All About Queen Victoria's Diamond Brooch That Queen Camilla Wore to Queen Elizabeth's Funeral

·3 min read

When Queen Camilla arrived for Queen Elizabeth II's state funeral Monday, a shimmering piece of jewelry stood out on her traditional black mourning attire: Queen Victoria's Hesse Diamond Jubilee brooch, which was fastened to the left side of the Queen Consort's neckline.

The heart-shaped pin, which features three blue sapphires, holds great significance to the British royal family. It was a gift given to Queen Victoria by her grandchildren on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee, which was officially celebrated June 22, 1897, to mark her reign reaching 60 years.

The number 60 is depicted on the brooch in diamonds. Queen Victoria became Great Britain's second-longest reigning monarch before her death on January 22, 1901.

Her record of 63 years was broken by Queen Elizabeth, who celebrated 70 years on the throne at her Platinum Jubilee in June, months before she died "peacefully" at her beloved Scottish residence on September 8.

Camilla and Queen Victoria
Camilla and Queen Victoria

Patrick van Katwijk/Getty; Universal History Archive/Getty

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Victoria designated the brooch as an heirloom of the crown, allowing it to pass to future generations of royals, according to The Court Jeweller.

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The piece was a favorite of another Queen Consort, the late Queen Elizabeth's mother, Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon, who became known as the Queen Mother — or Queen Mum — upon the death of her husband, King George VI, in 1952 when her daughter ascended to the throne.

Jubilee Queen Victoria
Jubilee Queen Victoria

W. & D. Downey/Hulton Archive/Getty

While other women in the royal family, including Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales, and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, opted for traditional diamonds and pearls for Monday's services for the late monarch, Camilla's choice in wearing the Hesse Diamond Jubilee brooch was a "very personal tribute to the Queen," according to Rachel Garrahan, British Vogue's jewelry and watch director.

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Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Camilla, Queen Consort, Prince George of Wales, Catherine, Princess of Wales, Princess Charlotte of Wales during the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey on September 19, 2022 in London, England. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born in Bruton Street, Mayfair, London on 21 April 1926. She married Prince Philip in 1947 and ascended the throne of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth on 6 February 1952 after the death of her Father, King George VI. Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on September 8, 2022, and is succeeded by her eldest son, King Charles III.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Camilla, Queen Consort, Prince George of Wales, Catherine, Princess of Wales, Princess Charlotte of Wales during the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey on September 19, 2022 in London, England. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born in Bruton Street, Mayfair, London on 21 April 1926. She married Prince Philip in 1947 and ascended the throne of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth on 6 February 1952 after the death of her Father, King George VI. Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on September 8, 2022, and is succeeded by her eldest son, King Charles III.

Samir Hussein/WireImage

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"The Hesse Diamond Jubilee Brooch was unseen for more than a century when Camilla started wearing it, and is believed to have been passed down from the Queen Mother, whose jewelry she wears regularly." Garrahan said. "It is one of Camilla's oldest pieces and its royal story links to her past and the monarchy's future."

As Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla has worn the brooch for several important events since joining the royal family in 2005. The piece, reportedly worth more than $20,000, was spotted on Camilla during state visits to Philadelphia in 2007, Japan in 2008 and Canada in 2009. She also wore it, appropriately, during a Scandinavian tour with then-Prince Charles, to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee more than a decade ago.

Queen Elizabeth was buried following the state funeral at Westminster Abbey and a committal service at St. George's Chapel within Windsor Castle.

Elizabeth's final resting place will be near her parents, King George VI and the Queen Mother, and by the side of her husband of 73 years Prince Philip.