07 May 2020

Tournament of Brooches: Queen Mary's Russian vs Teck Emperor of Austria

A pair of imperial gifts face off in this brooch contest!

Jeff Spicer/Getty Images, CHRIS JACKSON/AFP via Getty Images

Queen Mary's Russian Brooch vs. The Teck Emperor of Austria Brooch

Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

This diamond and sapphire brooch was Queen Mary's wedding gift from her new husband's aunt, Empress Marie Feodorovna of Russia, in 1893. She bequeathed it to the present Queen in 1953, and HM has worn it fairly frequently in the decades since. She often pairs the brooch, with its distinctive sugarloaf sapphire, with outfits in vibrant shades of blue.

CHRIS JACKSON/AFP via Getty Images

This elegant diamond and pearl brooch, which can be worn with or without its chain and pendants, was a gift to the Duchess of Teck from Emperor Franz Josef of Austria-Hungary, who served as godfather to her third son, Prince Francis. The Queen inherited the brooch from her grandmother (and the Duchess of Teck's daughter), Queen Mary, in 1953. Notable appearances since have included the first photographs of the Earl of Wessex and state banquets in London and Berlin.

Another brooch contest tips off this afternoon!