14 July 2019

The Bird of Paradise Jubilee Brooch

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Few things say sunny summertime like gold, diamonds, and flowers. Today's brooch, the Bird of Paradise Jubilee Brooch, has all three!




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The intricate gold and diamond brooch was a Diamond Jubilee gift to the Queen from government of Singapore in 2012. The piece is a traditional Peranakan-style brooch, made by Singapore-based jeweler Thomis Kwan. The brooch wasn't a commission; it was a stock item from Kwan's firm, made of yellow gold and set with 61 diamonds. An official from the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs purchased the brooch from Kwan's store, but he didn't learn until later that the piece was destined for the Queen's jewelry box.

Fun fact: the brooch's design is made to resemble a bird of paradise plant; that plant's scientific name is Strelitzia reginae, which was bestowed to honor one of the Queen's ancestors, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.


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The brooch is fairly large in terms of its circumference, but as you can see from this angle, it lays very flat against the surface of the Queen's coats, jackets, and dresses.


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The piece has become one of the Queen's favorite brooches over the past seven years. She often pairs it with brightly colored ensembles, like this sunny yellow jacket and hat from the Epsom Derby in May 2017...


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...or this lime green outfit and hat, worn for the first day of Royal Ascot a few weeks later in June 2017.


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In March 2019, she wore the brooch with a vibrant orange coat and hat for a visit to the Science Museum in London.


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And just a few days ago, the brooch coordinated beautifully with the vivid pink coat and hat that HM wore for a visit to the National Institute of Agricultural Botany in Cambridge.