Happy Birthday to the Duchess of Kent, who turns 86 today! One of the longest-working members of the Royal Family, who has been largely retired for the past two decades, the Duchess once had access to an illustrious jewellery collection, which we have featured previously, and much of which has been modified or sold. However, today’s piece is an heirloom that is reportedly still with the Duchess.
The ‘oblong diamond brooch with a square cluster centre and link ends’ was given by Queen Mary as a wedding gift to Princess Marina of Greece, who first wore the piece on her wedding dress, later on her hat when departing for her honeymoon, in a portrait after the Duke’s death, and most prominently at her hip to fasten the Sashes of the Royal Victorian Order and the Order of Saints Olga and Sophia.
After her death in 1968, the Art Deco Brooch was inherited by her eldest son, the Duke of Kent and worn by his wife, the Duchess, who wore the piece more often than her mother-in-law, usually with Queen Mary’s Diamond Crochet Bandeau which later became the Kent Pearl and Diamond Fringe Tiara, but also on her Sash of the Royal Victorian Order. The Art Deco Brooch was worn by the Duchess up until she retired from public duties in 2002, though it reportedly still belongs to her and is waiting for a debut on her daughter, daughters-in-law, or granddaughters.