Celebrity Style

The Ultimate Guide To Queen Elizabeth’s Brooches

And the stories behind them.

Originally Published: 
Get to know the stories behind Queen Elizabeth's most memorable brooches, from her palm leaf brooch ...
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You don’t have to be a dedicated fan of the royal family to know that Queen Elizabeth’s brooches are legendary. The head of the British monarchy never steps out in public without one, and jewelry historian and founder of The Adventurine, Marion Fasel, has a theory about why. “She believes in jewelry in the traditional sense for the Royal family, which is that it is the pride of the nation to have this beautiful jewelry, so she’s always very wonderful about wearing them,” says Fasel. And the meaning behind each brooch is even more fascinating.

While Fasel cautions against assigning too much political significance to each Queen Elizabeth brooch — “I think she is too neutral to really do that” — there is a story of how each came into her possession. It could be as simple as the Grima Ruby Brooch that was a gift from her husband, Prince Phillip. Or more historically significant like the Prince Albert Brooch that he gifted to Queen Victoria on the night before their wedding.

And the Queen appears to wear each one with intention, affixing the chrysanthemum brooch, first worn on her honeymoon back in 1947, to honor Prince Phillip when he was in the hospital in 2020. Or even wearing the palm leaf brooch to greet Donald Trump during his UK visit in 2018 (take from that what you will).

If you allow yourself a deep dive into Queen Elizabeth II’s brooch collection, the history is eye-opening and the stories are endless. Ahead, learn everything there is to know about 15 of the Queen’s most iconic brooches — and the story behind each.


Queen Elizabeth’s Grima Ruby Brooch

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This brooch is quite dear to Queen Elizabeth II’s heart, as it was a personal gift from Prince Philip in 1996. Though she wears it often, the Queen perhaps most sentimentally chose this brooch for the couple’s official platinum anniversary portrait in 2017.

The brooch features a center carved ruby with yellow gold that radiates out from the center with six smaller carved rubies at the end and small diamonds sprinkled throughout. It was designed by Andrew Grima.


Queen Elizabeth’s Prince Albert Brooch

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This brooch is quite iconic, as it was Prince Albert’s gift to Queen Victoria the night before their wedding. It was her “something blue,” as it features a center oval-cut sapphire that is surrounded by 12 brilliant-cut diamonds, set in yellow gold.

It is also said to be the inspiration for the engagement ring worn by Princess Diana (and now Duchess Kate Middleton). Queen Victoria not only chose to wear this brooch on her wedding dress the very next day but she also wore it quite often in the decades that followed.

It was passed through the generations, worn by Queen Alexandra, Mary, Elizabeth I, and now Elizabeth II.


Queen Elizabeth’s Cartier Palm Leaf Brooch

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The Queen Mother commissioned Cartier to make this palm leaf brooch. It’s been worn on more somber occasions, including the funeral of the Queen Mother’s husband, King George VI.

For that reason, there was speculation that Queen Elizabeth wore it for Donald and Melania Trump’s UK visit in July 2018 as a snub.

It is crafted of marquise-cut and round-cut diamonds from the Queen Mother’s personal collection, set in a paisley motif.


Queen Elizabeth’s Flower Basket Brooch

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This brooch was given to Queen Elizabeth II by her parents in 1948, as a gift in celebration of the birth of her first child, Prince Charles. As such, she wore it for her first official portrait with her son.

In keeping with the tradition of celebrating those in the line of succession, it was also the brooch that she chose to wear to the christening of her great grandson, Prince George in 2013.

Set in yellow gold, the brooch is designed as a diamond and emerald basket that is home to a floral arrangement made of diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires.


Queen Elizabeth’s Williamson Diamond Brooch

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The Williamson Diamond Brooch is crafted in a floral shape boasting a pink diamond center stone and white diamonds that make up the petals and stem.

In addition to the center pink diamond, there are an additional 203 white diamonds — mostly brilliants, though also some baguettes — all set in platinum. The result is a flower that stands nearly four inches tall.

She has not only worn it to her Silver Jubilee, but also to the wedding of Charles and Diana, though it is now one of the most often seen brooches in her collection.


Queen Elizabeth’s True Lover’s Knot Brooch

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Though Queen Elizabeth II wears the brooch on many occasions, she does use it to signify love, having chosen i for both the weddings of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011 as well as the 1960 wedding of Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones.

The brooch is constructed of diamonds set in platinum, designed in a bow shape. Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth II’s grandmother, acquired the brooch from Garrard in 1932 and it was inherited by the Elizabeth II upon Mary’s death in 1953.


