The Times: Queen Camilla is making a point to wear some of QEII’s favorite jewels

Queen Consort Camilla had full access to all of the royal jewels the moment Queen Elizabeth II passed away. Within a matter of days, QEII’s dresser (and keeper of the royal jewels) Angela Kelly was tossed out and all of the locks were changed. Camilla put her dresser in charge of the royal jewels and Camilla has been happily showing off some really special pieces for the past year and a half. QEII had her favorite pieces and, in her later years, she tended to cycle through a few dozen pieces constantly, while leaving her least-favorite pieces in the back of the jewelry vault. Not Camilla – Camilla wants to show off every piece, even necklaces, brooches and tiaras which were closely associated with QEII. From the Times:

The Queen has adopted many of the duties of the late Elizabeth II, particularly since the King has been forced to stay away from public engagements. With a sense of purpose and a natural propensity towards cheerfulness, Camilla also appears to have adopted some of her attitude to the job. Yet there has also been a more subtle nod to her late mother-in-law which might easily have gone unnoticed. Camilla has been frequently breathing new life into a priceless collection of jewels previously owned by Elizabeth.

On Commonwealth Day this month Camilla wore an aquamarine and diamond brooch. In Northern Ireland she chose a turquoise and diamond three-leaf clover brooch. While hosting a reception for International Women’s Day at Buckingham Palace, Camilla wore sapphire, diamond and ruby clustered pearl drop earrings. And when leading the British royal family at the thanksgiving service in Windsor for the late King Constantine of Greece, she wore Cartier diamond ivy leaf clips, the first time they had been seen since Elizabeth’s death in 2022.

For her Shrewsbury visit on Wednesday, Camilla selected a fly brooch of Elizabeth’s to wear alongside a bee brooch from her own collection. On Thursday for the Maundy service at Worcester Cathedral, Camilla chose rarely seen Cartier gold and sapphire flower brooches which were given to Princess Elizabeth by her parents, who bought them in the 1940s. Occasionally, she will go further back in time in her selection from the historic jewellery collection. During a recent trip to the Isle of Man, Camilla picked a sapphire brooch given to Queen Victoria by Prince Albert on the night before their wedding in February 1840.

For the state visit to Germany in March last year, Camilla wore a diamond and turquoise flower brooch given to Princess Elizabeth by Queen Mary as a confirmation present in 1942. A Palace source suggested they were chosen by Camilla merely because she liked them. However, others say that with aides making a point of noting which pieces Camilla is wearing, it hints that she is keeping Elizabeth’s memory close as she carries out an increasing number of solo appearances, seen by some as a skilful move to associate past and present.

Lauren Kiehna, writer and editor of the Court Jeweller website, which documents the jewellery worn by members of the royal family, said: “It’s been really interesting following Queen Camilla’s jewellery choices so far this year, and I do think there’s a connection between her increasing responsibilities in the King’s absence and the kinds of jewellery we’re seeing her wear. She has worn an interesting mix of pieces from a selection of different categories of brooches: small jewels from her personal collection, gifts from the King, and antique brooches from the royal vaults. She has chosen numerous pieces of important royal jewellery specifically when stepping in to represent the King at events.”

“The most exciting aspect about her recent choices is her continued resurfacing of heirloom pieces that haven’t been seen in many years, or in some cases, that perhaps haven’t been seen in public before at all. Wearing those relatively unknown pieces allows her to make a visual link between the past and the present, but it also gives her the chance to innovate a little bit with her jewels instead of simply repeating the familiar pieces worn often by the late Queen. When Queen Camilla wears a brooch associated with Queen Elizabeth, or even Queen Alexandra or Queen Mary, it underscores the importance of her royal role. But choosing lesser-known heirlooms helpfully avoids direct visual comparison. Delightfully, it also hints at what many of us have long known: that the late Queen’s jewellery collection was incredibly vast, with lots of treasures still waiting to be discovered.”

Ian Lloyd, the author and royal historian, said that Camilla was “giving the private jewel collection” of the late Queen “a new lease of life”. He added: “This is what Queen Elizabeth would have wanted. She was a very pragmatic person and would be glad to see them used. She believed she was the custodian of the collection and that they should be used by her successors. She would have hated to think of them becoming museum pieces or never being seen again.”

