It tends to be the couture gowns and glittering tiaras that attract attention, but one underrated royal accessory carries real significance.
Indeed, it was in her choice of brooch, that the observers could guess at what was in the mind of the late Queen Elizabeth II.
The particular brooch she chose, mostly worn on the left, would tend to mark a connection with the person, country or organisation she was visiting – and in some cases would suggest the memory of someone close.
With her collection said to include more than 100 brooches, there was plenty of scope for a symbolic or meaningful.
Not that Queen Elizabeth was the only royal woman to understand the emotional potential that jewellery offers.
A younger generation, too, has embraced the royal ‘brooch code’ and its subtle meanings, with pieces now worn in tribute to the late Queen herself.
Queen Mother’s Shell Brooch
Queen Camilla honoured her predecessors by wearing the Queen Mother’s Shell Brooch to the opening day of Royal Ascot this year
The Queen Mother was pictured wearing the Scallop-Shell Brooch as she waved from a horse drawn carriage with her grandson Prince Charles in celebration of her 100th birthday in 2000
Formally known as the Courtauld Thomson Scallop-Shell Brooch, the piece takes the shape of a shell made of rows of diamonds and a single pearl cradled at the base. Strings of diamonds in varying lengths hang beneath.
It was designed by Courtauld Thomson, son of a famous Scottish inventor (creator the pneumatic tyre) and made in 1919 in London by The Goldsmiths and Silversmiths Co Ltd.
It was left to Queen Elizabeth, the future Queen Mother, in 1944 by Courtauld Thomson’s sister, Winifred Hope Thomson.
A prized possession, it was worn by the Queen Mother to mark her 100th birthday and was left to Queen Elizabeth II when her mother passed away in 2002.
The Queen Mother’s brooch was left to Queen Elizabeth II following her death. Pictured: At the unveiling of a new statue of The Queen Mother in February 2009
Her late Majesty was pictured wearing her mother’s brooch on several special occasions, including the unveiling of a statue honouring her mother and for her granddaughter Zara’s wedding to Mike Tindall.
Queen Camilla recently wore the Queen Mother’s Courtauld Thomson Scallop-Shell Brooch for her appearance alongside King Charles at Royal Ascot.
Queen Mary’s Sapphire Brooch
Queen Elizabeth II wore the Russian Sapphire Cluster brooch during a visit to St John’s College, Cambridge
The Russian Sapphire Cluster brooch was a favourite of King Charles’s great grandmother, Queen Mary.
It had been a gift to her in the summer of 1983 by her new husband’s Romanov aunt, Empress Marie Feodorovna of Russia.
The brooch, made at the end of the nineteenth century, features a large diamond and a large sugarloaf sapphire set in an unusual geometric scroll design.
Featuring 18 large diamonds and eight to 10 sapphires, the brooch holds an estimated value of $680,000.
In 1953, the sapphire brooch was passed to granddaughter Queen Elizabeth II, who wore the piece often.
Queen Camilla paid a subtle tribute to Queen Elizabeth earlier this year by wearing the sapphire brooch to a special service in honour of Commonwealth Day on March 13
For years it was also sported by The Queen Mother, as one of her ‘favourite pieces’, according to The Court Jeweller.
Earlier this year, Queen Camilla paid a subtle tribute to Queen Elizabeth by wearing the poignant brooch to the Commonwealth Day Service.
Gold Shamrock Brooch
Princess of Wales in her role as Colonel of the Irish Guard attendsthe 2023 St. Patrick’s Day Parade at Mons Barracks wearing the Gold Shamrock Brooch
The Queen Mother wore the brooch to a Service of Thanksgiving for the Irish Guards at the Guards Chapel
The Princess of Wales was first photographed with the shamrock brooch at the Victoria Barracks in June 2011 and has often worn it since.
The Cartier piece is in textured gold and features a single small emerald set in the centre of its leaves.
Yet it is thought the golden brooch does not actually belong to the Royal Family.
