One famous piece of jewelry belonging to Queen Elizabeth II is the diamond Kokoshnik Tiara, with its unique sun rays made of white and yellow gold. It was this ornament that inspired the “Russian style” trend in jewelry outside of Russia.

Queen Alexandra and Mary of Teck in Russian Kokoshnik.

The tiara has a fascinating origin story. In 1888, when Queen Alexandra and King Edward VII were celebrating their silver wedding anniversary, ladies-in-waiting wanted to present her with a particularly remarkable gift. Alexandra asked them for an exact copy of the diamond tiara worn by her sister in Russia. The ladies donated their diamonds and ordered the tiara from the Garrard & Co. jewelry house. Like most Russian tiaras, it could be worn as a necklace as well—this type of ornament is called a fringe tiara. Alexandra was delighted with the gift and often wore it at official functions, calling it her Russian Kokoshnik.

Queen Elizabeth ll attends a State Banquet on the first day of a State Visit to Turkey on May 13, 2008 in Ankara

The tiara was passed down from one British queen to the next, and today it is owned by Elizabeth II. Like her mother, grandmother and great grandmother, the Queen has often worn it during public appearances throughout her reign.

Queen Elizabeth II arrives at a luncheon given by the Governor of Peshawar during a Commonwealth visit to Pakistan, 4th February 1961; Queen Elizabeth II dressed in full regalia in 1975; Queen Elizabeth II attends a banquet in India.1983.

Incidentally, Elizabeth II has another 19th century fringe tiara in her collection. She wore this one at her wedding in 1947 and recently lent it to her granddaughter Beatrice for her wedding in 2020.

The wedding of Elizabeth II in 1947 and the wedding of Princess Beatrice in 2020.

Although from a distance it looks like a kokoshnik tiara, it actually has a different shape and more modest design.