[From The Times]

My inner magpie also enjoys the fact that Camilla is literally dusting off rarely-seen pieces and showcasing the vastness of the royal jewelry collection. But surely we can acknowledge that QEII probably wouldn’t have been that jazzed about it? QEII wore jewelry because people expected her to, because she thought people wanted a bit of glitz and glamour, but she wasn’t that generous with how she allocated Royal Collection pieces. There are so many personal pieces which I have to think QEII would have probably wished to leave to her daughter and granddaughters as opposed to her eldest son’s sidechick wife. Like, personal gifts from King George VI to Elizabeth… those don’t belong on Camilla. Every time I see Camilla wearing a piece closely associated with QEII, I wince, and I’m sure I’m not alone – Camilla really might be trying to draw the comparison, but instead she’s just reminding everyone that she “won” and all of the dead queen’s jewels now belong to the side chick.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid, Cover Images.

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58 Responses to “The Times: Queen Camilla is making a point to wear some of QEII’s favorite jewels”

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  1. JW says:

    While she can.

  2. seaflower says:

    Nothing like rubbing everyone’s noses in it now she has unfettered access.

  3. Pinkosaurus says:

    I’ll bet Camilla’s dresser is having the time of her life going through the jewelry and making selections. I wonder if she’s tried diving in like Scrooge McDuck yet? I can only imagine how vast it all is given the number of pieces with sketchy backstories that they are now keeping hidden from public view.

    • lamejudi says:

      Great minds think alike!

      I immediately envisioned Camilla rolling around in the vault, cackling “all mine, ALL MINE!”

    • Seraphina says:

      You have no idea how much I would LOVE to see that vault. LOOOOOOOOVE to see that vault. I would even work for Cams just to play with those baubles. Just one week, that’s all I want. Sigh.

      • BlueNailsBetty says:

        I know exactly how much you want that because I want it as much, too. I would love to spend about a year (or ten) hanging out in the jewelry vault trying on pieces.

  4. Lady Esther says:

    The biggest part of my interest in the RF is in the jools, so I say go for it Camilla and whomever else shows them off! I completely agree that QEII was in fact quite stingy with her jewelry and kept the vast majority to herself, probably going into the vaults in the middle of the night to caress them while chanting MY PRECIOUSSSSSS.

    Also, Granny’s chips or GTFO…come on Camilla, bring out the big guns!

    • Lurker25 says:

      Hot take:
      QE2 understood the fine line between royal glamour and rubbing people’s faces in vast wealth and stolen treasure.
      She knew that her requests for public funding to upgrade palace plumbing, for exemptions to XYZ, for tax breaks, for increased budgets/expenses…hard sell to the PM, let alone the public, when you’ve been out and about in a different golf ball sized rock every day for months.

      • Lady Esther says:

        Hmmm….except that QEII infamously saw NO PROBLEM AT ALL giving a televised address in front of a gold piano while ordinary people suffered from a financial crisis…so IMO the simple reason she didn’t share or wear much varied jewelry herself was selfishness

    • Concern Fae says:

      I want the story on Kate not wearing an actual tiara from the collection to the coronation.

      • Dara says:

        Can I offer my unsolicited conspiracy theory?

        There were people (either the men in gray or in the family) that decreed there should be no tiaras except Camilla because they were afraid Meghan might attend and she would be entitled to wear one (I’m assuming the one she wore to her wedding.).

        After they learned she would not be there, it would look bad to say “actually never mind, everyone feel free to bring the bling.” Hence Kate’s odd headpiece, she needed to demonstrate her standing as the new Princess of Wales, but didn’t want to rock the boat by wearing an actual tiara.

      • Saucy&Sassy says:

        Dara, well, it’s an interesting theory. I can’t quite see the men in grey thinking Meghan would be at the coronation–at that point I think it was kind of obvious that Meghan was leaving Harry’s family to Harry. This IMO was all about Camilla wanting to be the only woman with a crown. That ugly headpiece was Bone Idle’s way of getting around that.

  5. Jais says:

    Royal jewelry doesn’t excite me much but I do love the insect jewelry. That said, could it be a sly reference to the bee the wasp and the fly😂?

  6. Brassy Rebel says:

    Gotta love the way the Times makes Camilla’s greedy jewel grab sound like some sort of tribute to the late queen.

  7. equality says:

    If QE wanted any of her private jewels to go to other family members she had plenty of years and a will to do so. She went for the monarch to monarch option to avoid taxes and because she believed in the specialness of the monarchy and the line of succession. This gives Cam a good chance to replace more of the jewels with replicas and stockpile the real ones at her house. Seriously, I wonder if the jewels are checked over by someone qualified or just stuck back in the vault after being worn.

    • H says:

      Same thought I had – if she wanted those personal gifts from her parents to go to her daughter or others – she could easily have done that. I think she made some small personal bequests (like the triple strand pearls she wore so often – I think those are the pearls Anne wears now) Otherwise -yeah, she chose the cheap no tax monarch to monarch option. C’est la vie. Ou, la mort.