The brooch is believed to belong to the Irish Guards. According to The Court Jeweller website, the brooch ‘is loaned out to royal ladies who are associated with the regiment.’
Some historians speculate that the first owner of the Irish Guard brooch was Queen Alexandra, wife of Edward VII. It was she who began the custom of royals handing out actual shamrocks to the Irish Guard.
A shamrock-covered Princess Anne meeting the Irish Guard at the Wellington Barracks on St Patrick’s Day 2005. The gold shamrock brooch is visible behind the foliage
Kate wore the brooch at this year’s Trooping the Colour for the King’s birthday
But according to Up the Micks! An Illustrated History of the Irish Guards, a book which features a foreword by Prince William, the piece was a gift to Princess Mary, Countess of Harewood and Princess Royal (the only daughter of George Vf) by the regiment in 1961.
Following Princess Mary’s passing in 1965, the brooch was purchased by the regiment at an auction of her personal jewellery.
It has since been worn by the Queen Mother and by Princess Anne.
Kate wore the brooch at the Irish Guards St Patrick’s Day Parade with her bespoke turquoise Catherine Walker coat and a frilled heart-shaped fascinator costing £1,450 from Jane Taylor.
Most recently, Kate wore the brooch at Trooping the Colour for the King’s birthday.
Along with the golden brooch, the all-green ensemble suggested a nod to her role as Colonel of the Irish Guards – which she took over from her husband at the end of last year.
Prince Albert’s Brooch
Prince Albert offered the brooch as a gift to his bride-to-be, Queen Victoria, the day before their 1840 wedding. Pictured: Victoria painted in 1843 wearing the brooch
Queen Elizabeth II sheltering under an umbrella on day two of Royal Ascot at on June 19, 2019
The Prince Albert brooch was first introduced to the royal family when Prince Albert gifted the piece to his bride-to-be, Queen Victoria, on the day before their 1840 wedding.
The brooch features a sapphire surrounded by 12 round diamonds and is set in gold.
The maker is unknown, but it could have been manufactured in England or in Albert’s native Germany.
Queen Elizabeth wore the brooch for the first visit of President John F Kennedy and First Lady Jackie Kennedy in 1962
The Prince Albert brooch became such a favourite that Albert had similar versions commissioned for each of their five daughters, one of which was bought by the late Queen and worn by Princess Anne – pictured here
In her diary, she noted that Albert had given her ‘a splendid brooch, a large sapphire set round with diamonds, which is really quite beautiful.’
For her wedding the following day and for the next twenty years, Victoria wore her sapphire brooch regularly.
It became such a favourite that Prince Albert had similar Brooches commissioned for each of their five daughters, one of which was bought by the late Queen Elizabeth.
Victoria rarely wore the brooch after Albert’s death in 1861 but it remained a piece of great significance and it was one of the items that she designated as an heirloom of the Crown in her will.
Queen Camilla wore the sapphire brooch in Hamburg on the last day of their state visit to Germany in March
Jewels that are earmarked as ‘heirlooms of the crown’ are specifically intended for the use of queens regnant and consort in the United Kingdom. The brooch has been worn by all five of the women who have since held those positions: Camilla, Queen Alexandra, Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and Queen Elizabeth II.
Camilla wore the brooch in Hamburg on the last day of their state visit to Germany in March this year.
The late Queen Elizabeth also loved the brooch and wore it frequently, including appearances in Germany.
Prince of Wales Feathers Brooch
Catherine attending the Ceremonial Welcome at Horse Guards Parade for President Cyril Ramaphosa on the first day of his State Visit to the United Kingdom on November 22, 2022
Kate wore Queen Alexandra’s Three Feathers Brooch, otherwise known as the Prince of Wales brooch, for the first State Visit of King Charles’s reign.
Kate wore the the historic piece to welcoming South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa in November 2022.
The brooch features a diamond-encrusted Prince of Wales feathers emblem encircled with more diamonds, emeralds and rubies, The Court Jeweller website notes.
