27 May 2012

Sunday Brooch: Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee

A Diamond Jubilee brooch for a Diamond Jubilee year today.
Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee Brooch
Among the presents received by Queen Victoria for her Diamond Jubilee in 1897 was a brooch from current and former members of her personal staff. Made by Garrard, the sizeable brooch features scrolls of diamonds around a large central pearl. The bottom chain of brilliants and pearl pendant are detachable.
Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother
Queen Victoria was delighted with her Household's gift - delighted enough to designate it as Crown property. Passing from queen to queen, it ended up in the hands of Queen Elizabeth, consort George VI and the future Queen Mother. It became one of her favorite brooches and was worn frequently; notable wearings include an outing for the 1947 wedding of her daughter Princess Elizabeth.
Queen Elizabeth II
The Queen Mother held on to this brooch until her death in 2002, at which time it passed to her daughter, Elizabeth II. The current queen has worn it just a few times since then, prefering to remove the bottom chain for day engagements and adding it back in for one evening outing. I'm quite surprised we haven't seen yet this year, being the queen's Diamond Jubilee year and all. Perhaps we'll see it this coming weekend, for the main jubilee celebrations?

As a side note, Queen Elizabeth has received at least two brooches so far this year to commemorate her own Diamond Jubilee.
Left, the Canadian regimental tribute; right, the Chelsea Flower Show brooch
The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery gave their Captain-General a gold and platinum brooch featuring their regiment's symbol over a maple leaf with a "60" in the center. The brooch has 60 diamonds as well as a sapphire, emeralds and rubies. Recently, the Royal Horticultural Society presented her with another special jubilee trinket at the Chelsea Flower Show: a £40,000 white gold iris brooch with a large yellow diamond in the center, 60 sapphires, 15 diamonds, 20 amethysts, and 30 tourmalines. We've yet to see her wear either; a safe bet would be her next engagement with the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery and next year's visit to the Chelsea Flower Show.

Photos: The Royal Collection/Corbis/Daylife/Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery/Kristjan Eyjolfsson