20 May 2020

Tournament of Brooches: Albert vs Australian Hibiscus

A Victorian sentimental treasure faces off against an Australian floral gift...

Chris Jackson/Getty Images, KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH/AFP via Getty Images

Prince Albert's Brooch vs. The Queen Mother's Australian Hibiscus Brooch

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

In 1840, Prince Albert presented Queen Victoria with this gorgeous sapphire and diamond cluster brooch on the night before her wedding. She pinned it to her wedding gown the next day, and it's been with the main line of the royal family ever since. The Queen received this brooch with the rest of the crown heirloom collection in 1952 when she ascended to the throne, and she wears it regularly.


The Hibiscus Brooch, set with diamond and rubies, was given to the Queen Mother by the people of Australia in 1958. The Queen Mother was absolutely delighted with the gift, and she began wearing it right away. The Queen inherited the jewel from her mother in 2002, and she's worn it occasionally in the years since. In 2018, it was a very appropriate choice for the annual Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey.

Stay tuned for another brooch contest this afternoon!