27 June 2020

A Royal Brooch Update

Toby Melville - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Like many of us, the Queen has been staying at home a lot recently. She's been at Windsor Castle, where she has continued to work privately with the help of a small staff. But because the Queen knows how important public appearances are to the continued success of the monarchy, she's still made an effort to connect with the larger world on several recent occasions -- and, because she's Queen Elizabeth II, she's worn some excellent brooches while doing so. Here's a recap...



The Royal Family


The Queen made a stirring address to the nation and the world in April from Windsor Castle, thanking essential workers for their services and encouraging everyone to stay steadfast in the face of crisis. For the occasion, she wore a brooch with a long family history. The diamond and turquoise brooch, made in the nineteenth-century, was Queen Mary's wedding gift from her parents-in-law, King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. The Queen has only begun wearing the brooch fairly recently, and its innocuous but regal presence made it a perfect choice for the speech. She wanted her words, not her clothing or jewelry, to make the bigger statement. 


The Royal Family


To mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe, the Queen reached for a pair of important and sentimental brooches. These diamond and aquamarine clips, made by Boucheron, were a gift from her father to mark her eighteenth birthday in 1944. She's been wearing them since the days of the war, and the decision to wear them for this special broadcast reminded viewers of her own longevity and of her relationship with the wartime monarch.


The Royal Family


The Duke of Edinburgh, rather incredibly, celebrated his 99th birthday in June. To mark the occasion, the palace released a brand-new portrait of the couple, taken at Windsor Castle. For the portrait, the Queen chose a brooch that is both suitably regal and appropriately sentimental: the Cullinan V Brooch, which features a central heart-shaped diamond.


Toby Melville - WPA Pool/Getty Images

The Welsh Guards Leek Brooch

The Queen's most prominent "public" appearance during this season came in June, when the Welsh Guards marked her official birthday with a scaled-down Trooping the Colour presentation on the grounds of Windsor Castle. The Queen was clearly delighted to see her troops again.


Toby Melville - WPA Pool/Getty Images

The Queen usually wears the Guards Brooch for Trooping the Colour, but this year, she paid special tribute to the Welsh Guards with her brooch choice. This small diamond brooch is shaped like a leek, one of the national emblems of Wales. The brooch was presented to the Queen by the Welsh Guards at least a half century ago, making it an especially appropriate choice for this moment. (A similar brooch is also owned by the Duchess of Cornwall, wife of the Prince of Wales.)