15 February 2014

The Women of Hampshire Brooch

The Women of Hampshire Brooch
This diamond and pearl brooch, which was originally intended to be used as a pendant, was Queen Mary's wedding gift from the Women of Hampshire in 1893. A committee chaired by the Duchess of Wellington raised £775 and selected this pendant from Garrard. The piece features a large brilliant with a foliate spray above and three bell flower pendants below - thanks to those flowers, this is often referred to as the Harebell Brooch. Two pear-shaped diamonds and one baroque pearl hang from the flowers; they are all removable. (Hugh Roberts notes that, as with the Richmond Brooch, the pearl here was at one point in time used for the Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara, but was later returned.)
Queen Mary, left, and the Queen
Queen Mary used the pendant jewel as a brooch, and that is how it is used today. It passed to the Queen on her grandmother's death in 1953, and she wears it only occasionally.

Appearances:
26 March 2014: Audiences at Buckingham Palace
14 February 2014: Audiences at Buckingham Palace
1961: Commonwealth Visit to India and Pakistan

Photos: Leslie Field/Royal Collection/IDBS/Keystone