Brooches are the perfect complement to the Queen's outfits, and
always striking. The Queen is said to have an extensive collection
of 98 brooches.
In May 1858 the royal jewellers were commissioned by Queen Victoria to create three 'bow' brooches made out of 506 diamonds. These were worn by Queen Alexandra and Queen Mary at their coronations, and by the Queen Mother and Queen Elizabeth (pictured above). A large pearl or diamond drop is frequently added to the brooches.
Another legacy from Queen Victoria is the Golden Jubilee brooch, a festoon design of diamonds with a pearl centre and a pearl drop hanging from a looped chain of diamond collets. It was a gift to Queen Victoria in 1897 from the members of her household in celebration of her Golden Jubilee. She left it to the Crown in 1901 and it came to Queen Elizabeth in 1936.
The Queen hit the headlines on the marriage of her grandson Prince William when she was photographed wearing a bow-shaped diamond brooch with pendant tassels, known as Queen Mary's True Lover's Knot Brooch - a symbolic choice.
The Cullinan V brooch is an unusual heart-shaped stone in a diamond and platinum setting. It was bequeathed to the Queen by Queen Mary in 1953. The Cullinan diamond, unearthed in 1905, was the largest diamond ever discovered. It was subsequently cut and the nine major gemstones remain in the possession of the royal family. Queen Mary had Cullinan III and IV, known as "Granny's chips" made into a single brooch with Cullinan IV hanging from Cullinan III. It is the most valuable brooch in the world.