22 March 2015

Sundays with the Queen: The Grima Ruby Brooch


Many of the Queen's brooches are traditional pieces, inherited from generations past. But there are an increasing number of modern pieces in her collection. Today, we're looking at one of these newer brooches: a ruby and gold jewel made for her by Grima.



The brooch is both an example of design from the Queen's reign and a sentimental bauble: it was given to her in 1966 by the Duke of Edinburgh. The piece consists of rubies and diamonds set in yellow gold.





The Grima Ruby Brooch was, as the name suggests, made by jeweler Andrew Grima. Born in Italy and raised in England, Grima's pieces were striking examples of mid-century modern design. And the family also had another link to royal jewelry: Grima's wife, Jojo, was the granddaughter of Sir Thomas Cullinan -- yes, that Cullinan. Grima's daughter, Francesca, runs the firm today.



The Queen has worn the brooch regularly throughout her reign, including appearances during her annual Christmas Broadcast. And in 2011, she chose the brooch for one of the most important diplomatic events of her reign: the landmark 2011 state visit to Ireland.