22 June 2012

The Amethyst Bouquet Brooch(es)

The Amethyst Bouquet Brooch ("original" brooch)
This brooch is often identified as one given to The Queen when she opened the Queen's Bridge in Perth, Scotland in 1960, but this is incorrect. The association is based on a description in Leslie Field’s book The Queen’s Jewels which reads as follows:
The brooch is a miniature flower bouquet with seven amethyst buds surrounded by white and yellow gold ferns and grasses, with a central group of twelve freshwater mauve-tinted pearls from the River Tay.
Though we do have seven amethysts present, the rest of the description doesn't fit and this is not a pearl brooch; the Perth bridge brooch is a separate piece (this one!). Where this particular brooch, a bouquet of seven amethysts centering flowers with diamond petals and stems, came from is unclear. The amethysts on the brooch I will call the "original" version appear to be set in yellow gold, with a white metal for the diamond settings.


About that "original" version: After being used more frequently in recent years, the "original" brooch disappeared from public appearances between March 2014 and October 2015. When it reappeared, it had changed, or so I (and others) though; I assumed that the original brooch had undergone a redesign. This is the "new" version:

The Queen wears the "new" brooch
The flowers and leaves are in different positions, there is a third small flower on the top, and the two largest amethysts are both pear-shape, rather than the mix of round and pear-shape stones in the "original" brooch.

The "new" brooch
The Queen appears to have proven me wrong about the redesign as of March 2018, however, when the "original" brooch reappeared. This seems to indicate that there are two nearly identical Amethyst Bouquet Brooches. The reasons and story behind the twins are, thus far, unknown.

Both apparent brooches are cataloged together on this entry, as they are bound to be confused for one another.

Appearances: 
6 March 2018: International Maritime Organization Anniversary
7 December 2017: HMS Queen Elizabeth Commissioning
7 April 2017: Lord Snowdon Memorial Service
23 February 2016: Elizabeth Line Unveiling
3 December 2015: Audiences at Buckingham Palace
12 October 2015: Rugby World Cup Reception
25 March 2014: Audiences at Buckingham Palace
23 January 2014: Sandringham Women's Institute Meeting
11 December 2013: Audiences at Buckingham Palace
21 November 2013: Visit to Southwark
14 July 2013: Around Windsor Castle
3 July 2013: Holyrood Week, Day 3: Visit to the Scottish Borders
30 May 2013: Coronation Bouquet Presentation
17 May 2013: Visit to Cornwall
20 April 2013: Newbury Races
27 February 2013: Royal London Hospital
6 January 2013: Church at Sandringham
5 December 2012: Queen's Medal for Music
22 June 2012: Royal Ascot, Day Four
2 May 2012: Visit to the South West, Day 2
8 January 2012: Attending Church in Norfolk
1993: Christmas Broadcast 
1992: Royal Maundy Service 

Photos: Pool/Getty Images/Crossrail Video Screencap