Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II always makes meaningful and intentional jewelry choices. She has made many of her timely and significant jewelry selections nod to the love of her life. Her marriage to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh lasted over seventy-three years. They nearly achieved their double diamond or semi-sesquicentennial anniversary. Their relationship withstood the test of time, a feat that is a challenge even without the eyes of the world on you. There are assuredly many pieces of jewelry in her collection that hold significance, but there are some that are a quiet love song; that is beautiful.
PRINCE PHILIP: JEWELRY DESIGNER
Princess Alice of Battenberg realized that her only son was on the verge of proposing. She gave him her aquamarine tiara to create the engagement ring that started a dynasty. The tiara was gifted from Emperor Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra of Russia to Princess Alice on the occasion of her own marriage to Prince Andrew of Greece & Denmark in 1903. Prince Philip created not only the three-carat engagement ring but a bracelet that he presented as a wedding gift to his new bride. The ring and bracelet were created by Philip Antrobus, though Prince Philip was very involved in the design, in 1947.
Prince Philip followed those gifts with a sweet gesture: a gold bracelet engraved with their initials, “E” and “P”, for their fifth anniversary. They were both raised like most members of the royal family not to put their emotions on display; small touches like this hint at the closeness of their relationship. Jewelry was seemingly a vital part of their expressions of feeling for each other. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip had an incredible partnership through the years, including moments of adversity, but always seemed to emerge as strong and devoted as ever.
THE HONEYMOON BROOCH
Queen Elizabeth II was gifted a brooch in 1946 when she launched the oil tanker the British Princess. The sapphire and diamond Chrysanthemum Brooch has had a symbolic place in the Royal Marriage nearly since the beginning. It has long been dubbed the “Honeymoon Brooch” since it was photographed on then Princess Elizabeth’s lapel while on their Honeymoon in the Broadlands. She has since worn the brooch for several Anniversaries and other significant familial occasions. She was most recently seen wearing the Honeymoon Brooch while addressing the press on Commonwealth Day in March while her husband was in the hospital.
THE SCARAB BROOCH
The scarab brooch, designed by Andrew Grima, that Prince Philip gifted his wife and Queen is another that has made many significant appearances. The brooch is a spectacular explosion of gold, diamonds, and rubies. She wore the meaningful piece for her and The Duke’s official Platinum Anniversary portrait. Prince Philip gave Queen Elizabeth the Scarab Brooch in 1996, which is the measure of the longevity of their relationship, seems relatively recent.
THE RICHMOND BROOCH
The Richmond Brooch was originally gifted to Queen Mary in 1893 as a wedding gift from the town of Richmond. The brooch was created by Hunt and Roskell and consists of diamonds and two large pearls; a large center pearl and a detachable pear-shaped pearl drop. The pearl drop from this brooch spent some of its life as part of the famed Lover’s Knot Tiara. Queen Elizabeth II inherited the brooch when Queen Mary passed on in 1953. The Richmond Brooch has made appearances at multiple events that the Queen attended with Prince Philip, and is one of the largest pieces in the queen’s collection. Her Majesty was photographed wearing the brooch at several Festivals of Remembrance, as well as at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.)
The Richmond Brooch is the piece that the Queen ultimately chose to wear for Prince Philip’s funeral on April 17, 2021. The pearl drop was detached for the somber event but was a beautiful choice.
The Prince was a romantic in ways that weren’t always immediately evident to different audiences. Queen Elizabeth, however, has always felt his affection. She fell head over heels for him when she was only a girl of thirteen and has lived her life safe in his love and honored their relationship as much as she could. The Queen was required to prioritize her position that they always lived in the shadow of. She found ways to celebrate their love in ways that may have seemed subtle but were nevertheless meaningful and classy.
What pieces are your favorites from their love story? Please chime in and help us honor their incredible relationship.
Written by Kayti Kawachi