27 July 2012

Queen Adelaide's Brooch

Queen Adelaide's Brooch
This brooch, like a good bit of the jewels created for King William IV's consort Queen Adelaide, was created by reusing other jewels (the couple were left to deal with the aftermath of the pure excess that was the reign of George IV and thus were a little more conservative). In this case, a Badge of the Order of the Bath belonging to George III yielded a large center diamond, six brilliants for the perimeter, and smaller stones to fill out the hexagon design.
Left to Right: Queen Alexandra, Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth (the future Queen Mother)
It was ordered by William IV (and is actually often known as the William IV Brooch) for his wife from Rundell jewelers, and originally served as a clasp for a pearl necklace. The brooch became an heirloom of the Crown, and has been passed down from queen to queen: from Adelaide to Victoria, Alexandra to Mary, and Elizabeth to Elizabeth II.
Queen Elizabeth II
This piece stands out in the Queen's collection because of its long history (much of her jewels for day-to-day wear originate from Queen Victoria's time or after) and because of its size. For day-to-day wear, this is especially large and diamond-packed. The Queen has worn it in the evening as well, it's just that sparkly.

10 October 2013: Visit from the King and Queen of Tonga
11 July 2013: Coronation Festival Gala
27 July 2012: Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics
2009: Commonwealth Day Observance Service
2006: Royal Maundy Service  
1999: CHOGM Dinner
1968: Chelsea Flower Show 

Photos: Leslie Field/Corbis/Getty Images