24 April 2012

The Cullinans, Part 3: The Heart-Shaped Brooch

Today’s entry in the saga of the Cullinan diamonds might not be the most famous one, but it gets more use than any of the rest.
Cullinan V Brooch
Cullinan V is an unusual heart-shaped diamond of 18.8 carats, set in a diamond and platinum surround intended to emphasize the heart shape. Like III and IV, the diamond was a gift from the South African government to Queen Mary.
Queen Mary wearing the brooch (left) and using it as the center of her emerald stomacher (center and right)
Mary used the brooch on its own, but also designed it to go in the center of the large emerald and diamond stomacher made to add to the parure of emeralds she had with emeralds received from India to commemorate the Delhi Durbar in 1911 and the Cambridge emeralds she inherited from her family.
The brooch in the circlet, 1937 coronation
The heart-shaped brooch also did a stint in the circlet created by removing the arches from Queen Mary’s crown; it took the place of the Koh-i-Noor, which Mary gave to the new Queen Elizabeth to use in her crown for the 1937 coronation. And it had a second diadem use too: it fit into the center of the honeysuckle tiara now in the possession of the Duchess of Gloucester.
Queen Elizabeth
The brooch was part of the current queen’s inheritance when Mary died in 1953. Not one for stomachers, she uses it in her traditional brooch fashion.
Queen Elizabeth
This is one of the queen's favorite brooches - which is why I say it gets more use than the rest of the Cullinan diamonds. It may not be as big as Granny's Chips, but wearing an 18.8 carat around is not too shabby either.

Photos: Leslie Field/Corbis/Daylife