16 June 2019

Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee Brooch

The Queen Mother wears Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee Brooch in Cambridge, June 1969 (Jim Gray/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Today, we've got a look at a classic royal brooch that has been a favorite of more than one generation of the British royal family: Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee Brooch.




Queen Victoria's official Diamond Jubilee portrait, taken four years before the actual event, in July 1893 during the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of York (Wikimedia Commons)

As the brooch's name suggests, it was given to Queen Victoria in 1897 by the members of her royal household to mark her Diamond Jubilee. The jewel was made in that year by Garrard. Hugh Roberts describes its design as "of scrolled and pierced foliate design, pave-set with brilliants, with pearl centre surrounded by brilliants in cut-down collets, suspending a detachable loop of brilliants with pearl drop." Victoria wore the brooch for a state dinner during the jubilee festivities, and she went on to designate the piece as an heirloom of the crown. That means that it passes from monarch to monarch, and it was subsequently in the collection of Queen Alexandra and Queen Mary.


Queen Elizabeth wears the brooch at Princess Elizabeth's wedding, November 1947 (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

In 1936, the brooch was passed to Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the queen consort of King George VI. The brooch became one of her very favorite jewels; Roberts notes that she wore it "more often than any of her other brooches." She chose it for several early important family events, including both the engagement portrait session for Princess Elizabeth and her wedding in 1947.


The Queen Mother wears the brooch in London, August 1960 (CENTRAL PRESS PHOTO LTD/AFP/Getty Images)

As an heirloom of the crown, the brooch should have passed to Queen Elizabeth II on her accession to the throne in 1952. However, the Queen Mother kept it in her jewelry box for another half century, wearing it often. Above, she sports the brooch for a lovely family portrait featuring baby Prince Andrew and his elder sister, Princess Anne, in 1960.


The Queen Mother wears the brooch during a school visit, July 1961 (R. Viner/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The brooch was a favorite for everyday wear for the Queen Mum. Above, she wears the brooch for a visit to a school in 1961, gamely carrying on with the engagement even as she dealt with an injured foot.


The Queen Mother wears the brooch at the Epsom Derby, May 1963 (Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

She also often sported the brooch for one of her favorite activities: visits to the races. Here, she wears the brooch at the Epsom Derby in 1963...


The Queen Mother wears the brooch at the Epsom Derby, 1991 (Chris Cole/Allsport/Getty Images)

...and again for the same event in 1991. The Queen, standing beside her, is wearing her Sapphire Chrysanthemum Brooch. (More on that piece here!)


The Queen Mother wears the brooch for celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the Allied victory in Europe, May 1995 (ANDREW WINNING/AFP/Getty Images)

Throughout her long life, the brooch was a constant fixture in photographs of the Queen Mother. She chose it for an important World War II commemoration anniversary in 1995.


The Queen Mother wears the brooch for Trooping the Colour, June 1999 (JOHN STILLWELL/AFP/Getty Images)

And for Trooping the Colour in June 1999, when she was just shy of her 99th birthday.


The Queen Mother wears the brooch on her 99th birthday, August 1999 (JONATHAN UTZ/AFP/Getty Images)

She selected the brooch to wear for her 99th birthday celebrations that August, pinning it to a buttery yellow outfit.


The Queen Mother wears the brooch on her 101st birthday, August 2001 (Sion Touhig/Getty Images)

She even wore the brooch for her very last birthday celebrations: her 101st birthday in 2001.


The Queen wears the brooch for a dinner at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto, July 2010 (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

When the Queen Mother passed away in 2002, the brooch finally arrived in the Queen's jewelry box. Although she's kept some of her late mother's jewelry in the vaults (or loaned it out to other family members), the Queen has worn the Diamond Jubilee Brooch on multiple occasions. One memorable outing came in the summer of 2010, when she wore the brooch with a spangled maple leaf gown during a tour of Canada.