Happy Birthday to Lady Glenconner, who celebrates her 91st Birthday today! The daughter of the 5th Earl of Leicester and Lady Elizabeth Yorke who grew up at the magnificent Holkham Hall, was a Maid-of-Honour at the Queen’s Coronation, and married the eccentric Baron Glenconner who developed Mustique, later becoming Princess Margaret’s Lady-in-Waiting, and now a bestselling Author, Lady Glenconner has lived a varied life, often wearing spectacular jewels, which includes this Diamond Bow Brooch!
A striking modern Diamond Bow Bow pave-set with Diamonds, the provenance of the piece is unknown but it has ben worn by Lady Glenconner since the 1980s, and she writes:
I have a gorgeous sparkling brooch in the shape of a bow. I consider it lucky and it always gives me a boost when I wear it.”
During her 30 years of service as the Lady-in-Waiting to Princess Margaret, Lady Glenconner was often photographed wearing the Diamond Bow Brooch with her Diamond Rivière in the background of many photos of the Princess on official engagements.
The Diamond Bow Brooch was also notably worn by Lady Glenconner with her Diamond Star Tiara for a portrait taken in 1983, with other Maids of Honour at the Queen’s Coronation.
Lady Glenconner also wore the Diamond Bow Brooch to the Wedding of her third son, the Hon. Christopher Tennant. Wedding to Anastasia Papadakos in 1996. Christopher had suffered severe brain damage in a motorcycle accident and has been in a coma for months before being nursed back to health by Lady Glenconner.
In 2013, Lady Glenconner wore the Diamond Bow Brooch to a Service marking the 60th Anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation, which an ‘ER’ Brooch given by the Queen on the Coronation day pinned to her hat.
Since publishing her memoir ‘Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown’, Lady Glenconner has become a bestselling Author and has often been on TV in recent years, including a notable appearence on the Graham Norton Show.
Lady Glenconner has also written about wearing the Diamond Bow Brooch for her 90th Birthday last year.
“At my Ninetieth birthday party this summer I sat under the statue of the goddess Diana, the one that belonged to Cicero many centuries ago, in the Long Gallery at Holkham. She is an old friend, at least two thousand years old, and, like everything in the Gallery, she reminds me of my grandfather, and the time we spent talking together there about the treasures of Holkham, and him introducing me to great classical music on his huge old gramophone.
For the day, Johanna’s daughter, Jessica, had made wreaths for all the statues in the gallery to wear, and I was in my new dress and lucky brooch, so we were all looking our best. Cicero’s Diana might be a good deal older than I am, but we have both witnessed a lot of history, so I loved having her watching over my shoulder as I celebrated.”
In recent months, while Lady Glenconner did not wear the Brooch for the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla, she has worn it often for interviews about the Coronation and for the promotion of her fourth book ‘Whatever Next?: Lessons From an Unexpected Life’. She has written about wearing the Brooch for events in recent years:
“I’ve always enjoyed making an effort and if I’m going out to speak at an author event, I like to wear something that stands out. I might choose a smart and colourful dress with a bit of a shine to it. Years ago, I bought some long skirts, all the same but in different colours, and I can dress them up with a sequined top. I also have a gorgeous sparkling brooch in the shape of a bow. I consider it lucky and it always gives me a boost when I wear it.”