Sunday, March 31, 2013

British Royal Jewels: Queen Elizabeth's Jardine Star Brooch

The Jardine Star Brooch is one of the Queen's most frequently worn jewels of late.
The Jardine Star Brooch
Very little is actually known about this jewel. The scarce information that we do possess comes mainly from Leslie Field’s ‘The Queen’s Jewels’: "In 1981 the Queen was left a late-Victorian diamond star brooch by Lady Jardine, which she has worn on many occasions. It has a collet diamond on a knife-wire between each of its eight points." 

Lady Jardine was a Scottish aristocrat, a member of the old Clan Jardine of Scotland; most probably, she was the wife of the Chief of the Clan. Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be more information about this lady, or reasons why she chose to leave the brooch to the Queen.
The Queen wearing the Jardine Star Brooch
The brooch features eight rays adorned with diamond, with eight large round diamonds in-between them. The centre of the brooch is composed of a single round diamond surrounded by nine slightly smaller ones. In all, there are eighteen large and a number of smaller stones, weighing around 40 carats in total. 

These star brooches were extremely popular during Victorian and early Edwardian era, suggesting this one was made around the time as well. A very large number of similar jewels exist, including one belonging to Princess Anne. 
The Queen wearing the Jardine Star Brooch
The Jardine Brooch wasn't initially among the Queen’s favourites; she probably wore it only a couple of times a year until 2000s. In recent years, however, it has become one of Her Majesty’s favourite and most-worn pieces. 

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