It dates back to 1863 when it was a gift to Queen Alexandra of Denmark on her marriage to the future King Edward VII, who was then the Prince of Wales.
Princess Diana, Princess of Wales attending a gala at the Vienna Burgh Theatre in 1986 wearing the brooch as a pendant necklace
The brooch, worn here by Camilla, returned to Queen Elizabeth’s collection following the death of Diana in 1997
Kate wore the brooch for the Commonwealth Day Service in March, attaching it to a navy peplum Erdem skirt suit.
Past Princesses have also worn the brooch, including Princess Diana and Queen Camilla.
Diana was given the historic brooch by the Queen Mother following her engagement to Charles.
She often wore the piece as a pendant on a necklace and was pictured wearing it at the Royal Opera House in 1982.
The brooch returned to Queen Elizabeth’s collection in the wake of Diana’s death in 1997.
Queen Camilla has worn it on a number of occasions.
Queen Elizabeth’s Canadian Maple Leaf Brooch
Kate accessorised a simple red Preen dress with the diamond Maple Leaf brooch for a reception at Government House in Victoria in 2016
The diamond Maple Leaf brooch, made by Asprey, was first given to the Queen Mother by her husband, King George VI, for their state visit to Canada in 1939.
Queen Elizabeth, later the Queen Mother, often wore the brooch during the Second World War, pinning it to her hat as she toured bombed areas of Britain and wearing it on her shoulder to visit an ammunition factory.
Her daughter, then Princess Elizabeth, wore the brooch for her first visit to Canada in 1951 when she stood in for her father who was unwell. The maple leaf is of course Canada’s national symbol.
Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, often wore the brooch during the Second World War, seen here wearing it to a midlands munitions factory in 1940
The late Queen inherited the brooch after her mother’s death in 2002 and wore the accessory for visits to Canada and at related events
The brooch was inherited by the late Queen in 2002 after the death of her mother and she later wore the accessory to events in Canada or those relating to the country.
Queen Camilla and the Princess of Wales have both been pictured wearing the brooch while visiting Canada.
Kate teamed the brooch with a Maple leaf red hat for her first official visit to the country in 2011, shortly after her wedding.
She also stunned in a simple red Preen dress, simply decorated with the brooch, for a reception at Government House in Victoria in 2016.
Hesse Diamond Jubilee Brooch
The women of the British royal family paid tribute to the memory of the late Queen by wearing symbolic pieces from the late Monarch’s jewellery collection for Queen Elizabeth’s funeral in September 2022,
Camilla wears the Hesse Diamond Jubilee Brooch for the Queen;s funeral
Queen Camilla opted for the Hesse Diamond Jubilee Brooch, which is a heart-shaped pin with the number 60 inside in Cyrillic numerals and is adorned with three cabochon sapphires.
The brooch had been a gift to Queen Victoria from her eight grandchildren on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee, celebrated June 22, 1897, to mark her 60-years on the throne.
Her record of 63 years was only broken by her great-great-granddaughter Queen Elizabeth, who celebrated 70 years on the throne at her Platinum Jubilee in June, months before she died.
Following the death of Victoria, the brooch, reportedly worth more than $20,000, lay in its box until recent years.
Camilla has worn the brooch for several events, including during state visits to Philadelphia in 2007, Japan in 2008 and Canada in 2009.
Welsh Guards Leek Brooch
One of the Welsh Guards Leek Brooch’s last appearances was the modified Trooping the Colour Ceremony at Windsor Castle in June 2020
Diana, Princess of Wales, wore a replica of the brooch
The original Welsh Guards Leek Brooch was designed for Queen Elizabeth II in 1960 using the drawings of the Welsh Guardsmen.
It was presented to the late monarch as a regimental gift and was funded by the guardsmen themselves who each paid 12 and a half pence.
It held a special place in Her Majesty’s heart and in the decades that followed the Queen made sure to wear the brooch at most events involving the Welsh Guards, one of its last appearances being the modified Trooping the Colour Ceremony at Windsor Castle in 2020.
