01 April 2012

Sunday Brooch: The Maple Leaf

As we know, Queen Elizabeth's brooches often offer more than just pretty bling to look at; they're often symbolic as well. This is very true when it comes to the brooches in her collection the represent her Commonwealth realms.
The Maple Leaf Brooch
This diamond brooch in the shape of Canada's instantly recognizable maple leaf was given to Queen Elizabeth, the future Queen Mother, by her husband George VI in advance of their wildly successful Canadian tour in 1939.
Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother
The sizeable gem was a particular favorite during the war years, when she'd even perch it jauntily on her hat from time to time. She kept it until the end of her life, when it passed to the current queen like the rest of her jewels. We now see it pop up in Canada and at Canada-centric activities.
Queen Elizabeth II
The Windsors are not generally a family that does a lot of jewel sharing, which makes this brooch an interesting case. Queen Elizabeth first wore it in 1951, when her mother lent it to her for her first tour of Canada alongside her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, and she's now carried that tradition forward.
The Duchess of Cornwall
She loaned the brooch to the Duchess of Cornwall for her first tour of Canada with the Prince of Wales in 2009, and Camilla wore it several times during the trip.
The Duchess of Cambridge
The queen did the same thing in 2011, lending it to the Duchess of Cambridge for her first Canadian visit with her husband. The Duchess wore it on two separate outfits on Canada Day and again when departing the country.
A bit of sparkle in motion

It was not lent again to Camilla for her second Canada tour, for the Diamond Jubilee in 2012, so it may just be a treat for one's first Canadian trip only.

Photos: The Royal Collection/Queen Elizabeth II/Leslie Fields/Corbis/Daily Mail/Getty Images/Zimbio/Daylife