10 July 2014

Queen Mary's Turquoise and Diamond Brooch

Several pieces of turquoise jewelry were gifted to Princess Victoria Mary of Teck (the future Queen Mary) for her 1893 wedding to The Duke of York (the future King George V). Included among gems such as the Teck Turquoise Parure, a gift from Mary’s parents, was this brooch with a turquoise center and an ornate scrolling diamond surround. The brooch was a gift from Mary’s new in-laws, the future King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. They were, at the time, the Prince and Princess of Wales.
Queen Mary's Turquoise and Diamond Brooch
The brooch most likely passed to The Queen with many other jewels on Queen Mary’s death in 1953. The Queen – seemingly not a fan of turquoise stones, based on her rare use of the turquoise pieces at her disposal – waited until 2014 to wear it in public, making this another case of an extraordinary jewel waiting decades for a proper showcase.

Note: Provenance was initially unknown after the 2014 appearance, and the brooch was referred to here just as the Turquoise and Diamond Brooch. Commenter Franck’s theory of this brooch’s provenance was confirmed at the Royal Jewels of the World Message Board by poster Beth in 2016, who located an illustration of the wedding gift. Sincere thanks to them both.

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Photo: PA