There are several replicas of the popular brooch owned by other members of the Royal Family.
Catherine, Princess of Wales wears the leek brooch as she visits he 1st Battalion Welsh Guards at Combermere Barracks for the St David’s Day Parade on March 1
Queen Camilla wore a copy of the Welsh Guards Leek Brooch on her lapel as she accompanied King Charles on his first trip to Wales following the death of Queen Elizabeth
Princess Diana, who held the title of Princess of Wales, wore a replica of the brooch while watching a parade of the First Battalion of Welsh Guards in London in 1990, after being presented with the piece at some point in the mid-1980s.
Kate wore her brooch – possibly the original – as she joined Prince William at a St David’s Day military parade at the Combermere Barracks in March.
Queen Camilla wore a copy of the Welsh Guards Leek Brooch on her lapel as she accompanied King Charles on his first trip to Wales following the death of his mother in September 2022.
Stylistically, Kate and Camilla’s Diamond replicas are different from the one belonging to the late Queen and the one worn by Diana, however, they all hold the same significance.
Princess Charlotte arrived at Westminster Abbey last September with a delicate silver diamond horseshoe
Princess Charlotte wore her first piece of significant jewellery in public for the funeral of her late great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth.
Charlotte arrived at Westminster Abbey last September with a delicate silver diamond horseshoe pinned to the lapel of her black coat.
The brooch had reportedly been a gift from the Queen, and was a fitting nod to Her Majesty’s love of horses. The Princess of Wales previously revealed how her daughter, too, has inherited Her Majesty’s love of horses.
It was discovered that the brooch was identical to one owned by the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth, in the 1920s – having been a gift from her mother-in-law, Queen Mary.
The Queen Mother, who married King George VI, then Duke of York, in 1923, wore the brooch for a portrait taken in 1929.
Stick Insect Brooch
Her much loved Stick Insect brooch is said to be a gift from Major Bruce Shand, Camilla’s late father
While attending the procession of Her Majesty’s coffin from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall last year, Queen Camilla was spotted wearing a stick insect brooch.
The bug-themed piece is believed to have been from her personal collection, and the Queen has worn the brooch a number of times over the years.
The much -loved brooch is said to be a gift from Major Bruce Shand, Camilla’s late father, before she joined the royal family in 2005, and it holds an estimated value of £40,000 to £50,000.
It was reported that Camilla has worn the diamond sentimental brooch for memorials and any occasions to do with remembrance.
Gold Scarab Brooch
The Golden Scarab brooch was designed by Andrew Grima, noted as ‘The Father of Modern Jewellery’, and was given as a personal gift from the Duke to the Queen in 1966
While Queen had a huge collection of jewellery and brooches, the Scarab brooch, in, particular stood out by a mile in the eyes of the late Monarch.
The sentimental brooch features more than 20 carats of cabochon rubies, which are often associated with love, and are placed on a yellow gold setting, which makes the piece one of a kind.
Her brooch was designed by Andrew Grima, noted as ‘The Father of Modern Jewellery’, and was given as a personal gift from the Duke to the Queen in 1966.
She was first seen wearing it during an appearance outside Bournemouth Town Hall during that year, alongside Prince Philip. Her new brooch was pinned to a cornflower blue coat.
For one of its final appearances, the Queen wore the brooch gifted to her by Prince Philip, who passed away in April 2021, at his memorial service at Westminster Abbey
It appeared to be a favourite of the late Queen’s as she wore it on a number of occasions since then, including at the start of her Golden Jubilee tour in Falmouth in 2002.
The Queen wore the piece during official platinum anniversary portrait with Prince Philip in 2017.
Another special occasion on which she wore the brooch was for her appearance marking the 50th anniversary of her first televised Christmas message in December 2007.
Perhaps most notably of all, the Queen wore it to Prince Philip’s memorial service in in April 2021.
