The Treasury of Queen Elizabeth II: Five Rare Brooches Worn by the Monarch

Queen Elizabeth II not only loved pearl necklaces and earrings but also considered brooches an essential part of almost every outfit. Her Majesty had a vast collection of them in her jewelry box. Today, we’ll tell you about the most unusual ones that Her Majesty didn’t wear so often.


  • Maple Leaf Brooch
  • Marco Brooch
  • Flower Basket Brooch
  • Heart Brooch
  • Butterfly Brooch with Diamonds and Rubies
  • Queen Elizabeth II’s Jewelry (16 photos)

Maple Leaf Brooch

Королева Єлизавета II / © Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II / Photo: Getty Images

This adornment, dating back to 1901, was a gift received by Queen Elizabeth II’s grandmother – Queen Mary, when she and her husband King George V toured Canada. During their visit to Montreal, she was presented with this beautiful brooch in the form of a maple leaf branch, adorned with gold and enamel and encrusted with diamonds and pearls.

The centerpiece consists of six maple leaves, encrusted with diamonds. They are made of solid eighteen-carat gold and covered with exquisite enamel in delicate autumn tones.

Queen Elizabeth II inherited the brooch from her grandmother but wore it only twice, both times during her visit to Canada in 2010.

Shell Brooch

The brooch was crafted for Lord Courtenay-Thompson by Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Co. in 1919. It takes the form of a shell comb, entirely encrusted with diamonds, with a single pearl at its center, from which hang five diamond pendants, terminating in pear-shaped diamonds. It was inherited by his sister, the writer Winifred Hope Thomson, who passed away in 1944 and left the brooch to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, hoping it would be passed down from queen to queen. And so it did. Queen Elizabeth II inherited the brooch in 2002 after the death of her mother. The Queen loved to wear it at the Royal Ascot horse races.

Flower Basket Brooch

Королева Єлизавета II / © Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II / Photo: Getty Images

This adornment consists of a flower basket with diamonds and emeralds, containing a bouquet of diamonds, rubies, and sapphires. Princess Elizabeth received this brooch as a gift from her parents in 1948 to celebrate the birth of her firstborn, Prince Charles.

It is believed that the brooch was part of the Queen Mother’s collection, and she lent it to her daughter in 1939, but it was gifted to the princess only in 1948.

Heart Brooch

Queen Elizabeth II / Photo: Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II also wore the Cullinan V diamond brooch. This heart-shaped diamond weighs 18.8 carats and was cut from the Cullinan diamond — the largest rough diamond ever found. The first owner of the jewel was Queen Mary, the grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II, who wore the brooch as early as 1911.

Butterfly Brooch with Diamonds and Rubies

Королева Єлизавета II / © Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II / Photo: Getty Images

The butterfly brooch was a wedding gift to the Queen in 1947 from the widowed Countess of Onslow. The widowed countess was the sister-in-law of the 4th Baron Poltimore, who sold the Poltimore tiara at auction in 1959, purchased for Princess Margaret. By the way, this is the same tiara Princess Margaret wore when she married Antony Armstrong-Jones on May 6, 1960. Margaret bought it herself, and we’ve previously discussed more about the princess’s tiaras.

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