Queen’s Grima Ruby Brooch

Today marks the 100th Birthday of the late Duke of Edinburgh, who passed away just a few weeks ago! The Greek Prince who became the hardworking longest serving Prince Consort of the longest-reigning Monarch in British History, the late Duke lived a long and fascinating life, with a strong interest in innovation and design. We have already covered the Queen’s Engagement Ring and splendid Wedding Gift Bracelet, both examples of the Duke’s royal heritage and artistic tastes, and to mark the day today, we are featuring the Queen’s Grima Ruby Brooch, also known as the Scarab Brooch!

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Featuring a carved ruby of an abstract design of gold frame sunburst set with large central ruby carved with overlapping petals encircled by six lesser size rubies cut as buds, all set with scattered diamonds, the Grima Ruby Brooch (called the Scarab Brooch by the Palace) was created by celebrated jeweller Andrew Grima, and acquired by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1966, part of the collection that won Andrew Grima The Duke of Edinburgh Prize for Elegant Design. Grima had gotten Royal Patronage after Lord Snowdon complained ‘that nothing interesting was going on when it came to jewelry’, and both brothers-in-law ordered many pieces for their families in the 1960s and 70s.

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The Queen was first pictured wearing her Grima Ruby Brooch for a visit to Bournemouth in 1966, and while she probably wore it often, we have been unable ti find another picture of her wearing the brooch until 2002, when it became a favourite, even being worn for the 2007 Christmas Broadcast, the day before Andrew Grima passed away.

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In recent years, the Queen has mainly worn the Grima Ruby Brooch for public engagements and countless audiences at Buckingham Palace, but a special apparence came in 2017, for a series of portraits taken to mark the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh’s 70th Wedding Anniversary. The Queen also wore her Grima Ruby Brooch for the annual Christmas Broadcast in 2018.

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More recently, the Queen wore the Grima Ruby Brooch as she visited the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory in Salisbury last October, her first official engagement outside of a Royal Residence since the start of the pandemic. On her first official engagement after the Duke of Edinburgh’s death last month, the Queen wore the Brooch to visit the company of HMS Queen Elizabeth in Portsmouth to bid them farewell ahead of the ship’s maiden operational deployment. Given its sentimental connection to the late Duke, there is no doubt we will continue to see the Grima Ruby Brooch for years to come!


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3 thoughts on “Queen’s Grima Ruby Brooch

  1. My favourite brooch in the Queen’s collection. I don’t like yellow gold but there’s something about this brooch that I love. I love the Grima site – everything is so unique and beautifully crafted.

    My other favourite is the Saskatchewan Tourmaline Brooch – another modern setting and quite beautiful.

  2. I have to admit that this is not a favourite of mine. But of course one cannot deny that it has some very sentimental value to the Queen and I am sure that she is very fond of it as she seems to use it quite frequently.

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