24 June 2018

The Coral Rose Brooch

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Floral brooches make up a major part of the Queen's jewelry collection, but the brooch we're discussing today -- her Coral Rose Brooch -- puts a new twist on the design, presenting a naturalistic form in vivid color.




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The brooch features a pair of coral rosettes, each studded with a diamond in the center of the blossom, accompanied by a pair of pave-set diamond leaves in white gold. Each rosette was carved from a single piece of red coral.


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The jewel is a relatively new addition to the Queen's jewelry box. It was given to her in 1990 by the Order of the Liberation to mark the 50th anniversary of a pair of landmark speeches, one by Churchill and one by de Gaulle, delivered in London during World War II.


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Although the piece was given to the Queen in 1990, the brooch is almost certainly decades older. It was made by Cartier, which produced several nearly identical pieces, down to the diamond stud in the center of the rosette, in the 1950s.


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Appropriately, one of the most important appearances for this rarely-seen brooch came in 2004, when the Queen wore the brooch in Paris during a state visit celebrating the hundredth anniversary of the Entente Cordiale.


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The Queen doesn't wear this one often, but it did make a significant appearance in 2012, when she wore it for the Diamond Jubilee Pageant staged in her honor in Windsor. I'm a big fan of this brooch, and I'd love to see it out and about more often!