    • BeanieBean says:

      I should hope they have actual professional archivists & curators overseeing the Crown’s jewelry, furniture, & art collections. Think they do, pretty sure they do, sure as heck hope they do.

    • Feeshalori says:

      I’m sure these jewels have to be sent out for cleaning and repair on many an occasion so if any of them are hinky, I’m sure that would be found out in a flash. There’s got to be an inventory as well of everything in the vault so that would hopefully help to keep track of items. I think the problem would be with the lesser known jewels that are tucked away and not worn, and any fakes would go unnoticed until they’re finally dusted off and cleaned and repaired before worn. But I always say, never say never because who’s to say how long ago a little worn jewel may have been substituted for a fake by some enterprising soul with access to the vault.

  8. Tessa says:

    And the same media goes after Meghan for wearing a new bracelet. Camilla us praised for wearing super valuable jewels

    • BlueNailsBetty says:

      See also: Meghan wearing Diana’s Tank watch. The media has an absolute meltdown over that because how dare she wear Diana’s jewelry?!?!?!

      While I completely agree with Camzilla on this one issue (the jewels are the only reason I would be part of the BRF) the way this is framed, while Meghan is ripped to shreds because she has a few pieces from Diana, is so fake and over the top.

      This isn’t about Camilla creating a link to the past to honor Elizabeth or other queens. This is Camilla diving head first into the royal jewelry room and wearing as much of it as she can while Chuckles is still alive. The minute William becomes queen the access to the jewels is over and Camilla knows that.

      • Lady Esther says:

        @BlueNailsBetty “The minute William becomes Queen…” BWAHAHAHA

      • BlueNailsBetty says:

        @Lady Esther OMG. I swear that was a total typo and I can’t imagine how it happened. I guess I’m so used to the monarch being a queen that my brain still hasn’t accepted a king.

  9. SussexWatcher says:

    She’s a grotesque and horrible person. Always has been, always will be.

    I understand that’s the way it works – to the mistress queen…err, the victor go the spoils – but I don’t want to watch her swan around, dripping in jewels, like the cat who got the canary. IMO too much of her character shines through for her to even look good in anything she wears anyway. 🤷🏽‍♀️

    I think she loves what Chuckles provides her but she’s still in love with her first husband and playing her current one like a fiddle. I don’t think she’d be fun to have a drink and a gossip with because we’ve seen what kind of vile opinion pieces come from her friends after those gossip parties. She’s a nasty cruel bully who “won” – congrats.

    And she’s probably stealing everything that’s not nailed down because what ever happened to those missing jewels?? Either she or the Keen Middletons have them.

  10. Barbara says:

    Sure, some of the jewelry is gorgeous but Cowmilla makes almost all of the pieces look dowdy and dated. I’m sick to death of all the ugly brooches.

    • BeanieBean says:

      I don’t care for how she wears them. Matching brooches on each lapel? BORing.

      • Feeshalori says:

        I don’t mind that, but I wish she’d pin them symmetrically on the lapels. It’s carelessly done when they’re positioned unevenly. Not so much of a nod to how the late Queen wore them, ahem. Otherwise, an alternative would be stacked at an angle on one side.

  11. Cessily says:

    A lot of blood was spilled for those jewels… not only in the distant past.

  12. Amy Bee says:

    I think the real reason the Queen didn’t wear a lot of those pieces is because she didn’t want the public to know she had so many jewels in her possession. Plus, the Queen couldn’t leave anything to Anne because Anne would have had to pay the inheritance tax on it. That’s why everything was left to Charles.

    • equality says:

      She had plenty of years to give tax free gifts to various people if she wished for her jewels to go to others. Who would police the royals on any such things anyway? I highly doubt the revenue office would be auditing her (or her relatives) anyway to know.

  13. StillDouchesOfCambridge says:

    Definitely trolling the ones who didnt want her there – as n everybody.
    Itd be great to see her jewels sidebyside with elizabeths wearing.

  14. Becks1 says:

    I think we all knew Camilla would start diving deep into the jewelry vault once she became queen. And honestly I’m not mad about it. I like seeing the jewels – and I do think it underscores how much jewelry QEII had that was hers personally, not just crown property.

    The only one that I wish Camilla didn’t touch was the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland. I feel that one is so closely associated with QEII that it should have been put on display at Windsor or the Tower or something.

    • LisaN says:

      I literally choked when she paraded herself out with that tiara. Somethings should have been put in the vault for a generation. that tiara was one of them.

  15. bisynaptic says:

    What happened to the missing jewels?

    • May says:

      There are no missing jewels. The Guardian article that raised that issue noted that the policy/law requiring that certain gifted jewels be considered part of the Royal Collection came into effect in the mid-90s and did not reference (apply to) prior gifts to a royal. Accordingly, those prior gifts, which comprise most of the Queen’s personal collection, did not fall under that rule.

