The Royal Stories Behind Queen Elizabeth II’s Brooches
Queen Elizabeth II is known for sending subtle messages with her jewellery, as evidenced during Friday’s televised address about the 75th anniversary of VE Day, which marks the end of the Second World War in Europe.
Her Royal Majesty’s jewellery collection is among the world’s most impressive. This is particularly true for her diamond-drenched and gem-set brooches, which are often commissioned for special occasions or gifted from friends and other members of the royal family.
For this year’s VE Day, the Queen wore a pair of aquamarine brooches, which she was gifted on her 18th birthday in 1944 by her father, King George VI. Made by French jewellery house Boucheron, these Art Deco-style clips can be worn separately as well as together.
Behind Her Royal Majesty was a framed portrait of the late King. "I speak to you today at the same hour as my father did, exactly 75 years ago," the Queen said. "His message then was a salute to the men and women at home and abroad who had sacrificed so much in pursuit of what he rightly called a 'great deliverance.'"
Read more about Her Royal Majesty’s brooches below.
Queen Mary's Turquoise and Diamond Brooch
The turquoise- and diamond-set brooch worn by Her Royal Majesty during a special broadcast last month about the coronavirus is from the same collection as Meghan Markle’s wedding tiara. The Queen pinned this historic sparkler onto a beautifully-cut green dress, which she also wore with pearls.
This brooch belonged to Queen Elizabeth II’s grandmother, Queen Mary, who was also the proud owner of the Vladimir Tiara–a Romanov jewel which comes with pearls that can be replaced with emeralds.
Prince Albert’s Brooch
A standout sapphire centre stone surrounded by diamonds ensures this jewellery piece is as eye-catching as it is sentimental. This brooch dates back to the 1840s when it was given to Queen Victoria by her husband-to-be, Prince Albert, on the day before their wedding.
All four subsequent Queens and Queen Consorts have worn this bauble (Queen Alexandra wore it to her coronation in 1902), and it’s a favourite of Queen Elizabeth II. She has been photographed wearing it on numerous occasions.
Queen Mother's Diamond Palm Leaf Brooch
Cartier was commissioned to create the Diamond Palm Leaf Brooch for the Queen Mother in 1938. Loose, unused diamonds from Her Royal Highness’s collection were collated and carefully arranged to make this pin, which is named after the Scottish town of Paisley.
The Queen Mother came from a Scottish aristocratic family and Paisley was well-known for its local weavers who would stitch the motif onto shawls during the 19th century.
These textiles were shipped all over Asia, and were imported by the East India Company.
(Related: Former Royal Chef to Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana, Darren McGrady Reveals Unknown Facts About The Royal Family)
Prince Philip’s Scarab Brooch
When planning what to wear for her platinum anniversary portraits, Queen Elizabeth II decided she'd be photographed with her colourful Scarab Brooch.
Designed in yellow gold by Andrew Grima, a society jeweller in the 1960s, this ruby- and diamond-set brooch was a personal present from Her Royal Majesty's husband, Prince Philip, who presented it to her in 1996. How romantic.
(Related: A Look Back At Queen Elizabeth II And Prince Philip's Royal Marriage)