02 April 2021

95 Years, 95 Jewels: Part 10 (March 1953)

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Queen Mary left nearly all of her important jewelry to her granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II, in 1953. Our celebration of the Queen's jewelry box continues with even more pieces from that inheritance!


As the piece's name suggests, this brooch was given by Emperor Francis Joseph of Austria to Queen Mary's mother, the Duchess of Teck, in 1870. The diamond and pearl brooch was a gift to mark the christening of Prince Francis of Teck, for whom the emperor served as a godfather. Prince Francis inherited the brooch from his mother, and when he died suddenly in 1910, the brooch (and the Cambridge emeralds) were famously inherited by his mistress, Lady Kilmorey. Hugh Roberts tactfully notes that the brooch was "retrieved" by Mary from Lady Kilmorey, and it was one of the many pieces that she bequeathed to the Queen in 1953.


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.

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This Victorian brooch was a wedding gift from King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra to Queen Mary in 1893. The diamond and turquoise brooch was later inherited by the present Queen, though she only began wearing it frequently in recent years. She most famously wore it for a public broadcast to the nation in the spring of 2020.

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This petite cluster brooch features a vivid pink gemstone (often described as a pink sapphire) set in a beautiful diamond frame. The brooch originally belonged to the Queen's grandmother, Queen Mary. In recent years, it has become one of the Queen's favorite brooches, appearing at palace audiences, Royal Ascot, and even one outing on Christmas Day!

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The third tiara that Mary bequeathed to her granddaughter was her lover's knot tiara, made in 1913 to resemble one once owned by Mary's grandmother, Princess Augusta, Duchess of Cambridge. The Queen wore this fairly frequently in the early years of her reign, and then later loaned it to Diana, Princess of Wales and to the Duchess of Cambridge.

We've got some sparkling earrings next, and more of the Queen's collection to follow!