This week, the Queen wore a pair of brooches for diplomatic audiences—and made a major statement about a world crisis in the process.
On Monday, the Queen received Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at Windsor Castle. Trudeau was in the United Kingdom for meetings with Boris Johnson and Mark Rutte, his British and Dutch counterparts, to discuss the ongoing Russian invasion in Ukraine.
The Queen’s mind was clearly on the people of Ukraine as well. She echoed their national colors, blue and yellow, in both her dress and the large floral arrangement in the background of the photograph. She also wore a vibrant blue jewel, Prince Albert’s Brooch.
The brooch was a gift from Prince Albert to Queen Victoria on the night before their wedding in 1840. She wore it for the wedding ceremony the following day, as depicted in this later portrait by Winterhalter. The brooch was one of Victoria’s treasures, and she designated it an Heirloom of the Crown in her will.
The Queen has worn the brooch regularly since she ascended to the throne in February 1952. Here, she wears the brooch for a garden party at Balmoral Castle in August 2012.
On Tuesday, the Queen conducted virtual audiences with a pair of diplomats. They were at Buckingham Palace; she spoke with them via video link from Windsor. Here, she receives credentials from the High Commissioner of India, Gaitri Issar Kumar.
And here, she receives Varuzhan Nersesyan, the ambassador from Armenia.
For these virtual audiences, the Queen wore a brooch that she’s owned for 75 years: the Diamond Clematis Brooch.
The diamond floral brooch entered the Queen’s jewelry collection in the spring of 1947. One of her most iconic outings in the brooch came that July, when she wore it for the official announcement of her engagement to Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark.
And she’s been wearing it ever since. Here, the brooch sparkles on her jacket during a commemorative service at the Scottish National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle in July 2014.