Diamond Strawberry Brooch
Sophie’s strawberry brooch coordinated perfectly with her dress which was embroidered with Lily of the Valley motifs during Queen Elizabeth’s funeral at Westminster Abbey
The Duchess of York made a heartfelt tribute to the late Queen during her funeral last year when she wore an elegant brooch with a strawberry motif.
The subtle design featured two black strawberries with silver diamonds.
Sophie’s brooch coordinated perfectly with her dress which was embroidered with Lily of the Valley motifs, the Queen’s favourite flower.
It had been suggested that strawberries were one of the Queen’s favourite fruits.
Crafted by the Bond Street firm Hunt and Roskell, the Diamond Richmond Brooch was reportedly a favourite of Queen Mary. Pictured: Queen Elizabeth wearing the brooch at the Royal Albert Hall in November, 2014
For Prince Philip’s funeral service on April 17, 2021, the Queen chose to wear the Diamond Richmond Brooch.
This was one of many pieces she inherited from her grandmother, Queen Mary, who died in 1953.
Among the wedding gifts of Princess Mary of Teck when she married Prince George in July 1893 was the large brooch, crafted of pearls and diamonds set in silver and gold.
The Diamond Richmond Brooch was a gift from the people of Richmond where Mary’s family lived for many years at White Lodge in Richmond Park.
Crafted by the Bond Street firm Hunt and Roskell, the piece was a favourite. Queen Mary loved mixing and matching the various ways of styling the piece. The the diamond-embellished pearl pendant was detachable.
The Diamond Richmond Brooch was a wedding gift to Princess Mary of Teck when she married George V. Pictured: Prince George and Princess Mary in 1897
For Prince Philip’s funeral service on April 17, 2021, the Queen chose to wear the Diamond Richmond Brooch
Unlike her granddaughter, Queen Mary regularly wore the piece as a necklace, and also wore the brooch without its pendant, placing the pendant alone in her hair.
The Richmond Brooch is one of the largest in Queen Elizabeth’s collection and she wore it on variety of key occasions, including meeting with Pope John Paul II in October 2000 and the May 2018 wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
While the brooch was particularly sentimental piece, having come from her grandmother, with whom the Queen shared a close relationship.
Diamond Swallow Brooch
For the Queen’s funeral, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, wore an intricate silver diamond-encrusted swallow brooch
For the Queen’s funeral, Sarah, Duchess of York, teamed her all-black ensemble with an intricate silver diamond-encrusted swallow brooch on the lapel of her coat.
Swallows were recognised as a poignant motif in Victorian jewellery, deemed a symbol of safety as legend dictates swallows meant land was nearby, helping sailors navigate their way home.
Fergie may have chosen this motif as a mark of respect for her former mother-in-law.
The swallow might also have gestured towards the Queen’s journey to heaven.
In Christianity, a swallow symbolises the Incarnation of Christ and his Resurrection.
Additionally, it could have been a reference to nature and the late Monarch’s love for the natural world and animals.
Queen Mother’s Hair Clip Brooch
The Cartier hair clip pair were believed to have been purchased by King George VI in the 1930s for the Queen Mother (pictured centre)
When Sophie, the Duchess of Edinburgh, married Prince Edward in 1999, she was gifted Art Deco Diamond Clip Brooches by the Queen Mother.
The versatile Cartier pair which can be worn as one or two separate pieces were believed to have been purchased by King George VI in the 1930s for the Queen Mother when she was still the Duchess of York.
Composed of round brilliant and baguette diamonds, the stones create a flowing petal shape that gives the allusion of a bow when the stems are joined together.
The Queen Mother often wore the clips on her hats in the 1930s, such as during King George V’s Silver Jubilee in 1935.
The Duchess of Edinburgh proudly wore the clip brooch at Royal Ascot on June 17, 2015
Sophie first wore the Diamond Clip Brooches for the Queen Mother’s 99th Birthday two months after her wedding to the now Duke of Edinburgh and also at her funeral in 2002.
The Duchess of Edinburgh has also been spotted wearing the brooch at Royal Ascot on many occasions.
