15 March 2020

Royal Shamrock Brooches

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With St. Patrick's Day coming up, I think it's the perfect time to enjoy a look at a few shamrock brooches in royal jewelry boxes, don't you agree?


Perhaps the most talked-about royal shamrock brooch today is the Irish Guards Brooch, currently worn by the Duchess of Cambridge. The textured gold brooch features a single emerald set in the center of its leaves. Kate wears it regularly to distribute shamrocks to the Irish Guards on St. Patrick's Day. Above, she's pictured wearing the brooch at Cavalry Barracks in Hounslow on St. Patrick's Day 2019.

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The Duchess of Cornwall can frequently be spotted wearing a lovely Diamond and Turquoise Shamrock Brooch. The petite bauble may have been one of the Queen's wedding gifts, but Camilla has been the piece's most frequent wearer. Above, she sports the brooch at the official opening of Lichfield Street Hub in Walsall in January 2020.

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The Queen's bottomless jewelry box certainly contains more than one brooch with shamrocks in the design, but perhaps the most striking is this Diamond Shamrock Brooch. Many believe that it was part of a set of national emblem brooches presented to her as a Diamond Jubilee Gift by the late Sultan of Oman. The brooch features a small bouquet of diamond shamrocks secured by an emerald ribbon. Above, she wears the brooch for a visit to St Paul's Church in Frankfurt am Main during the June 2015 state visit to Germany.

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One of my favorite royal shamrock jewels, Queen Mary's Emerald Shamrock Brooch, now belongs to Prince and Princess Michael of Kent. The jewel was likely one of Mary's wedding gifts, perhaps the trefoil brooch offered to her by the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dublin. The brooch was later passed along to Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, and then to her younger son. Above, Princess Michael wears the brooch at Royal Ascot in June 2011.


Queen Mary's collection also included this unique Conch Pearl Clover Brooch. This piece, which Mary usually wore with the point facing upward, is set with diamonds, a white pearl, a gray pearl, a golden pearl, and a pink conch pearl. Mary often pinned the jewel, which was made around 1865, to her hat. It was later given to her daughter, Princess Mary, whose descendants sold it at Christie's in Geneva in 1999.


The Brits aren't the only royals with shamrocks in their jewelry boxes. Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands wore this lovely Diamond and Sapphire Shamrock Brooch in November 2019 for a visit to the Foundation for Grandparents in Alkmaar.