This month, we are marking the Bicentenary of the Birth of Queen Victoria by featuring her Top 20 Jewels, one for each decade since the Birth of 2nd-longest reigning British Monarch, in the 20 days leading up to the Anniversary itself, and today’s feature is her 11 Pearl Brooch.
Featuring eleven large pearls, eight in an elaborate diamond setting with three more as pendants, Queen Victoria owned this brooch which she designated as an heirloom of the Crown upon her death in 1901.
While Queen Victoria was only pictured in the 11 Pearl Brooch once, it became a favourite of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, and was retained by her after her husband’s death and her daughter’s accession. She wore the brooch well into her old age, including some of her last Birthday celebrations and her last Easter Service.
The Brooch came into the Queen’s possession (it was legally hers as the incumbent of the Crown, but as we have seen, she allowed her mother to retain quite a few pieces until her death), in 2003, and was publicly debuted in her 2009 Christmas Broadcast, after which it has been worn quite often, including her 2016 Christmas Speech.