30 April 2018

Queen Margrethe's Rooster Brooch

Margrethe wears the brooch at the Diocletian palace in Split during an official visit to Croatia, 24 October 2014 (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Brooches with animal themes are popular in royal collections, but not many monarchs have a bejeweled chicken in their jewel vaults! We're wrapping up our month-long tour of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark's jewelry box with a look at her very own rooster brooch, which she's been gamely sporting for half a century.

STR/AFP/Getty Images

The brooch is made of white and yellow gold and set with numerous gemstones, including diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and a large pearl.

Margrethe wears the brooch during a tour of the United Nations in New York, 9 June 2011 (DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

Margrethe received the brooch in August 1968, when she was still Denmark's crown princess. According to Bjarne Steen Jensen, the brooch was presented to Margrethe when she christened the Prinsesse Margrethe, a ferry boat that ran on a regular route between Copenhagen and Oslo. The brooch was reportedly a gift from the Riva Trigoso Shipyard, the Italian shipyard where the boat was made.

In Italian culture, roosters are symbols of good luck. But there's likely an even more timely symbolic explanation for the gift: the brooch was given to Margrethe the year after her marriage to a French diplomat, Henri de Laborde de Monpezat. The Gallic rooster is one of the most important national symbols of France.

Margrethe wears the brooch during a meeting with Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault of France in Copenhagen, 21 October 2013 (Nikolai Linares/AFP/Getty Images)

Margrethe has worn the brooch regularly in the fifty years that have elapsed since the gift, wearing it for a variety of daytime engagements. Appropriately, she wore the brooch in Paris during her state visit to France in 1978. Above, she chose the brooch again to receive the French prime minister in October 2013.

Margrethe wears the brooch to celebrate her 69th birthday in Copenhagen, 16 April 2009 (Schiller Graphics/Getty Images)

Margrethe has also used the brooch for family celebrations. In April 2009, she wore the brooch as she greeted the public with the rest of the royal family on the occasion of her 69th birthday.