Wednesday, July 06, 2011

So, where do you wear a diamond polar-bear brooch anyways?

Many years into the future, and a young woman steps onto Canadian soil. This is her first visit. The first in line to the throne, she has her mother's style and her father's blond hair. On her lapel she wears a polar bear brooch. Journalists of the day rush to research this unusual piece. Canadians are flattered that she is paying a subtle compliment to them. After all, her mother, great-grandmother and great-great grandmother had done the same before her.

So, where did this striking piece come from?

Way back 2011, when her parents (now King and Queen) went on their first tour of Canada, her mother was presented with this brooch. A Harry Winston pave polar bear silhouette beneath a semi-circle representing the northern lights. A lovely memento of their visit. As the years go by, Catherine will wear this brooch on future visits to Canada and loan it to her daughter; heiress apparent to the throne (succession laws having been changed by this point).  

Wearing jewels given during previous visits is a royal tradition. It's difficult to gauge exactly when it started but there is a certain charm in knowing that this gift is not gathering dust in the vault. Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother was given a maple leaf brooch, which was worn many times by her daughter, the Queen. Her daughter-in-law, William's mother, rarely wore brooches herself and it does not appear that she wore this piece on her own Canadian visits. Instead she seemed to prefer wearing red and white - another royal tradition.

William and Catherine's daughter will also be given her own jewels, representing something exclusive to Canadian history and culture. Yet another striking jewel, which will have limited fashion appeal outside of the country that gifted it to her.  She will then wear it on subsequent visits of her own, eventually loaning it to her own daughter. And so the royal tradition will continue.

Right now if you're wondering, where do you wear a diamond polar-bear brooch?

During future visits to Canada.

© Marilyn Braun 2011

Thank you for enjoying this article. If you use the information for research purposes, a link to credit the work I've put into writing it would be appreciated.

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