10 June 2017

The Diamond Daisy Brooch

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

On Saturdays, we usually devote our time here on the blog to discussions about the history of a specific tiara. But today's not just any Saturday: it's the 50th wedding anniversary of Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik of Denmark. We've talked about Margrethe's wedding tiara multiple times, so I thought it would be fun to focus on another part of her wedding jewelry: the Diamond Daisy Brooch that she wore pinned to her gown.

The brooch has a history that goes back much further than half a century. In 1935, Princess Ingrid of Sweden, the only daughter of the Swedish crown prince, became engaged to Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark. Ingrid's mother, Margareta, had died fifteen years earlier, when Ingrid was only ten. Margareta had a stellar royal background of her own; born Princess Margaret of Connaught, she was descended from the British and Prussian royal families.

As you might expect, Ingrid remembered her mother in multiple ways at her wedding, which took place in Stockholm. She wore her mother's wedding veil, a piece of delicate Irish lace that has also been worn by family brides in the generations since. She also had a rather large diamond brooch pinned to the right shoulder of her wedding gown.

The brooch, in a screencap from De Kongelige Juveler

The piece, which was made in the shape of a daisy, was one of Ingrid's wedding gifts. Her father, Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden, had the brooch made for his daughter using diamonds that had belonged to her late mother. After her wedding, Ingrid also wore the brooch on her arrival in her new country, Denmark.

The diamonds alone would be a lovely sentimental connection to the late Swedish crown princess, but the shape of the brooch was another tribute to Margareta. The French version of her name, Marguerite, is also the name of a specific kind of daisy. The late princess was always called "Daisy" by her family, and so the brooch's design was another tribute to Ingrid's mother. Ingrid would go on to name her first child "Margrethe," and like her grandmother, the current Danish queen is nicknamed "Daisy." Above, Ingrid wears the brooch in a portrait taken after Margrethe's confirmation service in April 1955.

As you might expect, Ingrid treasured the brooch. She wore it on major occasions throughout her life, including her seventieth birthday celebrations in 1980. In the portrait above, the brooch still manages to draw the viewer's eye, even with Ingrid's daughters, sons-in-law, and grandchildren gathered around here.

In June 1967, Ingrid lent the brooch to Margrethe to wear on her wedding day. Margrethe followed in her mother's footsteps by pinning the brooch to the bodice of her wedding gown. She also wore the same lace veil that both her mother and grandmother had worn on their wedding days. Margrethe's wedding tiara, the Khedive of Egypt Tiara, also belonged to Margaret of Connaught.

Margrethe wears the brooch during Crown Prince Frederik's wedding celebrations, 2004 (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Shortly before her death, Queen Ingrid gave the daisy brooch to Queen Margrethe as a sixtieth birthday present. The queen's emotions over the sentimental gift are clear in an interview segment filmed in 2010 for a royal jewel documentary, De Kongelige Juveler: "Ten years ago, when I was sixty, on my birthday, my mother had just turned ninety. She gave me the daisy brooch, which I must say, I was extremely touched, to be given it like that. Well, it's a brooch which means a great lot to me, first because it was my mother's, and then again because I wore it for my wedding, and then I was given it the way I was given it like that, when I was sixty. That was very special."

Margrethe wears the brooch at the British royal wedding in 2011 (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Since receiving the brooch, Margrethe has worn it at important events, including the pre-wedding events for her elder son, Crown Prince Frederik, and the christening of Frederik's first-born child, Prince Christian. It's clearly one of her most treasured items.

Note: This is an updated version of an earlier post, with new text and images.