In the U.S. we love nothing better than anointing political saviors on social media (just take a look at the deification of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi). It’s rare, though, for a single personality to break through from across the pond, which makes the sudden social-media ascent of Lady Hale, U.K. Supreme Court president, all the more impressive.
On Tuesday, Lady Hale announced that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s move to suspend Britain’s parliament was unlawful, earning her the gratitude of U.K. citizens who, well, prefer to live under the rule of law. Almost eclipsing her announcement, though, was the maximalist perfection of the sparkling spider brooch she wore.
Hale’s arachnid accessory was particularly eye-catching, but it was far from a one-off. Hale, who was the first woman appointed Lord of Appeal in Ordinary in the House of Lords and has served as U.K. Supreme Court president since 2017, has amassed a shockingly impressive brooch collection over her storied political career.
All kinds of flora and fauna are represented in Lady Hale’s brooch iconography, from caterpillars to butterflies (poetic, especially if she wore them on subsequent days) to flower arrangements, but Tuesday’s spider struck a particular chord due to the defiant nature of the verdict Hale delivered while wearing it. The social-media appreciation for the accessory quickly grew, with users spinning their own theories on its meaning; the brooch now even has its own (unofficial) Twitter account:
When one Twitter user requested “some kind of T-shirt turning Hale’s brooch into a superhero motif,” U.K. company Balcony Shirts quickly responded, “It’s on its way to Westminster” and included an image.
Hale’s ability to take on Boris Johnson while maintaining her signature sense of style has done the impossible and made brooches politically relevant for the first time since Madeleine Albright used them to subtly convey her feelings; perhaps they’ll go the way of Senator Wendy Davis’s pink filibuster sneakers and turn into bona fide resistance symbols.
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Originally Appeared on Vogue