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The greatly anticipated Platinum Jubilee celebrations that are set to take place the first weekend of June celebrating Queen Elizabeth II and her 70-year reign are sure to be fantastic affairs to watch—partly because we predict that the impending events are going to offer us great glimpses of special royal jewelry. These festivities, which will mark the first time in history a British monarch has served this long, will give the Queen a chance to show off several spectacular, sentimental brooches—one of her favorite jewelry pieces to wear—from her collection.
Trooping the Colour
The Queen is a creature of habit, and nearly every year since the 1980s, she’s worn the same brooch for Trooping the Colour: the Guards Brooch. The oval-shaped diamond brooch, topped with a tiny crown, features the badges of all five of the Foot Guards of the Household. The brooch is likely the same one worn by the Queen’s grandmother, Queen Mary, and it’s a lovely nod to the various regiments that participate in Trooping the Colour.
For the past two years, the Queen has chosen different jewels for the scaled-back Trooping the Colour presentations, which were held at Windsor Castle during the height of the pandemic. This year, though, as the Irish Guards troop the colour in London on Thursday, June 2, I’m hoping we see the Guards Brooch come out of the vaults again when the Queen appears on the balcony after the parade.
Service of Thanksgiving
The royal family will gather at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London for a service of thanksgiving for the Queen’s reign on Friday, June 3. If the Queen feels able to attend, I think it’s likely that we’ll see her wear a brooch that dates to the dawn of her reign. For her Golden Jubilee thanksgiving service in 2002, she chose the City of London Lily Brooch, which has been in her collection since 1947. The choice was a nod to the City of London, where the cathedral is located.
Ten years later, she paid tribute to the “diamond” part of her Diamond Jubilee by wearing perhaps her grandest diamond brooch: the Cullinan III & IV Brooch. The jewel features two of the largest stones cut from the incredible Cullinan Diamond. The Queen inherited the brooch in 1953 from her grandmother, Queen Mary, and she usually reserves it for major occasions (like a jubilee!).
For her Platinum Jubilee thanksgiving service, I think we’ll see her wear a brooch made of platinum. I’d love to see her choose the Flame Lily Brooch. The diamond and platinum jewel is the same one that she famously wore in 1952 when she arrived in London after becoming Queen. It’s been in her jewelry box for an astonishing 75 years.
This year’s Epsom Derby is a special one, designed as part of the Queen’s Jubilee tributes. Though none of her horses are running in this year’s race, I think we can expect to see the queen make a major effort to attend the event on Saturday, June 4. I’m hoping to see her wear a platinum brooch inherited from the late Queen Mother, who was also a huge racing fan. The Palm Leaf Brooch, a gorgeous 1930s Cartier diamond and platinum jewel with a paisley design, would fit the bill beautifully.
Lauren Kiehna is a writer and historian. She has been writing about royals from around the world since 2008, and has a daily blog called The Court Jeweller dedicated to royal jewelry.