Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Royal Focus: The Prince Albert Brooch

401511 18: Britains Queen Elizabeth II smiles at the crowds of well wishers lining the Waitemata Plaza walkway February 26, 2002 in Auckland, New Zealand. The Queen and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh are in New Zealand for six days before travelling to Australia on February 27. (Photo by Dean Treml/Getty Images)

This large oblong sapphire is surrounded by twelve round diamonds. It was given to Queen Victoria by Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha the day before their wedding. For their wedding she wore the brooch with a diamond necklace and earrings and always referred to the jewel as 'Albert's brooch'.

While Prince Albert was alive, Queen Victoria wore it constantly and inexpensive reproductions of it were made for those subjects who wanted to purchase a version of the brooch.  After his death in 1861 she rarely wore it. In her she instructed that it be considered a Crown piece of jewellery, held in trust for all future Queen consorts. Queen Alexandra wore it pinned to her shoulder for her coronation in 1902. Queen Mary wore it often, but Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother was rarely seen wearing it. The brooch is a favorite of the present Queen. Prince Albert made copies of the brooch for his daughters and the present Queen gave one of these to her daughter, Princess Anne.

© Marilyn Braun 2010

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