Since it first graced our television screens in 2016 Netflix’s The Crown has been watched by a total of 73 million households around the world. Clearly, people everywhere have been captivated by the ins and outs of royal life, spanning throughout the second half of the 20th century. There are many reasons to dive into this show – from politics to drama. But can you guess our favourite element of the regal show here at AC Silver?
You got it in one: the antique jewellery.
When it comes to jewellery featured in The Crown, there is no doubt that some serious research has been done. In each of the three seasons we’ve seen so far, there have been some show-stopping jewellery items. Each of them has been recreated for the show, but their original counterparts are well-rooted in British history.
Join us as we reminisce about some of the most glorious pieces of the jewellery showcased in The Crown, and remember their real-world origins.
1. The Queen’s Pearls
The queen’s pearls, perhaps the most iconic fixture in the world of royal jewellery, had to be introduced as soon as possible. That’s why it was no surprise when we first saw them in season one episode one. The queen’s pearls have made regular appearances throughout all three seasons. In fact, nearly every episode features them at some point.
In addition to the double and triple strand pearl necklaces that the queen favours, she has also always worn a great variety of pearl jewellery, making pearls part of her unofficial uniform. The makers of The Crown certainly didn’t miss a trick here, ensuring that Claire Foy (who played the Queen in season one and two) and Olivia Colman (who took over in season three) were decorated with pearls whenever possible.
2. The Vladimir Tiara
The Vladimir Tiara is nothing short of iconic and, because of this, it was featured in The Crown multiple times, both in its pearl and emerald form.
The real Vladimir Tiara has a rich and mysterious history. After belonging to the Russian Grand Duchess Vladimir, the wife of the Tsar’s cousin, the piece had to be smuggled out of Russia due to the assassination of Tsar Nicholas II and his family.
After the Duchess’s death in 1920, the Queen’s grandmother, Queen Mary, purchased the Vladimir tiara and it soon became one of the most beloved pieces of royal jewellery. Mary decided to add her own twist to the tiara, getting it repaired by Garrard and then adding 15 of her old emeralds along with a mechanism that allowed the wearer to switch between the emeralds and the original pearls.
In The Crown, the impressive tiara is worn in both styles. A particularly breath-taking moment in the show was when the tiara was worn with the Delhi Durbar necklace during the Queen’s visit to Ghana in season two episode eight.
3. Queen Mary’s Lover’s Knot Tiara and the Gloucester Pendant Earrings
Another tiara designed to steal the show (alongside a gorgeous pair of earrings) is Queen Mary’s Lover’s Knot Tiara which has so far been featured multiple times on The Crown. Paired with the Gloucester Pendant Earrings, as featured in season two episode one, the overall look is classic and show-stopping – pure royal elegance at its finest!
In real life, the Lover’s Knot Tiara has been passed down through the royals. Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Diana, and, in 2918, Kate Middleton, have all worn this piece, each of them looking fabulous in it.
4. The Flame Lily brooch
In season one episode two, we got our first glimpse of the gorgeous Flame Lily Brooch. The Queen received this spectacular diamond brooch as a twenty-first birthday gift from the children of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).
As shown in The Crown, Queen Elizabeth II wore this brooch during her first time back in England after becoming a monarch. When she found out her father had died, she was in Kenya, so she flew back immediately and was seen wearing the brooch as she first stepped off the plane. Undoubtedly, this piece is steeped in monumental history.
5. Princess Margaret’s Poltimore Tiara
Finally, we have the gorgeous Poltimore Tiara which was featured in season three episode two, worn by Helena Bonham Carter playing Princess Margaret. The Tiara was worn during Margaret’s tour of the United States in 1965, during which the entire country was reportedly unable to resist her charm!
In this episode of The Crown, Helena Bonham Carter recreated the famous bathtub photo of Princess Margeret. The photo – which depicts Princess Margeret in a bathtub, presumably wearing nothing but the Politimore tiara – was taken on the princess’s 29th birthday and was deemed utterly scandalous at the time. The Crown simply had to nod to such a fabulous picture, and Helena Bonham Carter recreates the moment wonderfully.
Any royalist, historian, or jewellery lover needs no further excuse to emerge themselves within this fantastic show. While we wait for season four to air in November of this year, we’re tempted to go right back to the beginning for a second viewing and take in all of the wondrous pieces of vintage, antique, and Victorian jewellery.
Delilah Kealy-Roberts – Sales and Digital Assistant
Delilah joined the AC Silver team as a Sales & Digital Assistant in 2017 after completing her degree in English Literature at Leeds University. Delilah possesses a passion for jewellery and antiquities combined with an interest in blogging and social media.