Queen Elizabeth’s Burmese Ruby Tiara

Happy Monday! Today we’re taking a look at some more royal jewels, thanks to guest blogger Sarah Taylor. This is usually referred to as the Burmese Ruby Tiara and is quite unlike any other tiara in Queen Elizabeth II’s personal jewelry collection. It is in the form of a wreath of red roses, with the roses consisting of the Burmese rubies and gold, and the petals composed of diamonds and silver. It is a relatively new tiara; Queen Elizabeth had this tiara commissioned in 1973 from Garrad & Co.

The tiara has  a special history. It is made out of 96 Burmese rubies which were a gift from the people of Burma to Princess Elizabeth on the occasion of her wedding to Prince Philip in 1947. The significance of 96 rubies is that 96 is the number of diseases that the Burmese traditionally people believe can afflict the human body, so these rubies are meant to protect against illness and disease.

The diamonds that are used in this tiara are believed to be from a tiara given to Princess Elizabeth by the last ruling Nizam of Hyderabad and Berar as a wedding gift. As a billionaire, the Nizam was widely considered the richest man in the world in the 1940s. He passed away in 1948 and Hyderabad and Berar are now part of India. It is believed that the original tiara (pictured below) was dismantled, and the diamonds used in the creation of the Burmese Ruby Tiara. There was also a matching necklace from the Nizam, which is still in use. Both the tiara and necklace were made by Cartier.

Here’s a picture of that tiara. It’s quite feminine:

and here it is on Her Majesty’s head:

For this portrait, Her Majesty paired the necklace with The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara:

Here is a closer look at the gorgeous necklace she is wearing in that portrait:

The Queen often wears the Burmese Ruby tiara with ruby earrings and necklaces – such as the Baring ruby necklace and Queen Mary’s ruby earrings.

The Queen switches things up a bit with a different ruby necklace and earrings for this portrait:

Here is a more recent picture of Her Majesty:

The Burmese Ruby Tiara is not the only ruby tiara that HM the Queen owns. She also has the Indian Ruby Tiara, also known as the Oriental Circlet Tiara, which was a favourite of HM The Queen Mother. Stay tuned for a post on that!

We’ll be back tomorrow tomorrow for a recap of the Kate’s visit to the Art Room, and then next week we have Kate, Camilla, and the Queen’s official visit to Fortnum and Mason. Do you think they’ll all be decked out in hats??

See you then!

7 Replies to “Queen Elizabeth’s Burmese Ruby Tiara”

    1. How do you figure that? This article says, and I have read it in numerous other places regarding this tiara, “It is made out of 96 Burmese rubies which were a gift from the people of Burma to Princess Elizabeth on the occasion of her wedding to Prince Philip in 1947.”

      The Queen had the tiara made by Garrard & Co., who used to be the Royal Jewelers, from those 96 rubies, plus diamonds from another tiara which was her personal property, in 1973, per this comment, also widely available from different sources, “It is a relatively new tiara; Queen Elizabeth had this tiara commissioned in 1973 from Garrard & Co.”

      So, where are you getting this “taken from Burma 100+ years ago”? The tiara didn’t exist until 1973, which was 41 years ago, and the rubies alone weren’t presented to the Queen until 1947, which was 67 years ago. Sorry ~ if you have some kind of political axe to grind, the math just isn’t supporting your claim.

  1. Thank you. I am reading a book “royal entertaining and style” but I also have a book about the queen’s jewels. The Burmese tiara is not featured, but I have seen it and this blog explained it. Very accurate.

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