Happy St. David’s Day, honouring the patron saint of Wales! To mark the day, we are featuring a royal heirloom with a special connection to Wales, and its emblem of the leek, specifically tied to the illustrious Welsh Guards, which has been worn by the Queen for decades: her Welsh Guards Leek Brooch!
In the 1960s, the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards presented a Regimental Gift to the Queen, with each guardsman paying 12c and a half pence. The Diamond Leek Brooch is identical to the cap badge of the Welsh Guards and was debuted at a presentation of the colours to the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards in the grounds of Buckingham Palace in May 1965.
The Queen has primarily worn the Welsh Guards Leek Brooch at events related to the Welsh Guards, through the 1970s to recent years, with a notable appearance at a presentation of New Colours to the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards at Windsor Castle in 2015.
In 2020, for the modified Trooping the Colour Ceremony at Windsor Castle, the Queen watched the parade of a small group of Welsh Guards march and troop their colour, accompanied by a diminished group of the massed Bands of the Household Division. To mark the occasion, instead of her usual Guards Badge, she wore the Welsh Guards Leek Brooch, reflecting the significance of the event during the pandemic.
The Prince of Wales has been the Regimental Colonel since 1975, and both the late Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have worn smaller but separate versions of the Diamond Leek Brooch, with a notable appearance of both Brooches on both the Queen and Duchess in 2015.