Having been one of the few royal heirlooms personally owned by the Queen Mother’s, it was a mark of particular approval for Sophie wife of her youngest grandson.
For Prince Philip’s funeral in 2021, Lady Louise Windsor wore a carriage driving brooch, paying homage to their shared hobby
The Duke of Edinburgh’s granddaughter Lady Louise Windsor paid him a very personal tribute as she attended her grandfather’s 30-person funeral in Windsor in 2021.
Lady Louise enjoyed a close relationship with her grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh thanks to their shared love of carriage driving, a bond she demonstrated by wearing a carriage driving brooch – a memory of their shared hobby.
The daughter of Philip’s youngest son also wore the sentimental brooch at his service of thanksgiving in March 2022.
Snowdon Floral Brooch
Princess Margaret’s daughter, Lady Sarah Chatto transformed the brooches for her wedding to Daniel Chatto in July 1994
Three Diamond Floral Brooches were given to Princess Margaret by her first husband Antony Armstrong-Jones to mark their wedding in 1960.
Margaret wore them frequently, particularly for evening occasions.
They featured diamond-set petals and leaves set on branches.
Princess Margaret wears the brooch for the late Queen’s 60th birthday celebrations at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Sarah Chatto wore one of the pieces for her mother’s funeral in 2002 and for the late Queen Elizabeth’s funeral twenty years later (pictured)
Eight years later, Princess Margaret’s daughter, Lady Sarah Chatto transformed the brooches for her wedding to Daniel Chatto in July 1994.
Wartski combined them into a new floral tiara specifically for Lady Sarah to wear on her big day – although the individual brooches could still be used for their original purpose.
Lady Sarah has worn the brooches for special occasions, including for the Queen and Prince Philip’s golden wedding anniversary in 1997.
She wore one for her mother’s funeral in 2002 and for the late Queen Elizabeth’s funeral 20 years later.
Queen’s Diamond and Pearl Leaf Brooch
The Diamond and Pearl Leaf Brooch made its most notable appearance was on the Queen’s 73rd birthday in 1999, when she wore the brooch at a concert in Seoul, South Korea
The late Queen’s collection included more than 100 brooches, some of which went unseen or unworn for decades.
The Diamond and Pearl Leaf Brooch was among them until it was seen on Kate, the Princess of Wales, almost 20 years after its previous outing.
The stunning brooch features three pearls placed in the centre of a pave-set leaf, made partly from yellow gold.
Its most notable appearance from the Queen was on her 73rd birthday in 1999, when she wore the brooch at a concert during her visit to Seoul, South Korea.
Kate wore the Diamond and Pearl Leaf Brooch when attending the commemorations at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in 2017 in Ypres
Kate first wore the piece alongside Princess Diana’s diamond and pearl drop earrings for a trip to Belgium where she and her husband Prince William visited the Commonwealth War Graves Commisions’s Tyne Cot Cemetery in 2017.
The Princess of Wales also wore the brooch five years later at a special service to commemorate the start of the Queen’s lying-in-state at Westminster Hall.
Royal fans believed the Princesses choice of brooch may have been a tribute to the late Queen, given her love of pearls.
Queen Mary’s Celtic Knot Brooch
When Mary of Teck married the future King George V, in 1893, she received many lavish jewels, including the Diamond Celtic Knot Brooch.
The Brooch, set with a cabochon Emerald, was a gift to Mary from the Tsarevitch, the future Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, having been bought for 1,485 rubles.
Queen Mary was only photographed wearing her Emerald and Diamond Celtic Knot Brooch twice, for a portrait taken around 1898 and at the Chelsea Flower Show in 1929.
Following her death in 1953, the brooch was left to Queen Elizabeth II, who rarely wore it.
The Celtic Knot Brooch made an appearance when Queen Camilla donned the piece on a visit to the Coronation Garden at Newtownabbey in May
In 2014, Queen Elizabeth paired it with the Vladimir Tiara and Cambridge Emerald Parure for the first Irish State Banquet at Windsor Castle, and later in 2015 she wore the brooch for an audience with Ban Ki Moon during a visit to Malta.
