14 April 2013

The Kensington Bow Brooch

The Kensington Bow Brooch
Perhaps the least stylized design in the Queen’s collection of bow brooches is the Kensington Bow Brooch, yet another item from the collection of the late Queen Mary. The Kensington Wedding Gift Fund committee presented Princess May of Teck with this brooch from the inhabitants of Kensington at her home at White Lodge, Richmond, as a gift to mark her 1893 wedding to the Duke of York, the future George V. Made by Collingwood & Co., it consists of two rows of diamonds set in silver and gold tied in a bow around a single large diamond, with a detachable pavé-set baroque pearl pendant.
The brooch can be seen on the drawing of some of Mary's wedding gifts, and on her bodice as she's dressed for the 1897 Devonshire House Ball marking the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria
Mary was born at Kensington Palace and spent much time there throughout her life, and she paid special attention to her gift. She wore it for both the coronation of King Edward VII and her own coronation with King George V. The Queen inherited the brooch in 1953.
It’s used often as an evening brooch, for securing a sash at the shoulder and as a companion to the other diamond and pearl jewelry the Queen uses. As with her other bow brooches, it also does duty for remembrance occasions as a clasp for the traditional poppies. She usually leaves the pearl pendant on, but has worn the brooch without the drop.
This one also has a particularly sad use in its past: she wore the brooch at the Queen Mother’s funeral in 2002, seen above on the far right.

Appearances:
1982: State Visit from the Netherlands
1978: State Visit to Germany
1972: State Visit from Germany
1965: State Visit to Germany   
1958: State Visit to the Netherlands
Various Years: Remembrance Events

Photos: Royal Collection/Leslie Field/Corbis/APL