Queen Paola’s Ruby Flower Brooch

Happy Birthday to Queen Paola of Belgium, who turns 82 today! The stunning Italian Aristocrat who married a younger brother of the Belgian King, she eventually became the Queen Consort and is the mother of the current King of the Belgians. Having one of the smaller jewellery collections among her contemporaries, today we are taking a look at one of the most worn pieces in Queen Paola’s collection, her Ruby Flower Brooch.

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In 1959, Donna Paola Ruffo di Calabria received this diamond flower brooch with a large single ruby when she got engaged to Prince Albert of Belgium, the Prince of Liège, probably from her fiancee or from his father, King Leopold III. As the sister-in-law of the King, Princess Paola was one of the leading ladies in Belgium, but had quite a small jewellery collection, so this Ruby Flower Brooch was frequently worn both for daytime events as well as for gala occasions.

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The Ruby Flower Brooch continued to be worn after her husband’s accession to the Belgian Throne, and the piece was a favourite of Queen Paola for royal weddings, including the Wedding of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde in 1999. King Albert and Queen Paola celebrated their 60th Anniversary this year, and there is no doubt we will continue to see this brooch for years to come.


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