Buckingham Palace is to house a dazzling exhibition of diamonds to mark the Queen's 60 years on the throne.
In a fitting tribute to the monarch's Diamond Jubilee, the Royal Collection is putting on a celebration of the precious gemstone, charting its association with British monarchs during the last 200 years.
The exhibition, which will be the focal point of the Palace's 2012 summer opening, will include an unprecedented display of some of the sovereign's personal jewels.
Among the items on show will be the Girls of Great Britain Tiara which the Queen recently wore at the state banquet for the Turkish President in November. It was a wedding present to Princess Victoria Mary of Teck, later Queen Mary — the Queen's grandmother — on behalf of the girls of Great Britain and Ireland in 1893.
It is one of the Queen's favourites and is forever known as “Granny's tiara”, being a wedding present from her grandmother in 1947.
It is said to be very light and easy to wear.
Many of the pieces that will be on display at the Palace have undergone transformations through the ages — having been recut or used in new settings depending on the fashion or the preferences of the queens or princesses who used them.
Visitors will also see the impressive necklace and earrings worn by the Queen at her coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey in 1953.
Historic pieces such as Queen Victoria's recognisable miniature personal crown which measures just 9cm by 10cm but contains nearly 1,200 diamonds will also be on view.
The jewels the Queen is said to refer to affectionately as “my best diamonds” will also be on display.
The necklace and bracelet she received for her 21st birthday from the South African Government are made up of 21 large diamonds.
l Diamonds: A Jubilee Celebration will take place at Buckingham Palace in August and September.