We don’t normally pay much attention to the State Opening of Parliament, but yesterday’s ceremonials were a bit special to us, and not just because we have a shiny new coalition government in place in the UK for the first time in anyone’s memory.

Some months ago we had an enquiry about our stunning Hestia tiara (below), but not for a wedding: our customer was interested in hiring the tiara for the State Opening of Parliament, on a date yet to be set (this was before the UK election was called).tiara blog

And so it came to pass: our tiara was perched atop an aristocratic head during the Queen’s Speech in the House of Lords in Parliament here in London, and we’re told that it got lots of appreciative comments from all sides.

Of course it also gave us an excuse to watch ‘The Gracious Speech’ (as it’s known) and we couldn’t help but notice that our precious tiara was jostling for attention, and, well yes perhaps we must concede that it was being upstaged somewhat by the crown that the Queen was wearing.

So we did what all loyal UK subjects should do in such circumstances: we didn’t really listen to what Her Majesty was saying about the important legislative plans for Her Government, we started doing a bit of research into what she was wearing.

And here’s what we discovered: for the State Opening of Parliament the Queen wears the Imperial State Crown (right).imperial state crown.jpeg

The crown is adorned with over 3000 gems, mostly diamonds, but also rubies, sapphires, emeralds and pearls.

Others will highlight the ‘Black Prince Ruby’, the ‘Stuart Sapphire’, or the ‘St. Edward’s Sapphire’.

But we reckon that the main event is the Cullinan II diamond which sits on the front of the crown and weighs in at 317.4 carats.

The Cullinan II diamond is sometimes called the Lesser Star of Africa. It’s the second biggest polished diamond cut from the world’s largest gem quality rough diamond ever discovered, the 3,106.75 carat Cullinan Diamond from the Premier Mine (later called the Cullinan Mine) in South Africa, unearthed in 1905.

Which is all very impressive of course, but the Imperial State Crown makes regular appearances in Parliament so it’s not much of a story in its own right.

So please forgive us if we dwell on the debut appearance of our Hestia tiara in such a historical setting.

We got quite a thrill to see our relatively humble jewels rubbing shoulders with our shiny new Prime Minister, Her Majesty the Queen, the Imperial State Crown, and the Cullinan II diamond — absolute royalty in the world of jewels, and pretty good company for Diamondthrills to be keeping!

If you would like to experience the thrill of being adorned by our magnificent Hestia tiara at your wedding or special event, then please get in touch and we’ll make it available to you — provided that it’s not already booked out for any more state occasions, of course.