Today, the Queen celebrates her 96th birthday, surrounded by loved ones at Wood Farm on the Sandringham estate. We’re continuing our birthday tribute today with the final article in our three-part series on 96 of her glittering royal brooches. Enjoy!
This diamond fringe brooch, which was once a part of a much larger corsage ornament, originally belonged to Queen Victoria. Made by Garrard in 1856, it features diamonds presented to Victoria by Sultan Abdul Mejid I of Turkey earlier the same year. The brooch was inherited personally by King Edward VII, and then it was passed as a personal jewel from Queen Alexandra to Queen Mary and then to the Queen Mother. The present Queen inherited the brooch in 2002, and she’s worn it for both day and evening occasions since. Here, she wears the jewel for the commemorations of the 70th anniversary of D-Day in France in June 2014.
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. In the photograph above, the Queen wears it in March 2015 for a service of commemoration for troops who were stationed in Afghanistan.
As the brooch’s name suggests, this jewel was given to Queen Victoria in 1897 by the members of her royal household to mark her Diamond Jubilee. Victoria later designated the brooch, which was made by Garrard, as an heirloom of the crown. The Queen Mother especially treasured the brooch, wearing it until her death in 2002. The Queen has worn it occasionally since, including a memorable bejeweled appearance in Canada in 2010. Above, she wears the brooch in Toronto during that 2010 royal tour.
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 (pictured above).
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. Here, she wears the jewel at the Canadian Museum of Nature in 2010.
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. Here, she wears the brooch at the Vatican in April 2014.
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. In this photograph, the Queen wears the brooch for Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill in Ottawa in 2010.
This diamond jewel, which some have nicknamed the “foot-long brooch” because of its unusual length, actually measures just under seven inches long. The piece was made in 1939 by Cartier, a favorite jewelry firm of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom. The Queen inherited the brooch from her mother in 2002, and she’s worn it on occasion in the years since. Above, she wears the brooch for a state banquet during the South African state visit in March 2010.
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. Here, the Queen wears the jewel for a service at Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh in June 2019.
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. In this photograph, the Queen wears the brooch as she opens Westminster School’s new Sports Centre in London in June 2014.
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 (pictured above), and since then it’s made numerous appearances, including an outing during her annual Christmas broadcast.
According to Leslie Field, these aquamarine clips arrived in the Queen Mother’s collection in the 1930s, when she was still Duchess of York. She wore them for years, on gowns, jackets, and hats. They were inherited by the Queen in 2002, and she wears them on occasion. In this photograph, she wears them for a reception held for the Royal Life Saving Society at Buckingham Palace in November 2016.
The Queen Mother acquired these ruby and diamond floral clip brooches from Cartier in the 1940s, and she wore them both separately and together. She kept the brooches in her collection until the end of her long life in 2002. They were inherited, along with the lion’s share of her jewels, by her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II. She has worn them on occasion, one at a time, in the years since. Here, she wears one of the brooches in King’s Lynn on Christmas Day in December 2009.
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. The Queen wears it here for a visit to RAF Valley, where Prince William was stationed, in April 2011.
This petite diamond and pearl scroll brooch was a part of the bequest from Mrs. Greville to the Queen Mother in 1942. Mrs. Greville commissioned the Art Deco brooch from Cartier in 1929. The Queen inherited it from her mother in 2002, and she wears it occasionally now—usually upside down, with the drop pearl pointing upward! Here, she wears the jewel in March 2016 at the London Zoo.
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, like this appearance at Royal Ascot in 2016.
To mark her Golden Jubilee in 2002, the Braemar Royal Highland Society presented the Queen with this special eagle’s feather brooch. She has worn the brooch, which is made of white and yellow gold, silver, and platinum, every year for the Braemar Highland Games since she received it. Here, she wears it for the gathering in September 2010.
This brooch, appropriately, was given to the Queen by President Mogae of Botswana in 2007. The gold and diamond jewel is made to resemble a delicate sheaf of sorghum, which is Botswana’s main crop. The Queen wears it on occasion. Above, she wears the brooch for the Royal Maundy service at Leicester Cathedral in April 2017.
This modern brooch features swirling designs engraved in polished sterling silver. The spiral design is inspired a famous triple-spiral (or “triskelion”) pattern, part of the prehistoric art carved on the entrance stone at the Newgrange monument in County Meath. The jewel was commissioned by President Mary McAleese of Ireland from an Irish jewelry designer, Declan Killen, and given to the Queen during her 2011 state visit to the republic. She wears it above during that visit.
This intricate gold and diamond brooch was a Diamond Jubilee gift to the Queen from government of Singapore in 2012. The piece is a traditional Peranakan-style brooch, made by Singapore-based jeweler Thomis Kwan. The yellow gold and diamond brooch is designed to resemble a bird of paradise plant. It’s become a favorite of the Queen in recent years. She wears it above during a visit to the National Institute of Agricultural Botany in July 2019.