      • BeanieBean says:

        Personal collection or Royal collection, the Nizam of Hyderabad could not be accounted for, though, right?

  16. Feeshalori says:

    Yes, Camilla is making hay while the sun don’t shine and raiding the royal jewel vault for all it’s worth. While I enjoy seeing pieces that I’ve never seen before, and some I have, I hate seeing them on her. But I’ll get my enjoyment however I can and I wouldn’t be surprised at all. She’s siphoning off the lesser known stuff to her own bunker. Nobody ever did find the Nizam of Hyderabad necklace as well as the other items, did they?
    And l don’t know if it’s intentional or not, but I love that Camilla isn’t included under the royals category here.

    • Feeshalori says:

      Ugh, making hay while the sun shines.

    • Lorelei says:

      Omfg I never noticed that Cams isn’t filed under “Royals” on here! That is hilariously fitting and I love it! Thanks again to Kaiser. LMAO. It’s perfection

  17. Mary Pester says:

    Today ladies and gentlemen, the consort suffered a heavy fall, there was no permanent damage other than the fact that an extremely large quantity of jewellery fell from her pockets, when asked by the beef eaters why she had such a large quantity of the late Queen’s jewellery stuffed in her pockets she replied “I was taking them for a walk”.
    “yes your majesty replied the beef eater, but you obviously forgot their leads, we will walk them back to the vault for you”

    • Lau says:

      It must make so much noise when she walks that courtiers are able to hear her coming from across the palace.
      “You can’t them away if I’m wearing them !”

    • BeanieBean says:

      Oh my word!! 😅

  18. Lady Digby says:

    Yes I would agree she is making hay while the sun shines and has gone on a trolley dash of the vaults to look blingtastic at every occasion. She is legitimatizing herself with all this Queen related jewellery and showing off because she has “won” and all the rest are on long-term sick, on strike or banished. Maybe it won’t last for too long but she is giddy with pleasure and who needs girlish glamour when your draped in so many jewels?

  19. what's inside says:

    It is such a shame that the jewelry doesn’t have a better model to show them off. Seriously she looks like an old hag and the bling does not make her sparkle.

  20. SarahCS says:

    I am mostly just here for more attention to be given to the vast wealth and jewels they are hoarding while more and more people fall into poverty every day. List them ALL.

    I love beautiful jewellery so i am glad to see them but these awful leeches deserve none of it.

  21. Schrodinger's Kate says:

    I honestly don’t notice the jewelry on her because I try to avoid looking directly at her. Lipstick on a pig. I despise this woman. I can’t look at her without wishing Diana were here in her rightful place and how beautiful even an aged Diana would be in these jewels. But then that would mean poor Diana would be stuck with a drip like Charles.

    Even if he hadn’t been a cheater and they had managed to stay married, I shudder to think what the decades of being entombed in that marriage to the likes of him would have done to her. No, the divorce was always the best thing for her, given his personality, but she was robbed of the better life she should have had. The one we see Meghan and Harry living.

  22. ClaireB says:

    I can separate my dislike for Camilla as a person from my delight in seeing incredible jewelry.

    That being said, she needs to keep the Girls of England and Ireland tiara off her head. That piece is inextricably (for now) linked with QEII in later years and also doesn’t look as good on Camilla’s head/hair as it did on the late queen. It’s my favorite of the English tiaras and I hate seeing it diminished like it looks on Cam.

  23. Interested Gawker says:

    Everything Camilla touches dies.

    Cam’s gleefully contaminating all she’s entitled to as she single handedly ruined the House of Windsor and it’s grotesque.

  24. CloudyWithRain says:

    Gross. QE2 hated Camilla, and now she’s dead Camilla insists on wearing all QE2’s favorite pieces, knowing how much QE2 would have hated that. It’s tasteless rubbing it in, making sure everybody knows that she won.

  25. QuiteContrary says:

    They’re acting like Camilla is doing some kind of service by wearing ridiculously expensive jewelry.

    No amount of bling is going to make that grotesque woman dazzle.

    • Feeshalori says:

      The only advantage to her wearing these gorgeous jewels is that I concentrate on them rather than looking at her face.

  26. BeanieBean says:

    So which is it, Times, subtle nod to the late queen or ‘breathing new life’ into the vast amount of goodies not seen in a while? I don’t think there’s any messaging whatsoever. She has access to all the pretty shiny things; she’s a different person from all the previous wearers of those pretty shiny things & has her own likes & dislikes. I’d be wearing something different every day! Even on one of those stupid hunting weekends! (except I can’t envision myself on a hunting weekend).