Queen’s jewels: Bow Brooches belonged to Victoria but symbolise Elizabeth’s long reign

Queen Elizabeth exits state coach during 1953 coronation

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Queen Victoria’s Bow Brooches are a collection of diamond brooches which Victoria often wore when she was monarch. Now, Queen Elizabeth regularly wears one of the brooches, pairing it with colour-block outfits for various royal engagements. Due to the simple shape and colour of the brooch, it goes with anything.

Her Majesty not only has a vast brooch collection, but it is also one of the most impressive selections in the world.

It is thought that the monarch has up to around 100 brooches, with special ones on regular rotation.

Charlotte White, Head of Design at 77 Diamonds, Europe’s largest online jeweller, commented on the Queen’s much-loved jewels.

She said: “The Queen’s spectacular and extensive collection of brooches spans world-record breaking, historical and sentimental pieces.

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“There are several priceless brooches owned by the Queen that are steeped in history and you could say these jewels attest to the sheer wealth and power of the British monarchy.”

Some of Her Majesty’s brooches date back to before Elizabeth was born, while others were given as gifts to the Queen in recent years.

A collection of brooches from the latter category are Queen Victoria’s Bow Brooches.

These brooches are a trio of jewels that Queen Victoria had made in the mid-1800s.

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According to The Court Jeweller, in 1858, Queen Victoria’s jewellery box went through an unexpected transformation.

All the jewels which once belonged to her grandmother, Queen Charlotte, were given to her cousin, the King of Hanover.

Victoria lost several valuable pieces, including a set of diamond bow brooches.

She therefore had a trio of jewels made to replace them, following the same design and shape.

The brooches were made to resemble ribbon bows and they all vary in size, from largest to smallest.

At the turn of the twentieth century, Victoria designated the brooches as “heirlooms of the crown”, meaning they will continue to be passed from monarch to monarch for generations to come.

Queen Elizabeth II received the brooches in 1952, and she has worn them regularly since – always just one on its own, on her right or left lapel.

Her Majesty has chosen to wear one of the bow brooches for numerous significant occasions.

One such occasion was the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997.

The Queen wore a black jacket and matching skirt for her former daughter-in-law’s funeral, and accessorised with a black belt, scarf, and hat, as well as three strings of pearl necklaces and the bow brooch.

Another symbolic occasion was the day where Elizabeth surpassed Queen Victoria as Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.

Her Majesty’s decision to wear one of the bow brooches on September 9, 2015, meant the trio of jewels will forever be associated with long-serving queens.

On the historical day, Queen Elizabeth wore the silver brooch with a two-tone turquoise and royal blue outfit.

Her woollen coat had a large collar, buttons, and pockets, while her matching hat had a floral trim and a ribbon tied round its centre.

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