean transparency as to the Queen’s assets, another thing that they resist.
      So many people suffering in the UK from inflation and austerity measures while the Royals live like they do!

  10. KT says:

    I’m gonna say it – 8000 signatures is not that many for a subject this famous.

    I would not be surprised if it was ignored.

    • DouchesOfCambridges says:

      it will be ignored and laughed at with this number I agree. I just want to mention that liked the “it would be like spitting in the face of South Africans”. They have gone 1 level further that the standard “slap in the face”.
      They wont wear any of the jewel – too coward for it but too greedy to give it back. But for sure, someone will end up wearing something that meghan “wanted” to wear to create some tension and be able to mediatize it. Crazy Brit Royals

  11. Scout says:

    Surely this is common sense. If King Chulls won’t give Edward the long-promised Duke of Edinburgh title….then certainly the plundered spoils from colonial thievery would be off-limits.

  12. Kit says:

    I know those diamonds are worth a small fortune but just give them back to de countries they where taken from.! Seriously who wears that big gaudy jewellery anymore its very dated now, one piece is nearly enough ! This lot just don’t get less is more and honestly they don’t have de look to carry it off ! Unfortunate looking lot

  13. Gutterflower says:

    Dear God Camilla is harsh looking. Like a snarling Rottweiler, but not cute.

  14. HeyKay says:

    IMO, Charles & Camilla should both be very careful in any visits they do, diplomacy turned up to 100%.
    Charles must realize the precarious position the BRF is in.

    • SadieMae says:

      I just watched a recent video from John Oliver about the monarchy (he’s very much NOT a fan). He pointed out that the whole idea that the RF is always trying to insist on, that their colonial abuses stopped long ago, is just not true; the Mau Mau Uprising is a good example and happened partly during Elizabeth II’s reign. (Did she have a part in causing it? Probably not. Could she have spoken out against it and tried to stop it? Yup. And she didn’t.)

      Oliver also pointed out that a few years ago Charles went to visit a memorial garden (in I think Canada?) that’s dedicated to victims/survivors of the schools that indigenous children were forced to go to, tearing them away from their parents and stamping out their culture and language. Only a few decades ago, this was happening. It devastated communities and caused lifelong (and generational) trauma that continues today. Charles apparently gave a speech where he at least acknowledged the UK’s role in this atrocity, but afterward he met with the head of the local tribe and said to him, referring to the schools – I kid you not – “I hope we weren’t too hard on you.” What in the actual ****???

  15. Wendy says:

    Can Chuck even make a call on giving back anything in the Crown Jewel collection? They belong to the state, not the family. I think?

    • Becks1 says:

      I don’t think he can give back anything, but he could certainly make a statement about it if he thought anything should be returned, or make his wishes known privately. Instead my guess is we will see both the Cullinan and Koh i Noor at the coronation.

      also, as I noted above, some of the Cullinan diamonds ARE privately owned, so Charles could return those if he wanted.

    • Lauren says:

      Personally I think the best response from the British Royals would be to announce some type of task force or group that would look at the legal issues related to returning things. Also there is a lot of stuff stolen from India in the Royal Collection which means that they could loan it to museums in the relevant countries.

  16. Hannah says:

    At the risk of offending South Africans reading this. Doesn’t it seem ridiculously tone deaf having a State Dinner with millions of £££ of (looted) jewellery on display when you are hosting the President and his wife of a developing country?

    G-d I hope that didn’t come across as patronising — the intent was that I think a measure of austerity should rather be the order of the day. Do the RF *have* to wear tiaras to State Dinners? Genuine question

    Please know I’m not saying the BRF should *play poor* because South Africa is a young democracy. I just think ostentatious displays of wealth are tacky asf

    • Em Argh says:

      South Africa is not a developing country per se. It was also the leading economy in sub-Saharan Africa until the current governing party drove it into the ground due to corruption, cronyism, and incompetence – but that’s a conversation for another day. The country has much bigger problems to worry about than an old British woman wearing a Cullinan diamond.

    • Emmi says:

      I think in general these state dinners look straight out of the 19th century so I think they should stop with the crazy tiaras and sashes and shit. BUT if you do this for European countries and North American ones etc., I think the RF should absolutely treat every other nation and their leaders the same (politics aside, just re their economic status). The optics of “dressing down” for an African country? No. This is what the RF does. So do it for everybody. It would be the equivalent of not getting out the good silver for the poor relatives.

