The Cartiers webinar series showcases the stories behind Cartier jewellery worn by royalty


By Anjum Cave 

Author Francesca Cartier Brickell, sixth generation of the Cartier family of jewellers, has presented a series of webinars entitled “The Cartiers”, referred to by King Edward VII as the “king of jewellers and jewellers of kings”, which tell stories about the links between Cartier and royalty who wore their pieces.

The virtual presentations, alongside guest experts, draw on extensive research and archival records.  They underscore Francesca’s passion in telling the story of her ancestors and their dazzling journey in the upper echelons of the jewellery world.Francesca Cartier Brickell

Francesca Cartier Brickell

“The webinar series was born out of the pandemic,” Francesca says. “If there had been no lock-down I would have just done my book tour as planned but suddenly, of course, we were all stuck at home, and I was receiving messages from people saying how disappointed they were that my talks in various countries had been cancelled. So, I decided to take the stories to people in their homes.”

Francesca dedicates episodes of her webinar series to important Cartier clients including the British Royal Family, the Romanovs from Russia, the Maharajas from India, and notable American socialites.

Two webinar episodes focus on items commissioned by members of the British Royal Family as private Cartier clients. Francesca’s co-presenter, Caroline de Guitaut, Deputy Surveyor of the Queen’s Works of Art, shares the background behind iconic royal jewellery in the Royal Collection, one of the most important art collections in the world.

Caroline explains the important distinctions between the Trust’s vast jewellery collections.

The first group incorporates the Crown Jewels, worn exclusively for state occasions and ceremonial use. The second group consists of important historic jewellery and gemstones dating from the 16th century.

The third group, the royal private collection, is the focus of the webinars.

Accounts are provided of important Cartier pieces in the royal personal jewellery collection, such as Queen Elizabeth II’s Halo tiara. Seventy-five years after its creation, it continued to be in use and was worn by Catherine Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, on her marriage to Prince William in 2011.

The significant Cartier rose brooch is mentioned, which holds a central 23.6 carat pink diamond, known as the Williamson diamond. John Thorburn Williamson, whose mine in Tanzania uncovered the remarkable gem in 1947, gifted it to the Queen, the then Princess Elizabeth, upon her marriage the same year. Cartier subsequently created the brooch, which is worn often by Her Majesty.The Royal Collection Trust and Francesca Cartier Brickell

Copyright The Royal Collection Trust and Francesca Cartier Brickell

The webinars cover other items of Cartier creations, including miniature clocks for a dollhouse, and Cartier gifts presented to the Queen and family members from overseas monarchs. One notable gift set was from the Nizam of Hyderabad, known as the Hyderabad necklace and tiara, for the royal wedding in 1947.The Royal Collection Trust and Francesca Cartier Brickell

Copyright The Royal Collection Trust and Francesca Cartier Brickell

The Cartier clock-making episode portrays examples of timepieces – wrist watches, travel clocks, desk clocks – synonymous with Cartier quality, and examines the evolution of craftsmanship and innovations.

Francesca Cartier Brickell is the bestselling author of The Cartiers – The Untold Story of the Family Behind the Jewellery Empire. Paperback release in the USA: Thursday June 4th, 2021.

To see the webinar replays, visit:

@creatingcartier Instagram

The Cartiers

Copyright Penguin Random House