What Happens to the Queen's Closet Now?

Here's where Queen Elizabeth's belongings will likely go.

With the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the entire world is in mourning, the line of succession has shifted, and everyone's wondering what happens next for the palace — including where the queen's clothes and jewelry collection will now live. While there's no official protocol for every single piece in her closet, there are some clues to the fate of the Monarch's belongings based on what's happened in the past.

According to Brian Hoey, author of Not In Front of the Corgis, the queen regularly gave her old clothes to her dressers. From there, they could either keep the pieces, wear them, or sell them. Hoey notes that if pieces were sold, buyers couldn't know that the clothes came from Her Majesty. Labels were removed to make sure nobody can trace anything back to Buckingham Palace.

Queen Elizabeth II
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As for jewelry, the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom are the 142 royal ceremonial objects kept in the Tower of London. Those pieces remain in the royal collection and are passed on to the next monarch. However, Elizabeth had more than 300 pieces in her personal collection, including "98 brooches, 46 necklaces, 37 bracelets, 34 pairs of earrings, 15 rings, 14 watches, and five pendants," according to Tatler. Those pieces were gifts from visiting dignitaries and heads of state and were worn during formal occasions.

Unless the queen left clear instructions, it's unknown what will happen to each and every single piece, but it seems one item from her collection has already been passed to Kate Middleton. On September 14, the Princess of Wales was photographed wearing one of the late monarch's brooches while attending a service honoring the queen at Westminster Hall. As detailed in a photo shared by The Court Jeweller, Elizabeth originally wore the leaf-shaped pin, which featured both diamonds and pearls, when visiting Seoul, South Korea, in April 1999.

Kate Middleton
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This wasn't the first time that Middleton donned jewelry gifted to her by a royal family member, and she even wore a pair of Princess Diana's pearl drop earrings during the same outing. According to Marie Clarie, Diana specifically stated that she wanted her personal jewelry collection to be passed down to her sons' future wives ahead of her passing.

"I would like you to allocate all my jewellery to the share to be held by my sons, so that their wives may, in due course, have it or use it. I leave the exact division of the jewellery to your discretion," she wrote in a letter. In addition to the pearl drop earrings, Kate Middleton also has Diana's sapphire engagement ring, and Meghan Markle's engagement ring has two diamonds from Diana's collection.

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