      • C says:

        Well, it’s a little trickier if the whole reason you have the good silver is because you stole it from the poor relatives coming to visit.

    • SURE says:

      @Hannah Wait till you see the video on the RF twitter account showcasing how sugar recreations of Proteas (SA’s national flower) will be presented at the State Banquet. I couldn’t help but think of another video in which a “dinner lady” breaks down in tears because she is increasingly having to take food away from children as there’s no money on their accounts. This video of the Proteas as well those recent photos of Paddington Bear in BP truly underscores the institution’s tone deafness.

  17. Therese says:

    I don’t know why anyone is worried about what is worn by Camilla, at least. Who the fuck is going to notice what Camilla wears as jewels when you have that face to look at. I don’t think anyone can get past the face. I can’t get past her face. I am gobsmacked. (Of course the jewelry will be noticed. I’m just being mean.) And incidentally, there have been appearing more articles in favor of and in defense of Diana in particular and also Harry. And a few more criticizing articles of the RF. There was a headline in National Enquirer of tipsy Camilla sent to rehab.

    All that aside, that brooch is beautiful, great big honking diamond that it is.

  18. molly says:

    If Kate trots out that boring Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara AGAIN, I’m going to throw my phone. Please do something interesting!!

    She doesn’t need to come with any of the big guns, but King Charles is at a real risk of being known as either an irrelevant, snooze-fest or a petty, vindictive father and brother who spent all his time running to the Daily Mail because he was obsessed with his own press coverage.

    Let her find one down in that vault that’ll give the papers and bloggers something to talk about. (And it has to be a tiara. No one other than serious royal watchers cares about necklaces or bracelets or earrings. Tiara or it didn’t happen.)

  19. kelleybelle says:

    Gawd, what a hideous person she is, inside and out. A former sidepiece, aged by boozing and cigarettes and trotted out as queen consort. Are they out of their minds?

    • Tessa says:

      Imo there was no going back.after Charles outed her as his mistress forcing the end of her marriage

    • Chuckles says:

      Couldn’t he find a better looking woman to cheat with? Camilla looks like an old man wearing a cheap wig or better yet an old horse. Gosh!! At the rate Kate’s going she’ll look like Camilla soon enough

  20. Jaded says:

    Looking at those pictures is sickening. What a vile, tacky, tasteless way of showing superiority. Dressing in 20 pounds of diamonds stolen from countries you colonized and pillaged. It’s time to stop this useless, anachronistic showing off and tone down the ostentatiousness. In a time of severe recession, food insecurity, not being able to afford the necessary things in life like heat and rent, this is terribly bad optics and I hope Charles reads the room and knocks this back significantly.

  21. Red Weather Tiger says:

    Has Camilla EVER taken a good picture? Yikes.

  22. equality says:

    So can’t wear Russian jewels or Indian jewels or Saudi gifts, and now South Africa is out. The part of the royal collection that can be worn in public shrinks more and more.

  23. Tina Loman says:

    I don’t think they’ll go all out either because it’s getting cold and many people can’t afford heating. She may wear a new necklace or bring back the diamond riviere. Something new but simple.

  24. Nanea says:

    I hope I’m wrong, but I could totally see at least one of the consorts wearing something ridiculously tonedeaf, big, gaudy.

    Mistress Rottweiler Queen Consort has never cared for the public’s opinion, she’s often worn the parures of different colored stones (rubies, emeralds, sapphires) that she was gifted by some despot or other, no matter how out of place the jewelry was. Now that she has access to the family’s vault, she won’t hold back.

    And if Khate can’t do buttons, she will do bling, just because she can. Economy tanked by Brexit, people bereaved by Covid, taxpayers unable to pay rent, or going hungry – nothing to do with her, as she’s finally achieved the same rank that Diana had. That’ll show them.

  25. Over it says:

    Kaiser and her photo selections always kills me 😀😀😀

  26. Sissy says:

    Please tell me the Queen is not missing a bottom front tooth.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Just leave it alone and move on. Things may be changing And thats great, but the past cannot be changed or replaced. It is what it is.Look at the future, not the past. Bringing it up is just making matters worse. 🤷🏾‍♂️

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