29 June 2020

The Tournament of Brooches: The Elegant Eight!


Welcome back to the Tournament of Brooches, everyone! I'm stealing an excellent phrase coined by my fabulous readers and dubbing this round "the Elegant Eight"! Let's recap the brooches that are still in the running...



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The Queen inherited this spectacular diamond brooch from her grandmother, Queen Mary, in 1953. The diamonds were part of the grand Cullinan stone given to King Edward VII in 1907, and the brooch was constructed by Carrington in 1911. Because the original stone was cut by a Dutch jeweler, the Queen often chooses this for occasions related to the Netherlands, including the Dutch state banquet in 2018. She also wears it for the grandest of her daytime outings, like the 2012 service of thanksgiving to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee.


Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse


This gorgeous aquamarine and diamond brooch dates to the Art Deco period. The Queen Mother began wearing it in the 1930s, and in 2002, she left it to the present Queen. HM debuted the brooch at Royal Ascot in 2014, and since then it's made numerous appearances, including an outing during her annual Christmas broadcast.


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.


BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images


This classic brooch, part of a larger suite of ruby and diamond jewels, was purchased by Queen Victoria from Garrard in 1854. The piece was originally set with opals, which were later replaced with these bright red rubies. The brooch was designated as an heirloom of the crown by Queen Victoria. It was a beloved piece of the Queen Mother, who continued to use it until her death. The present Queen made her public debut in the brooch at Royal Ascot in 2015.


CHARLES PLATIAU/AFP via Getty Images


This classic diamond flower brooch features one of the rarest flawless pink diamonds in the world, given to the Queen as a wedding present by a Canadian gemologist in 1947. Cartier finished the surrounding brooch during the coronation year of 1953, and the Queen has been wearing the spectacular piece regularly ever since. She's selected it for important portraits, major diplomatic visits, and two of her children's weddings.


Alastair Grant - WPA Pool/Getty Images


This magnificent diamond brooch features a distinctive heart-shaped diamond. That 18.8-carat stone, the Cullinan V, was one of the major diamonds that resulted from the cutting of the massive Cullinan Diamond. The stone is usually worn in this brooch setting, but was originally designed to be used in other jewels as well, including the Delhi Durbar stomacher and Queen Mary's Honeysuckle Tiara. Queen Mary wore it in her coronet for her son's coronation in 1937, but today, it remains in its brooch setting, worn frequently by the Queen.


RICHARD POHLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images


The brooch, which features diamond-set scrolls and sunrays in its design, is part of a suite of amethyst jewels that once belonged to Princess Viktoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, better known to history as the Duchess of Kent -- and the mother of Queen Victoria. The entire set was designated as an heirloom of the crown by Victoria. Three small loops at the base of the brooch allow a trio of petite diamond and amethyst pendants to be suspended from the bottom of the piece. However, the Queen usually wears the brooch without these pendant drops.


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.



And here's your brooch bracket! (Click to make it bigger!) Voting begins bright and early tomorrow, and we'll have tiaras and necklaces all week, too!