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Diamonds: A Jubilee Celebration will coincide with the summer opening of Buckingham Palace in August and September 2012. Among the priceless objects on display will be:
- Queen Victoria’s small diamond crown
- The Girls of Great Britain, the tiara worn by the Queen in the image that appears on British banknotes
- The South Africa Necklace, presented to the Queen on her 21st birthday
- The finest pink diamond ever discovered, which was given to the Queen as a wedding present and later made into the Williamson Brooch
Jonathan Marsden, Director of the Royal Collection, said a diamond exhibition was an obvious choice for the Jubilee, adding that the Queen was “enthusiastic” about the plans.
The Queen: Sixty Photographs for Sixty Years at Windsor Castle will feature 60 photos taken by leading press photographers from the 1950s to the present day.
The pictures show the Queen on official engagements and in her private life with her family. Although, as Royal Librarian Jane Roberts commented, “the private life of the Queen is never quite the same as it is for the rest of us!”.
The pictures give a snapshot of the Queen’s eventful life, from foreign travels and state occasions, to corgis and even a meeting with Lady Gaga.
Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomy at The Queen’s Gallery will be the largest ever exhibition of da Vinci’s studies of the human body.
As well as being a great Renaissance artist, da Vinci was also a pioneer in the study of the human body, and the Royal Collection holds many of his notes and drawings on the subject. Da Vinci was “one of the greatest anatomists ever to have lived,” according to curator Martin Clayton.
His study of the heart was “one of the most impressive investigations in the history of science” and diagrams produced after the dissection of human corpses are “among the clearest ever depictions of the bones and muscles”, said Clayton. Some of da Vinci’s drawings are still used by medical students today.
Queen Elizabeth II is only the second monarch to celebrate 60 years in the job. The first was Queen Victoria, who celebrated her diamond jubilee in 1897.
For more details of the Queen’s diamond jubilee exhibitions visit www.royalcollection.org.uk