This modern jewel is a new addition to the Queen’s collection. The white gold and diamond brooch, which is shaped like an iris, was designed by Kristjan Eyjolfsson, an Icelandic jewelry designer who works in the UK. The piece was commissioned specifically for the Queen by the Royal Horticultural Society as a Diamond Jubilee gift. She often wears it for the annual Chelsea Flower Show, including this appearance in May 2015.
A newer addition to the Queen’s jewelry vaults, this diamond and ruby brooch features a Tudor rose in its design. Many believe that the brooch was part of a set given to HM by the Sultan of Oman as a Diamond Jubilee gift in 2012. She wears it here at a Christmas Day church service in King’s Lynn in December 2014.
The Queen’s bottomless jewelry box certainly contains more than one brooch with shamrocks in the design, but perhaps the most striking is this Diamond Shamrock Brooch. Many believe that it was part of a set of national emblem brooches presented to her as a Diamond Jubilee Gift by the late Sultan of Oman. The brooch features a small bouquet of diamond shamrocks secured by an emerald ribbon. Above, she wears the brooch for a visit to St Paul’s Church in Frankfurt am Main during the June 2015 state visit to Germany.
Many believe that this sweet diamond floral brooch may have been one of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee gifts. The piece features three yellow daffodil blossoms set on white diamond stems/leaves. The daffodil is one of the national symbols of Wales, and the Queen wore the brooch in a portrait commissioned by the Welsh Rugby Union. She wears the brooch here at Royal Ascot in June 2019.
89. The Eternal Dove Brooch
This diamond, gold, and platinum brooch was gifted to the Queen by the British Jewellers’ Association to mark her Diamond Jubilee in 2012. Its design was inspired by the Sceptre with Dove, part of the crown jewel collection, and it also features the four flowers of the United Kingdom: the rose, the thistle, the daffodil, and the shamrock. The Queen wore it for a Christmas Day service at King’s Lynn in December 2012, shortly after receiving it.
One of the newer additions to HM’s brooch collection, this floral jewel was a gift from Mappin and Webb to mark the 60th anniversary of her coronation in 2013. The firm crafted the unique orchid brooch from Waterford crystal, diamonds, and rose gold. One of its most important appearances so far came in 2014, when the President of Ireland made a state visit to the United Kingdom (pictured above).
This vibrant modern brooch was a Diamond Jubilee gift to the Queen, presented by the Lieutenant-Governor of Saskatchewan in 2013. Made by Rachel Mielke of the Canadian jewelry firm Hillberg and Berk, the brooch is made of white gold set with Madagascar tourmalines, diamonds, and a single freshwater pearl. The Queen reportedly “gasped” when she received the brooch, and she’s made it a part of her regular rotation. Here, she wears it at Royal Ascot in June 2014.
92. The Emerald Sarpech Brooch
The Queen debuted this emerald and diamond brooch at Royal Ascot in June 2013. The brooch, which reportedly dates to the 1920s, is made to resemble a traditional sarpech, a traditional turban ornament worn in parts of Asia. So far, the Royal Ascot outing is the Queen’s only public appearance in the brooch.
In the spring of 1947, the then-Princess Elizabeth was presented with five diamonds when she opened the new Graving Dock in East London, South Africa. The five diamonds, which include two distinctive half-moon shaped stones, were later set in this classic brooch. The Queen has been wearing it with increasing regularity in recent years, often at events related to the Commonwealth. Here, she wears the jewel at Bellarena Railway Station in Northern Ireland in June 2016.
94. The Diamond and Pearl Navette Brooch
This lens-shaped diamond and pearl brooch was first worn in public by the Queen at a Buckingham Palace garden party in May 2016. Many have guessed that it might have been one of her 90th birthday presents. She has worn it on numerous occasions in the years since.
This striking floral brooch was designed by Bob and Lucy Price and made by Bronte Porcelain, a now-shuttered business in Malvern. The flowers depicted in the design of the porcelain and diamond brooch have been variously described as both lily of the valley and snowdrops. Here, the Queen wears the brooch in Celle on the final day of her 2015 state visit to Germany.
This snowflake-inspired brooch, made by Canadian firm Hillberg and Berk, is set with diamonds and rare sapphires from Baffin Island. Governor-General David Johnson presented the brooch to the Queen to mark her Sapphire Jubilee in 2017. The Queen has reached for the brooch often since she received it, wearing it for events like garden parties, church services, and even Royal Ascot in 2019 (pictured here).
And that’s our survey! Of course, the Queen owns many more brooches. Which other ones would you have added to this list?