Burmese Ruby Tiara: Why does the Queen’s Tiara have 96 rubies?


From the sentimental reason for its creation to the symbolism behind the gemstones used, the Burmese Ruby Tiara is a fascinating addition to the royal jewelry collection.

  • The Queen personally commissioned the creation of the Burmese Ruby Tiara using gemstones presented to her as a wedding gift.
  • The 96 rubies used in the crown were donated by the Burmese, who believe that rubies protect against different diseases that can affect a body.
  • In other royal news, How Princess Charlotte is taking on the Queen with this hobby.

From the ‘cursed’ strawberry leaf tiara to the Nizam of Hyderabad, a favorite necklace of Kate Middleton, often the jewels of the royal archives are even more pleasing to read than to look at. Indeed, many coins have a fascinating, complex and unforgettable history, and one such coin is the Burmese Ruby Tiara.

Her Majesty has worn the tiara on numerous occasions, including during a visit by Donald Trump during his tenure.

The symbolism behind the tiara could have been Her Majesty’s way of sending a subtle message. Let’s find out why, and what other tiaras had to be taken apart to make the Burmese Ruby.

Who made the Burmese ruby ​​tiara?

The Burmese Ruby Tiara was a personal commission made by Queen Elizabeth II, and she turned to House Garrard to execute her vision.

House Garrard was the very first jeweler to the Crown, appointed to the position by Queen Victoria in 1843. Since then, House Garrard has maintained a close connection with the British Crown, creating some of the most exquisite pieces for official occasions. , as well as being called upon to make elegant personal gifts and sentimental touches.

The queen made the ruby ​​and diamond tiara

(Image credit: Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

Garrard was commissioned to create the Burmese Ruby Tiara in 1973 by the Queen herself. Her Majesty wanted to create something using the gemstones she received as a wedding gift for her wedding to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on November 20, 1947.

Why did the queen have the tiara made?

The Queen has decided to have a new tiara made from precious stones for a surprisingly beautiful reason that involves her mother.

When Her Majesty acceded to the throne in 1953, by precedent she should have inherited every piece of jewelery designated as an heirloom to the crown – this includes all pieces commissioned and owned by previous monarchs and their wives.

The oriental diadem on display.  It was a favorite piece of the Queen Mother, and the reason the Queen ordered a new ruby ​​tiara

(Image credit: Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Therefore, she should have inherited the Oriental Circlet, a stunning tiara originally made for Queen Victoria and later reset with rubies by Queen Alexandra. However, she didn’t… by choice.

The Circle was a personal favorite of the Queen Mother. Having recently lost her husband and watched her daughter ascend to the throne knowing they all had decades of royal duties ahead of them, one can only speculate, but it would appear the new queen has allowed her mother to keep the tiara. whom she loved so much.

This tiara, and some of the other pieces the Queen Mother kept, stayed with her for the rest of her life.

What is the Burmese Ruby Tiara made of?

So, knowing that she had given away one of the only ruby ​​tiaras in the collection, the queen wanted to make a new one. Fortunately, she received a selection of rubies from the Burmese people for her wedding.

The Queen wore the tiara - designed to ward off ailments - when meeting Donald Trump

(Image credit: Dominic Lipinski – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

By taking these rubies – 96, to be precise – and combining them with a selection of diamonds, the Queen commissioned what we now call the Burmese Ruby Tiara.

Controversial to some, to make the tiara the queen had to disassemble another tiara, the Nizam of Hyderabad.

Gifted by the Nizam, an Indian monarch, the queen was invited to visit Cartier and choose the pieces she wanted. She chose a diamond tiara with detachable sections that could be worn as brooches. After wearing the tiara for the first years of her reign, she finally had it taken down.

The diamonds were used to make the Burmese Ruby tiara, and the detachable sections were retained, still worn today as brooches and part of a necklace.

Why 96 rubies?

Why not even 100? Well, turns out 96 was deliberate. Rubies, like many other gemstones, are believed by some cultures to have powers.

The Burmese people believed that there were 96 diseases that could strike their body, so the 96 rubies were a comforting gesture of love and protection for the queen and her health.

Considering Her Majesty is celebrating a historic Platinum Jubilee in 2022, maybe those 96 rubies really did work!


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