Irish Guards Brooch

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to our readers! Every year, a member of the Royal Family hands out shamrocks to the Irish Guards, often wearing this brooch to support the shamrocks on their lapel. We can expect to see it on the Duchess of Cambridge later today.

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Featuring a textured gold surface, the shamrock brooch features a small single emerald, and was reportedly made by Cartier. The brooch belongs to the regiment and is loaned out to the royal lady.

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While some say the brooch belonged to Queen Alexandra, the first royal lady who presented shamrocks to the Irish Guards, the Queen Mother was the first person photographed wearing the brooch, as early as the 1960s. She was the Colonel-in-Chief of the Regiment and handed out shamrocks until her death in 2002.

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From 2002 to 2011, it was Princess Anne who presented shamrocks to the Irish Guards on St. Patrick’s Day, always wearing this gold and emerald shamrock brooch.

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Since 2011, the Duke of Cambridge has been the Regimental Colonel of the Irish Guards,  with the Duchess accompanying him to the St Patrick’s Day Parade most years. The Duchess is the main wearer of the Irish Guards brooch these days, and rather than reserving it solely for the Parade, she has also worn it on engagements in Northern Ireland.


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