28 April 2019

The Centenary Rose Brooch

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As April showers begin to give way to May flowers, we've got a lovely royal floral brooch to gaze upon today: the Centenary Rose Brooch.

The Queen appears with the Queen Mother on her hundredth birthday, 2000 (GERRY PENNY/AFP/Getty Images)

The brooch was a gift from one Queen to another. Queen Elizabeth II commissioned it as a 100th birthday present for her mother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, in 2000.


The brooch features a hand-painted rose on a background of rock crystal, surrounded by a frame set with 100 diamonds. It's not just any random rose, either: it's a Queen Elizabeth Grandiflora Rose, which was specially bred to mark the Queen's coronation in 1953. The piece was made by Collins and Sons.

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Here's another view of the brooch which gives a better idea of its depth, as well as an interesting perspective on the central rose.

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The Queen Mother wore the brooch a few times before her death, most notably for a trip to the ballet in Covent Garden on her 101st birthday in 2001. After she died, the brooch was bequeathed (along with all the rest of her jewelry) to the Queen.

Many of the Queen Mum's jewels took some time to appear on the Queen in public, and others still haven't been seen at all. But this brooch was worn by HM for an important moment only a few months after her mother's death. She chose it for her 2002 Christmas Broadcast, which included a tribute to her late mother and sister.


Two years later, she wore it for church services on Christmas morning at St. Mary Magdalene near the Sandringham estate. It was also her choice for Easter Sunday services at Windsor in 2007.


She has chosen the brooch for several prominent occasions. For her lengthy trip to the United States in 2007, the brooch was one of the jewels packed in her luggage. She wore it for a visit to the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

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And in March 2008, she selected the brooch for the annual Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey.

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In recent years, the brooch has been a colorful favorite for spring and summer garden parties. Here, she wears the brooch at Buckingham Palace in May 2013.

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The brooch made a pair of garden party appearances in 2017, with an outing at Buckingham Palace in May...


...and an appearance at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh that July.

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She also often chooses the brooch for one of her favorite events of the year: Royal Ascot. In 2012, she wore the brooch for the second day of the races, pairing it with a pale pink outfit.

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In 2016, she wore the brooch with a vivid salmon-colored ensemble for Day Four of the races.

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And, in a recent appearance, she pinned the brooch to a deep pink ensemble for Ladies' Day at the 2018 Ascot races.