29 April 2020

Tournament of Brooches: Teck Flower vs London Lily

Will it be the floral heirloom or the '40s lily?

PA Images/Alamy, Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The Duchess of Teck's Flower Brooch vs. The City of London Lily Brooch

PA Images/Alamy

This lovely antique diamond floral brooch, with its distinctive chain and pendants, comes from the Teck branch of the royal family. It's possible that it has an even longer royal legacy, perhaps from Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester (a daughter of George III). In 1923, the Queen Mother received it as a wedding gift from her husband, King George VI, who received it from his mother, Queen Mary. The Queen Mum wore the brooch faithfully throughout her long life -- in the Christmas appearance above, she's 100 years old! Since inheriting the brooch, the present Queen has only worn it once publicly: for a portrait taken by her former brother-in-law, Lord Snowdon.

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

This classic diamond lily brooch was presented to the then-Princess Elizabeth in 1947 when she received the Freedom of the City of London. She's worn it regularly in the seven decades since, especially for spring occasions like garden parties, Easter Sunday, and Royal Ascot. The brooch also made a very prominent appearance in 2002, when the Queen wore it for the service of thanksgiving at St. Paul's in celebration of her Golden Jubilee.

Another brooch contest is coming up later this afternoon!