Worn by the Queen for the lighting of the Jubilee beacon at Windsor Castle in June earlier this year, the Queen‘s silver, wreath-like brooch is thought to be the last piece of jewellery she was ever gifted. But what is the meaning behind the jewel?
The Queen wore the unique brooch, which is now placed on public display at the Goldsmiths’ Fair in London, to light the Platinum Jubilee beacon at Windsor Castle’s quadrangle in June.
The brooch was pinned to the late monarch’s bright turquoise coat, which featured buttons and large, stylish pockets.
Her Majesty completed the look with her iconic three-stranded pearl necklace.
The brooch had special significance because it represented the nations of the UK.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Zak Stone, managing director of jewellers Steven Stone, said: “Commissioned by the Goldsmiths’ Company for her Platinum Jubilee, the Queen’s wreath-like brooch is incredibly poignant as it’s likely to be the last jewel that was gifted to the Queen.
“It looks to be 18 carat white gold – though given the occasion, the intricate piece could be made of platinum. It’s worth noting that it’s incredibly difficult to make this kind of piece with platinum, though not impossible.
“Set with princess cut and round brilliant diamonds, it’s one of the late monarch’s most symbolic brooches as it pays homage to the four nations of the UK, which are represented by four diamond swirls and their national flowers – the rose, the thistle, the daffodil and the shamrock. It also features the touching addition of her favourite plant – Lily of the Valley.”
The rose represents England, the thistle Scotland, the daffodil Wales, and the shamrock Northern Ireland.
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Zak continued: “This brooch isn’t the first that the Queen wore to pay tribute to the four nations of the UK.
“The Sultan Quaboos Bin Said of Oman gifted her four diamond brooches that represent the national emblems of the UK for her Diamond Jubilee in 2012 – boasting delicately beautiful craftmanship and fine detail, they have a combined value of £187,000.”
The jewellery expert added that the wreath-like brooch is, however, worth a little less.
“I’d estimate the Goldsmiths’ Platinum Jubilee Brooch to be worth approximately £40,000,” he said.
It is poignant that the Lily of the Valley should feature in the brooch, alongside the other flowers.
Back in 2019, the Royal Family confirmed that it was the late monarch’s favourite flower by tweeting that Her Majesty had “chosen Lily of the Valley” as her favourite flower. They said: “Lily Of The Valley featured in Her Majesty’s coronation bouquet and has held special association since.”
William Mitchell of Sutton Manor Nursery told Express.co.uk that “the spring flower, also known as Convallaria Majalisis, is said to bring luck in love”.
“Her Majesty was very lucky in love, sharing a 70-year marriage to The Duke Of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip,” he continued.
“The flower is also featured in the wedding bouquets of many royals, including Kate Middleton, Queen Victoria, Grace Kelly and Princess Astrid of Sweden. All hoping to bring an element of luck to their love.”
The gardener stressed that the flower doesn’t only hold major significance to the Queen and the royals in general, but also to other people around the world.
The flower is the national flower of Finland and has been since 1967.
Additionally, La Fete du Muguet (Lily of the Valley Day) is a celebrated day in France. On May 1, people give the ones they love a bouquet of Lily of the Valley.
It is meant to signify good luck and celebrate the arrival of spring.