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Queen's brooch worth over £50 million has hilarious nickname

Ali Condon

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Queen's brooch worth over £50 million has hilarious nickname

Featured Image Credit: Paul Cunningham / Alamy Stock Photo REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

Over the span of her 70-year reign, the late Queen Elizabeth II amassed a magnificent jewellery collection, from priceless pearl earrings to diamond-encrusted necklaces.

But one of the late monarch's most spectacular pieces, worth a jaw-dropping £50 million, has a much less glamorous, and pretty hilarious, nickname.

The sparkling diamond brooch was handed down as an heirloom from Queen Mary to her granddaughter Queen Elizabeth - which is actually why it was given its unusual name.

The diamond brooch is worth a whopping £50 million. Credit: REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo
The diamond brooch is worth a whopping £50 million. Credit: REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

The Cillinan III and IV brooch, which is made from two diamonds cut from the legendary Cullinan diamond, was lovingly nicknamed by the Queen as 'Granny's Chips'.

After her son George VI was crowned King, Queen Mary formed a close bond with his daughters Elizabeth and Margaret.

Queen Mary passed down her invaluable brooch to her granddaughter Elizabeth just as she was about to be crowned Queen, and the monarch has held on to the stunning diamond piece ever since.

The timeless piece consists of two individual Cullinan diamonds - one pear-shaped and one cushion-shaped. While the former weighs 94.4 carats, the latter weighs 63.6 carats.

The Cullinan diamond was originally found in a South African mine in 1905 before it was gifted to King Edward VII as a badge of loyalty from the South African British Colony.

It then took 18 months for the Cullinan to be cut and polished into nine gem stones, named numerically from I to IX.

The brooch, which consists of Cullinan III and Cullinan IV, is the most expensive in the world. Credit:  PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo
The brooch, which consists of Cullinan III and Cullinan IV, is the most expensive in the world. Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Cullinan I, the largest of the nine gem stones, is known as the Great Star of Africa. Both Cullinan I and II are part of the British crown jewels in the Tower of London, and can be found on the British Royal Sceptre and Imperial Crown of Great Britain, respectively.

Thus, Cullinan III and IV - the gems on the Queen's brooch - were officially named the Lesser Stars of Africa, explaining why the late Queen Elizabeth II might have lovingly referred to them as 'chips'.

Most recently, Queen Elizabeth II was seen wearing the 158-Carat gift, which has been valued as the most expensive brooch in the world, during her Diamond Jubilee back in 2012 as a tribute to her grandmother.

The late Queen Elizabeth II also used another one of her brooches to pay tribute to her father in her final portrait before her passing.

The Queen wore the brooch at her Diamond Jubilee in 2012. Credit: Paul Cunningham / Alamy Stock Photo
The Queen wore the brooch at her Diamond Jubilee in 2012. Credit: Paul Cunningham / Alamy Stock Photo

Her Aquamarine Clip brooches were gifted to her by King George VI on her 18th birthday, and has been seen wearing them on a number of occasions, from the 75th anniversary of VE Day to her Diamond Jubilee.

In her final portrait, which was taken earlier this year at Windsor Castle, the Queen flashed a wide smile, wearing pearl earrings, a pastel blue dress, and the pair of eye-catching diamond and aquamarine brooches.

Topics: News, Jewellery, The Queen, Royal Family

Ali Condon
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