15 September 2019

The Queen Mother's Sapphire Flower Brooch


Our month-long celebration of sapphire brooches continues today with a look at a lovely example from Britain: the Queen Mother's Sapphire Flower Brooch.


The brooch features sapphires and diamonds set in a modern floral design. According to Leslie Field, the piece was given as an anniversary present to the Queen Mother by her husband, King George VI.


The Queen Mum wore the brooch throughout her very long life. Above, she sports the bauble at Cheltenham in March 1996, just after the running of the Queen Mother Champion Steeplechase.

Julian Herbert/ALLSPORT

She also wore the brooch at the races at Sandown Park in February 2001. The jewel was front and center on her blue coat as she presented the trophy for the Royal Artillery Gold Cup Steeplechase. (Also, don't miss that spectacular diamond tennis bracelet!)

Julian Herbert/ALLSPORT

One of her final appearances in the brooch came in March 2001, when she wore it to watch one of her own horses run in the Barclays Handicap Hurdle race at Sandown Park. She died almost exactly a year later, and she left the brooch to her surviving daughter, Queen Elizabeth II.

John Donegan-CHOGM via Getty Images

So far, the Queen has only made one prominent public appearance in the brooch: the opening of the 2011 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth, Australia. On that occasion, she paired the brooch with an outfit with navy accents, using the deep color of the sapphires to accent the dark blue embellishments.