|Cullinan II or the Second Star of Africa|
The first setting of the stones was a temporary one; together with Cullinan I, it was mounted as a brooch for Queen Alexandra. After Edward VII’s death in 1910, the new King commissioned Garrard to incorporate the diamond into the existing Crown Regalia, which had been Edward VII’s original intention as well.
|Queen Alexandra (left) and Queen Mary (right) wearing Cullinans I and II as a brooch|
Like Cullinan I, the Second Star of Africa can be removed from its setting and be worn separately, although this has been done very rarely. Queen Mary wore Cullinan I and Cullinan II separately several times. She also wore them in a brooch setting, with Cullinan III and IV (also in a brooch setting) hanging from her diamond necklaces. Nevertheless, for the most part the Second Star of Africa has remained in its Crown setting.
|George V (left), George VI (middle) and Elizabeth II (right) in their Coronation Robes with the Imperial State Crown next to them|
This crown was made for the coronation of King George VI in 1937 but is closely based on a crown designed for Queen Victoria in 1838 by the crown jewellers of the time, Rundell, Bridge & Rundell. It is set with over 3,000 gems, including 2868 diamonds, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds and 269 pearls. The stones were all transferred from the old Imperial Crown, which had been re-made on a number of occasions since the 17th century.
|The Imperial State Crown|
To read more about the fascinating story of the uncut diamond, have a look at this article - Day in History: The world’s largest diamond ever, the Cullinan, is found.
Sources and photo credits: Royal Collection, “Diamond: A Journey to the Heart of an Obsession” by Matthew Hart, “The Queen’s Diamonds” by Hugh Roberts, "The Queen's Jewels" by Leslie Field