16 May 2012

The Queen Mother’s Shell Brooch

The Queen Mother's Shell Brooch
This brooch has made a sudden surge of appearances on the Queen in the last decade. And why wouldn’t it, really, the thing’s just lousy with diamonds. The Queen Mother’s Shell Brooch (official name: the Courtauld Thomsen Scallop-Shell Brooch) is, unsurprisingly, another gem out of the late Queen Mother’s jewel box that has found a new home amongst the Queen’s trinkets. It takes the shape of a shell made of solid rows of diamonds with a single pearl cradled at the base and strings of diamonds of varying lengths suspended underneath.
Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother
It was designed by Lord Courtauld-Thomsen and was made in 1919. It was left to Queen Elizabeth, the future Queen Mother, in 1944 by his sister, Winifred Hope Thomsen. The Queen Mother wore it often; most notably, she wore it during her 100th birthday celebrations.
Queen Elizabeth II
From all the jewels the Queen inherited when her mother passed away in 2002, this is one that has made it into regular rotation. It’s had several memorable outings, including the unveiling of the Queen Mother’s statue, Zara Phillips’ wedding, and the 60th anniversary of King George VI’s death. It seems to be not just a tribute to her mother, but something she actually likes.

Appearances: 
11 April 2014: State Visit from Ireland, Farewell
22 June 2013: Royal Ascot, Day Five
14 May 2013: Order of Merit Service
16 May 2012: Visit to the North West, Day 1 
30 March 2012: Memorial Service for the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret 
6 February 2012: 60th Accession Anniversary 
2011: Christmas Service 
2011: State Visit from Turkey, Arrival 
2010: Visit to Canada 
2008, 2009: Royal Ascot
2008, 2010: Easter Service

Photos: Rex/Getty Images/BBC