Princess Marie Louise’s Diamond Sunburst Brooch

Today marks the Anniversary of the Death of Princess Marie Louise, the fascinating granddaughter of Queen Victoria who married and divorced a German Prince, and later became a Princess ‘of nowhere’. To mark the Anniversary, we are taking a look at her Diamond Sunburst Brooch.

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Featuring rays of diamonds radiating from a central diamond cluster, with a smaller pendant, the Diamond Sunburst Brooch was among a series of diamond stars Princess Marie Louise received as wedding gifts upon her marriage to Prince Aribert of Anhalt in 1891, and this brooch originated from Queen Victoria, who received the diamond star and pendant upon her accession, and recorded in her diary that Princess Marie Louise wore “her mother’s wedding veil, and the diamond stars I gave her, pinned in amongst the wreath”. The Brooch remained with Princess Marie Louise after her divorce, and she continued to wear it for years afterwards, most notably at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 and a series of portraits taken by Cecil Beaton. She even loaned it to her sister, Princess Helena Victoria for the Wedding Ball of Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Princess Ingrid of Sweden in 1935.

Embed from Getty Images

After her death in 1956, Princess Marie Louise left most of her jewels, including her Cartier Indian Tiara to her godson, Prince Richard, the Duke of Gloucester, while others were inherited by the Queen and Lady Patricia Ramsay. The Diamond Sunburst Brooch, however, was inherited by the Queen Mother, who wore the brooch for the French State Visit in 1960 and for a family portrait released to mark the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh’s Silver Wedding in 1972. The Diamond Sunburst Brooch was inherited by the Queen in 2002, and has not yet made a reappearance on the Queen or the Duchess of Cornwall, though let’s hope we get to see it at the upcoming Diplomatic Reception at Buckingham Palace.


HMJV | HRFJC | Royal Magazin

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