Our week-long survey of the jewelry legacy of the late Queen Mother continues today with a look at one of her most iconic jewel categories: brooches. The Queen inherited numerous brooches from her mother twenty years ago, and today, we’ve got a closer look at ten which have become particular favorites.
This intricate brooch features diamonds and eleven pearls. The piece originally belonged to Queen Victoria, who designated it as an heirloom of the crown. It was a great favorite of the Queen Mother, and in more recent years, it’s been worn with increasing frequency by the Queen, appearing in two recent Christmas broadcasts.
As the brooch’s name suggests, it was given to Queen Victoria in 1897 by the members of her royal household to mark her Diamond Jubilee. This brooch was also designated as an heirloom of the crown, but the Queen Mother fell in love with it and continued to wear it throughout her long widowhood. The Queen inherited the brooch in 2002, and she’s worn it on occasion since, both with and without its chain and pendant.
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.
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.
The Queen Mother commissioned Cartier to make the Palm Leaf brooch for her in 1938. The brooch features a classic Indian palm leaf motif, which has also become very recognizable as part of the famous paisley print produced in Scotland. The brooch was one of the Queen Mum’s favorites, and it has now also become a favorite of the Queen, who inherited it from her mother in 2002.
This fantastic diamond brooch, made by Asprey, was a gift from King George VI to the Queen Mother ahead of their 1939 tour of Canada. The Queen Mum treasured the brooch, which is made to resemble a leaf of the Canadian Sugar Maple, and wore it throughout her life. The Queen inherited it from her mother in 2002. Both women have often loaned the brooch to other family members visiting Canada, and the Duchesses of Cornwall and Cambridge have made memorable recent appearances in the piece.
The Queen Mother began wearing this witty sapphire and diamond brooch during her marriage, and she kept it in her collection for the rest of her life. The Queen inherited the brooch from her late mother in 2002. We don’t know much about its provenance, but the setting of the sapphire bow portion has always made me suspect that Van Cleef and Arpels may have had a hand in its construction.
This masterful brooch, which features a shell motif in diamonds studded with a single round pearl, was made in 1919 in London by the Goldsmiths and Silversmiths Co., Ltd. It was designed in part by Sir Courtauld Thomson, who was the son of a famous Scottish inventor. His sister, the writer Winifred Hope Thomson, ended up with the piece, and she left it to the Queen Mother in 1944. She treasured the piece, even wearing it on her 100th birthday. Now, the present Queen loves and wears the brooch equally frequently.
The Hibiscus Brooch, set with diamond and rubies, was given to the Queen Mother by the people of Australia in 1958. The Queen Mother was absolutely delighted with the gift, and she began wearing it right away. The Queen inherited the jewel from her mother in 2002, and she’s worn it occasionally in the years since. In 2018, it was a very appropriate choice for the annual Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey.
Queen Elizabeth II commissioned this unique brooch from Collins and Sons as a 100th birthday present for the Queen Mother in 2000. The brooch features a hand-painted Queen Elizabeth Grandiflora Rose on a background of rock crystal, surrounded by a frame set with 100 diamonds. The Queen Mother wore it until her death in 2002, and now it’s a favorite piece of the Queen, especially for springtime events.