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Queen’s brooches: Duchess of Cambridge pearl brooch is named in honour of German princess


The Queen is never completely dressed without one of her iconic brooches, and even wore one of the largest brooches in her collection to her husband’s funeral on Saturday: the Richmond brooch, inherited by her grandmother, Queen Mary. Her Majesty also wore her signature pearl necklace and earrings for the funeral.

The brooch and pendant are joined by more diamonds covering a detachable silver chain.

The jewel was likely made by the London-based jeweller Garrard in the nineteenth century.

Named the Duchess of Cambridge brooch, the pearl and diamond piece honours a Duchess that existed before Kate Middleton, called Princess Augusta of Hesse-Kessel.

The princess was born in Germany in 1797 but became the Duchess of Cambridge when she married Prince Adolphus, the Duke of Cambridge, of Buckingham Palace.


The Duchess is pictured wearing the pearl pendant brooch in a portrait commissioned by her niece, Queen Victoria, in 1877.

Passed down generations of the Royal Family, the brooch was eventually given to Queen Elizabeth by her grandmother, Queen Mary, in 1953.

Her Majesty has worn the beautiful brooch on many occasions since.

In April 1976, the Queen wore the brooch with a pale blue dress for her official 50th birthday portraits.

In September 1979, Her Majesty wore the brooch at Westminster Abbey for the funeral of Lord Mountbatten.

Pearls are fitting jewels to wear in remembrance of someone because of their whiteness representing purity and peace.

However, pearls are also praised by jewellery experts for their versatility as they can be worn with any outfit and for any occasion.

Charlotte White, Head of Design at 77 Diamonds, Europe’s largest online diamond jeweller, said: “Pearls are always in style.

“They are versatile, blending in with different styles of dress for different occasions.

“Royals have been known to wear their classic pearl jewellery pieces for decades and across multiple generations.”

Charlotte added that pearls also “flatter the complexion” and this may be one of the reasons why they are often worn by the Royals.

Other occasions where the Queen has worn the pearl pendant brooch include for a service to mark her Golden Jubilee at St George’s Chapel in 2002, a luncheon at Windsor Castle in 2012 to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee, and for her annual Christmas speech in 2014.


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