As the reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth inherited an impressive swath of clothes and jewelry when she took the throne. Throughout her 70-year reign, that collection only grew. So, what will happen to the queen’s closet and jewelry collection now that she’s passed on? Well, there isn’t one clear-cut answer.
The Crown Jewels Remain The Property Of The State
St. Edward’s Crown is possibly the most recognizable piece of royal iconography in existence. It is used strictly for coronations and was last worn by Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. However, the legendary piece wouldn’t be considered a part of the queen’s personal jewels collection. It, along with over 100 other priceless objects, make up the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. They have and always will be the property of the state rather than that of the ruling monarch.
So, the Crown Jewels, including all of the Coronation Regalia, will not change ownership now that Queen Elizabeth’s reign has ended. Pieces will be removed from their resting place in the Tower of London for King Charles III’s coronation, but they will return. Then, they will not be moved until another monarch ascends to the throne.
Queen Elizabeth Was Known To Donate
According to royal author Brian Hoey’s book, Not In Front of the Corgis, Her Majesty would often gift her gently worn clothing to her royal dressers. The dressers could then do as they please with the pieces, although they had to be stripped of all labels and signs that they came from the palace. According to Hoey, many pieces were sold, although it would be impossible to trace them back to the queen.
For what remains of her clothing, there’s no clear-cut answer. Unlike the Crown Jewels, Queen Elizabeth was similar to any other citizen. Her belongings likely won’t be distributed based on protocol, but will rather be up to whatever instructions were left by the queen herself. That brings us to the queen’s personal jewelry collection.
Royal Family Members Inherit The Queen’s Jewels
The size of the queen’s personal jewelry collection has been disputed over the years, although most agree that the grand total is several hundred. She has been known to gift certain heirlooms to family members over the years—especially tiaras—but it’s unclear just how many were left upon her passing.
It’s likely that the queen wanted certain pieces to go to certain people. This was already observed during the family’s mourning procession when Kate Middleton accessorized with the queen’s leaf-shaped brooch.
Camila Parker Bowles will likely inherit a large portion of the queen’s private jewels—especially family heirlooms—now that she is queen consort. However, the royal family is sure to handle these matters privately. Rest assured, as soon as a royal woman steps out in the late queen’s jewelry, royal watchers will be able to spot it.