Queen Elizabeth’s Duchy Of Lancaster Brooch

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In addition to Queen, Elizabeth II also actually holds the title Duke of Lancaster, which has been a monarch title since 1399, regardless of gender.

The brooch mimics the Duchy’s coat of arms, which features a silver feather and gold lion, accented with diamonds, that stands on a banner that reads “Sovereyne.” The Queen wears this brooch when she visits Lancaster, but does not otherwise.


Queen Elizabeth’s New Zealand Silver Fern Brooch


This brooch was given to Queen Elizabeth II by the Auckland Mayor’s wife, Lady Allum, on Christmas Day 1953, on behalf of the women of Auckland. Queen Elizabeth II wore it to St. Mary’s Cathedral in Auckland on the day she received the gift.

The brooch features brilliant-cut diamonds set on a platinum silver tree fern, which is one of the most important emblems of New Zealand. As such, Elizabeth II actually loaned this brooch to Duchess Kate Middleton in 2014 during her trip to New Zealand.


Queen Elizabeth’s Cullinan V Diamond Brooch

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This brooch is made of the 18.8 carat heart-shaped cut (named for its rank as fifth largest cut from the rough), set in platinum with smaller diamonds surrounding it, connected by thin wires that radiate out from the center.

It was designed by Garrard in 1911 for Queen Mary to wear to the Deli Durbar and now belongs to Queen Elizabeth II.


Queen Elizabeth’s Centenary Rose Brooch

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This brooch was commissioned in 2000 as a 100th birthday gift for the Queen Mother from Queen Elizabeth II. It features a hand-painted rose on rock crystal, surrounded by an oval frame with a bow on top and features 100 diamonds in the full setting.

The rose depicted is actually the Queen Elizabeth Grandiflora Rose which was specifically bred to mark the Queen’s 1953 coronation. It was made by Collins and Sons at the time and inherited by Queen Elizabeth II upon her mother’s death in 2002.


Queen Elizabeth’s Maple Leaf Brooch

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This brooch was first owned by the Queen Mother. It was given to her by King George VI to mark their state visit to Canada in the Spring of 1939.

Designed by Asprey, it is crafted in a maple leaf shape and made up on brilliant and baguette-cut diamonds, transparent-set in platinum.

The shape was chosen due to the Canadian Sugar Maple’s position as the national emblem of Canada. Queen Elizabeth II now regularly wears it when visiting Canada or attending Canadian-related events in Great Britain.

As Elizabeth II borrowed it many times before her mother’s death, she loans it in the same way today, giving it to both Camilla Parker-Bowles and Kate Middleton.


Queen Elizabeth’s Boucheron Double Clip Brooch

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Designed by Boucheron, this set was a birthday gift for Queen Elizabeth II in 1944. Though she wears the brooch often, one of the more notable events that the Queen chose this particular piece of jewelry for was the Obama family’s visit to the UK in 2016.

This brooch is actually two separate clips sometimes worn as one horizontally, though more often than not, styled as a stacked vertical pair. Each clip is a semi-circle shape, featuring baguette and round cut aquamarines and diamonds in a concentric pattern.


Queen Elizabeth’s Turquoise And Diamond Brooch

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Turquoise is often said to be a symbol of luck and protection, which is perhaps why Queen Elizabeth II chose to wear this brooch for her televised Coronavirus address in April 2020.

It was gifted to Queen Mary in 1893, the day after her wedding to the Duke of York, the future King George V, by her new in-laws. And it is actually from the same jewelry collection as Meghan Markle’s wedding tiara, the Queen Mary Bandeau Tiara.

The brooch features a center cabochon turquoise stone surrounded by round-cut diamonds in a subtle floral garland pattern.


Queen Elizabeth’s Flame Lily Diamond Brooch

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This floral brooch is made of diamonds set in platinum and white gold. The shape is the flame lily, which is the national flower of Zimbabwe. Designed by Len Bell, a jeweler from Harare, and crafted in Johannesburg by Cartier-trained jeweler Eric Kippin at Sidarski and Son in 1947, it was commissioned as a 21stbirthday gift for Queen Elizabeth II (then Princess) by the children of Zimbabwe.

Upon her arrival on April 7, 1947, six children presented the brooch to the Princess. Five years later, Queen Elizabeth had the brooch with her in Kenya on February 6, 1952, when her father, King George VI, died.

She wore the brooch for the immediate trip home, and it was those photographs of the new Queen walking down the stairs of the plane that marked her as a monarch, even before the official coronation.

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