06 November 2015

The Queen Mother's Diamond Thistle Brooch

The Queen Mother's Diamond Thistle Brooch
Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother was fond of perching brooches on her hats, particularly in her earlier years. In the World War II era, she often did this with the diamond Maple Leaf Brooch that we know today from multiple royal Canadian tours. Another favorite from the same time period was this diamond brooch with two thistles, the emblem of Scotland.
Queen Elizabeth wearing the brooch on her hat, 1944
Photo: Malindine E G (Capt), War Office official photographer/Imperial War Museum/Crown Copyright
On The Queen, we usually see thistle brooches in Scotland and not frequently outside of Scottish engagements. But her mother seems to have taken a different view, at least in some cases; just as Queen Elizabeth did not restrict her use of the Maple Leaf Brooch to Canadian occasions, she did not restrict her use of the Diamond Thistle Brooch for Scottish occasions.
The Duchess of Cornwall
Photo: Governor-General of New Zealand Twitter/Crown Copyright
We can assume this brooch passed to The Queen when her mother died in 2002. The Queen already has a selection of thistle brooches at her disposal (this one, for example, or this one), so she passed on the thistle love by loaning it to The Duchess of Cornwall. The Duchess debuted the brooch on a trip to New Zealand in 2015, and I hope we'll see it at a broader range of engagements in the future. I can't help but think it is the prettiest thistle brooch I've seen from the royal vaults, and I would love to see it more frequently.

5 November 2015: Visit to New Zealand