Everyone knows that the Queen must remain politically neutral at all times. But I wonder if there comes a day when she wants to stick it to the man — or the President of the United States, to be precise — in a subtle way? While we'll never really know the truth about her inner thoughts, a theory currently doing the rounds on Twitter argues that that's exactly what may have happened when the Queen and Donald Trump met for the first time on Saturday. Allow me to fill you in.
It was hard to miss the President's three-day trip to the UK, with protests through the country, an explosive front page interview, and Trump's tea and golf outings. Although the Queen agreed to meet the US President during his visit, as Head of State, she is not allowed to get involved with political matters; she does not have the right to vote, cannot stand for election, and certainly would not be allowed to give any thoughts on a Trump protest. However, a viral Twitter thread claims the Queen wore three brooches during Trump's visit and that each may have sent the world a very subtle message.
According to the posts by Twitter user @SamuraiKnitter, and based on the research of a blog called From Her Majesty's Jewel Vault, each of the jewel-encrusted designs Her Majesty wore had a very special meaning. She wouldn't be the first person in history to send messages with her jewellery: Madeleine Albright famously used her brooches, or "pins" as she calls them, to send political messages during her tenure as Secretary of State.
Now, obviously this is all completely unverifiable and should therefore be taken with a heavy pinch of salt, but let's dive into what Twitter thinks the 92-year-old Queen may or may not have been saying to Trump.
On the day of the President's arrival (Thursday), the Queen appeared in public wearing a pretty understated brooch. Known as the American State Visit Brooch, From Her Majesty's Jewel Vault reports that this flower design was actually given to the monarch by Barack and Michelle Obama as a personal gift in 2011. Crafted from 14 carat gold, it features subtle diamonds and moss agate.
This is where it gets interesting. For the Queen to wear a brooch that was given to her by a former American President on the day the new American President touched down on UK soil may be seen as pretty significant. As the Twitter user argues, the Queen could have chosen any brooch that day. But she "chose the most sentimental piece in the collection, the one that was given out of friendship with the Obamas." A counter argument might be that she simply wanted to wear something symbolising the UK's friendship with America, but given Trump's relationship with Obama, the thread suggests that it may be read as something more pointed.
The next day marked the meeting between the monarch and Trump. Although he reportedly kept the Queen waiting for more than 10 minutes, she managed to crack a smile when the President and First Lady finally showed up.
Friday's brooch stared Trump straight in the face but, of course, he wasn't to know its possible meaning. Made from diamonds and in a shape to resemble a palm leaf, it had a lot of history behind it. Most famously, the brooch was worn by the Queen Mother at the state funeral of her husband and the Queen's father, King George VI. The Queen inherited the mourning brooch in 2002, and some Twitter users are speculating that it was an attempt to throw some shade by association. It should perhaps be noted here that the blog also reports that it was one of the Queen Mother's favourite brooches, so perhaps its meaning is more positive to the Queen than this thread suggests.
On Saturday, the Queen was busy meeting and greeting people, including the King and Queen of Belgium. This time, she went for a much more noticeable accessory, choosing to pin the Sapphire Jubilee Snowflake Brooch to her chest.
And where did this stunning sapphire and diamond North Star-shaped design come from? Canada. Reportedly given as a gift to the Queen Mother, the brooch has previously been worn by The Queen herself and Kate Middleton. The Twitter user suggested why this particular choice was again so controversial, saying that Canada is the country that "Trump's been screaming about and insulting. The Commonwealth and one of the UK's greatest allies."
The reactions on Twitter to this extremely detailed, though entirely speculative, thread were predictably amusing. "This is fantastic. More exciting and thrilling than any action movie I've ever seen," wrote one fan.
Sadly, we'll never truly know what Her Majesty meant, if anything at all, but I'll continue to enjoy watching her sartorial choices nevertheless.