28 May 2020

Tournament of Brooches: Queen Mary's Richmond vs Russian Sapphire Cluster

Will it be the Richmond or the Romanov?

Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images, Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Queen Mary's Richmond Brooch vs The Russian Sapphire Cluster Brooch

Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

This diamond and pearl brooch was given to Queen Mary as a wedding present in 1893 by the town of Richmond, where she spent much of her childhood. The brooch, made by Hunt and Roskell, can be worn with or without a pearl pendant drop. The Queen inherited it in 1953, and she's worn it occasionally in the decades since. Her most prominent recent appearance in the brooch was the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in May 2018.

Franco Origlia/Getty Images

This exquisite diamond, gold, and sapphire cluster brooch originally belonged to Empress Marie Feodorovna of Russia, sister of Queen Alexandra. In 1934, Alexandra's daughter-in-law, Queen Mary, reportedly bought the brooch from Marie Feodorovna's daughters. The brooch was a great favorite of the Queen Mother, and in more recent years, the Queen has begun wearing it as well.

Coming up next: a sparkling necklace, and then some major tiaras!