The Queen’s Necklace – A Sparkling Tribute to an Empowered Monarch
This magnificent necklace is the ‘Delhi Durbar’ piece inherited by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth ll from her grandmother, Queen Mary, and as the court jeweler rightly said, “it makes you green with envy”! Never mind the court jeweler, right now, and as I have in the past, I drool green whenever I see this and the other pieces in this particular collection. What continues to impact is the endless jewels that came to the Queen’s collection from India, a jewel in the Commonwealth’s crown, before its independence. However, the ‘Delhi Durbar’ collection was designed for Queen Mary to wear to the December ‘Durbar’ in 1911 in Delhi, the last ‘Durbar’ held under the monarchy. Thus giving the collection its name.
A Tribute to Queen Elizabeth II
While there is history to read and reflect on, my senses tell me I have good taste for what my eyes can see, roam and punch. In the case of these fine emeralds and diamonds, if they were edible, I would relish them but never swallow them! Stuff like this gets passed on for generations and has never looked better than around the worthy neck, ears, and hands of the gracious Queen of our times, Elizabeth ll. A deeper look at this necklace, and you will see her face, smile, and a twinkle in her eye that match the spark of the diamond shine. ‘Lucy in the sky of Diamonds’? I can swear it was her; instead, the song seemed to be a dedication to Her Majesty!
Let’s revisit an old campaign ad line that comes to mind, “The Queen’s jewels, Priceless! For everything else, there’s Mastercard”. I’m confident these jewels will not come under the hammer either, now or ever. Can you imagine Christie’s call, “The Delhi Durbar necklace, Ladies and Gentleman, going, going, gone!” Well, ‘priceless’ does not have a number! The Queen, herself, was just that. Seventy years of reigning duty, allegiance, and sacred devotion to crown and country, cannot compare in weight of all her jewels put together! This humble piece I write is my tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, a Salut to an empowered woman, a mighty matriarch of ‘queendoms’ she called ‘family.’ In the post-war era, she was the only Queen I knew and followed. Princess Elizabeth, at age 25, lost her father and her life as she knew it.
The Delhi Durbar Necklace
This ‘Delhi Durbar’ neckpiece reflects the monarch’s grace, glory, and determination at perfection. Her Majesty’s funeral was a testimony to that perfection, one she planned in parts, in all of its impeccable march to her resting place at Windsor. I chose this piece as a relevant tribute befitting the Queen as it strikes me as divine and regal but not pompous. She was never that, and as agreed by her staff as well. The necklace was constructed in Amsterdam as part of a suite of pieces, marrying Cullinan Diamonds and Cambridge Emeralds and becoming known as the ‘Delhi Durbar Parure.’ The cut diamonds are from one single diamond, known as Cullinan, that weighed an astounding 3,106 carats! I might sound a tad poetic, but I repeat it, Her Majesty was that Lucy in the sky of diamonds. She was!
On October 8th, 2022, the mourning period will have come to an end. A month since her passing after a life of duty living. She will always be the ‘Good Queen of the West’ and the sparkling moments shared! It touched my heart when the Archbishop gave the final farewell to the Queen and referred to her simply as ‘sister Elizabeth.’ All the jeweled symbols of power were removed from her coffin as he spoke. She was buried with nothing and cloaked only in her humility, duty, and reverence for her life.
About the Author
Seema Azharuddin has been actively involved in a variety of fields like acting, producing, writing, journalism, and consulting, including being a champion for several causes and campaigns. Currently, she continues to volunteer as a spokesperson for the Indian diaspora for Biden’s presidency and contributes to a number of publications.