The Cullinan V brooch is a heart-shaped brooch, and is just one of many jewels that was cut from the grand Cullinan diamond.
Elizabeth II wore the Cullinan V brooch on various occasions throughout her 70-year reign, including for numerous Christmas Broadcasts, Princess Eugenie’s wedding to Jack Brooksbank, London Fashion Week in 2018 and for the less formal State Openings of Parliament in recent years.
The mammoth Cullinan diamond – weighing 3106 carats – was named after the chairman of the mining company that found the stone, Thomas Cullinan.
The diamond was found in 1905 at the Premier Mine in South Africa. It is considered the largest rough, uncut diamond that had ever been discovered. This unbelievable specimen was cut into nine large stones and also an additional 96 smaller sized gems.
Many of these jewels – including the largest Cullinan I stone, also called the Star of Africa – were then set into King Edward VII’s Sovereign’s Sceptre and the Imperial State Crown, which are part of the Crown Jewels.
When Queen Mary was deciding how she wanted to use the various Cullinan stones, she planned for the Cullinan V to be used for different purposes in various forms.
The Cullinan V brooch is mounted in a fine platinum ‘web’ with ‘scrolling and foliate millegrain and pavé-set border of brilliant diamonds’, writes the Royal Collection. It was originally seen as part of the detachable centre section of the diamond and emerald stomacher made for Queen Mary for the Delhi Durbar in 1911 and weights 18.8 carats.
Queen Mary also wore the Cullinan V in a configuration with the Cullinan VI and VIII brooches, as you can see above.
The diamond could be seen in Queen Mary’s Crown, which was worn for the 1937 Coronation of George VI, when the eight detachable arches of the crown were taken off to form a regal circlet.
When Queen Mary died in 1953, the brooch was passed down to her granddaughter, Elizabeth II.
For King Charles’ Coronation in May 2023, Queen Camilla had three of the Cullinan diamonds (III, IV and V) reset into Queen Mary’s crown which was refurbished for the Coronation.