It’s that time again, magpies: our countdown of the best royal jewels of the year has begun! For the rest of December, I’ll be sharing two posts a day featuring some of my favorite jewelry moments of the year. We’re starting things off with a look at two British royal brooches, hidden away for years, that reappeared in 2021…
On July 11, the Queen made an appearance at Guards Polo Club in Windsor to attend the Royal Windsor Cup polo match and a carriage driving display by the British Driving Society.
For the occasion, she did something rather remarkable: she wore a brooch that seems to have been hidden away in the recesses of the royal vaults for more than half a century!
This is the Vanguard Rose Brooch, which the Queen received in December 1944 when she launched HMS Vanguard. She wore the diamond floral brooch on occasion early in her reign, including her first public engagement as monarch. But it hadn’t been worn for quite a long time—perhaps as long ago as the 1950s. That is, until she wore it this summer in Windsor. Don’t you love a royal jewelry rediscovery?
In September, we were treated to yet another dramatic reappearance of a major royal brooch. The golden gown that the Duchess of Cambridge wore to the premiere of the latest Bond film may have stolen the show, but the Duchess of Cornwall pulled off some bejeweled fireworks of her own by wearing Princess Marie Louise’s Diamond Sunburst Brooch.
The large diamond brooch comes from the collection of Princess Marie Louise, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria—and, in fact, the brooch originally belonged to Queen Victoria herself. The complete piece also features a pendant section, which was not worn by Camilla for the film premiere.
Princess Marie Louise bequeathed the brooch to the Queen Mother in 1956. At the film premiere, Camilla became the first member of the royal family to wear the brooch in public since the Queen Mum’s death in 2002.
Stay tuned for more of our countdown of the Best Royal Jewels of 2021 later this afternoon!