08 March 2015

Sundays with the Queen: The Queen's Flower Basket Brooch

Among the Queen's enormous collection of brooches, there's a number of pieces that have serious sentimental value. One of these is a brooch in the shape of a basket of flowers. It's been in her jewelry box for almost 70 years.

The flower basket brooch -- which Leslie Field notes is an example of what is sometimes called a "giardinetti," or "little garden" -- was given to the Queen in 1948 by her parents. It was a present to mark the birth of her first child, Prince Charles, who also happened to be a future heir to the throne.

The Queen, then still Princess Elizabeth, wore the brooch for Charles's first official photograph. The black-and-white portrait doesn't show off the true colorful joy of the brooch, as it's set with diamonds as well as sapphires, rubies, and emeralds.

The brooch has become a regular part of HM's jewel rotation, especially in recent years. And in 2013, she sentimentally chose the brooch for a very important family event: the christening of Prince Charles's first grandchild, Prince George.