One of its last sightings on the Queen was last year when it was worn as she arrived at Balmoral Castle, where she passed away that September.
Most recently, the Celtic Knot Brooch made an appearance on a different member of the Royal Family when Queen Camilla wore the piece on a visit to the Coronation Garden at Newtownabbey, at the start of a two-day visit to Northern Ireland in May.
Queen Victoria’s Wheat-Ear Brooches
A trio of mirrored pairs of brooches were given to Queen Victoria in 1837, having been ordered from Rundell & Bridge by King William IV for Queen Adelaide
They became Queen Elizabeth’s in 1952 on her ascension to the throne and were worn as both brooches and as hair ornaments in the place of tiaras
Queen Elizabeth wearing the brooches at a reception at the Ambassador’s residence on November 27, 2010 in Muscat, Oman
A trio of mirrored pairs of brooches were given to Queen Victoria in 1837, having been ordered from Rundell & Bridge by King William IV for Queen Adelaide three years prior.
The ears of wheat set in silver and gold feature stones from the family collection, but some had to be replaced when the King of Hanover won his claim for the return of Hanover jewels that had previously belonged to Queen Charlotte in 1858.
The brooches were often worn by Queen Victoria to embellish her clothing, including events such as the wedding of Prince Carl of Denmark and her granddaughter, Princess Maud of Wales.
After her death, the Wheat Ear Brooches, which are worth £70,000, were designated Heirlooms of the Crown, passed from Queen to Queen.
Princess Margaret wore the brooches on the lapel of her coat for a service at Huddersfield Parish Church in April 1953
Lady Sarah Chatto wore a Wheatear Brooch to attend a Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in 2022
The Queen Mother wore them to affix her Sash of the French Legion of Honour during the legendary State Visit to Paris in 1938.
They came into the possession of Queen Elizabeth in 1952 upon her ascension to the throne, and were worn as both brooches and as hair ornaments in the place of tiaras.
The Queen wore two of the wheat ears as brooches in November 2010 for a reception at the ambassador’s residence in Muscat during her visit to Oman.
The Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret also wore a Diamond Wheat-ear Brooch for a Ball at Hutchinson House in aid of the National Sports Development Fund in 1951.
In 2018, the Queen loaned three of the brooches to her granddaughter, Princess Eugenie, who wore them in her hair for the Wedding Dinner at Royal Lodge
She also paired them with the Cartier Halo Tiara for the Swedish State Visit to Britain in 1954 and on a Tour of the Caribbean in 1955.
In 2018, the Queen lent three of the brooches to her granddaughter, Princess Eugenie, who wore them in her hair for the Wedding Dinner at Royal Lodge, Windsor.
More recently, Lady Sarah wore the Diamond Wheat-ear Brooch for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Memorial Service at Westminster Abbey.
Royal Family Order
Queen Elizabeth designed her own Royal Family Order in the run-up to her coronation, which features a portrait of the monarch surrounded by diamonds
Kate wore the late Queen’s Royal Family Order for the State Banquet welcoming the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa in November
The first Royal Family Order instituted by a member of the British Royal family was that of King George IV, and women in the family were bestowed with the honour of wearing the brooch.
The badge consists of a portrait of the reigning sovereign set in diamonds, which is suspended from a ribbon in the colour of the Monarch’s choosing.
On the back of the portrait frame is an engraving with the sovereign’s monogram.
Queen Elizabeth designed her own Royal Family Order in the run-up to her coronation, which features a portrait of the monarch surrounded by diamonds and hangs from a pale yellow ribbon.
Queen Camilla also attended the state banquet and was spotted wearing the Royal Family Order
Sophie, the Duchess of Edinburgh, has also worn the Royal Family Order
Royal Family Order portraits made before 2017 were featured on hand-painted ivory, but have since been produced on glass.
For the State Banquet welcoming the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa in November Queen Camilla, Kate, and Sophie all wore the late Queen’s Royal Family Order.