Last week in Scotland, Queen Camilla made several stops in and around Selkirk, wearing a sparkling brooch with an intriguing heraldic design.
King Charles III and Queen Camilla spent last week in residence at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. This year’s Holyrood Week featured numerous royal engagements, including a service of thanksgiving at St Giles’ Cathedral and a palace garden party. On Thursday, the royal couple headed to Selkirk.
The couple’s stops on Thursday included a visit to Lochcarron of Scotland, a weaving mill that is a leading manufacturer of Scottish tartan.
They also headed to Galashiels to view the Great Tapestry of Scotland, an important and ongoing community art project that was begun a decade ago.
The tapestry uses traditional sewing techniques to tell the story of Scotland’s history from the end of the last ice age all the way to the 21st century.
A special new panel was added to the tapestry to commemorate the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla. The Queen herself was invited to add the final stitches to the panel.
Here’s a look at the coronation panel, which includes several personal references to the couple: her love of reading and her two rescue dogs, Beth and Bluebell, and his passion for fishing and his children’s book, The Old Man of Lochnagar.
For her visit to the Scottish borders, Queen Camilla wore a light blue skirt suit.
She accessorized with diamonds and pearls.
A gust of wind offered us a view of her favorite diamond and pearl drop earrings, which have a floral stud.
To her jacket, she pinned a small brooch in the shape of a crown.
It’s not just any crown: it’s a heraldic Tudor crown. Also known as the “imperial crown” (because it has arches and a monde), it’s been used as an official symbol of the British monarchy at two different periods of history: during the reigns of Edward VII, George V, and George VI (1901-1953), and now during the reign of Charles III. (Queen Elizabeth II used St. Edward’s Crown as the official symbol during her reign.)
Camilla’s brooch is a heraldic Tudor crown set with diamonds and a single emerald, ruby, and sapphire on the crown’s base. It matches the crowns used in the royal cyphers of Charles, Camilla, and their joint cypher—except in Scotland, where a heraldic representation of the Crown of Scotland is used instead. (Which, to me, raises an interesting question: why wear an English heraldic crown brooch in Scotland? I don’t have an answer to that.)
Queen Camilla has been wearing the small crown brooch in public since earlier this year. Above, she wears the brooch during a visit to Brick Lane Mosque in London in February.
And here, she wears the brooch for a reception celebrating her Reading Room initiative at Clarence House a few weeks later. I don’t believe we have any confirmed provenance information about the brooch—all of the estimates of the piece’s worth floating around the internet appear to have been supplied by a jeweler who wasn’t involved in the brooch’s creation. I find it hard to believe that anyone but Charles would give Camilla a brooch in the shape of a crown at this point, but maybe that’s a stretch? I’d love to know more!