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“We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.”
This message—steadfast and true and filled with desperately needed hope—was the only thing one could, or should, focus on during the Queen’s historic televised speech last night to her nation, and the world. Soon after, however, and upon vowing that my new mantra would be “We Will Meet Again,” I looked a bit more closely at the images that came flooding through, on the news, across the web, on Instagram. One even made my Sunday night Zoom.
Her Majesty was in a bright emerald green dress and her signature pearls, but there, fastened near her left shoulder, was a brooch that many were surprised to see.
"We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again." • Her Majesty The Queen has addressed the UK and Commonwealth in a special broadcast recorded at Windsor Castle — visit @TheRoyalFamily to watch in full.
A post shared by Kensington Palace (@kensingtonroyal) on Apr 5, 2020 at 12:07pm PDT
It was not one of her favorite pieces—not the floral bouquet brooch her parents gave her when Prince Charles was born, not the Prince Albert brooch with enormous sapphire that Queen Victoria wore to her wedding, not the one known as “Granny’s Chips” featuring two enormous diamonds from the Cullinan stone.
Queen Elizabeth chose a turquoise and diamond brooch that belonged to her grandmother Queen Mary, a legendary jewelry collector, who loved to layer pieces of her prized collection for a look of total regal splendor.
Queen Mary, you might recall was the proud owner of the Vladimir Tiara—a Romanov jewel she acquired from the son of the Duchess Vladimir—and it was Queen Mary who had it refitted so that its original pearls could be replaced with emeralds occasionally. Queen Elizabeth wore her grandmother's Queen Mary Fringe tiara to her own wedding in 1947, and Queen Mary’s collection was also in the news more recently when Meghan Markle borrowed the Queen Mary Bandeau tiara from Queen Elizabeth for the royal wedding.
The turquoise brooch that Queen Elizabeth wore to deliver yesterday's address was gifted to Mary in 1893, on the day of her wedding to the Duke of York, the future King George V, by her new in laws.
Why the turquoise and diamond brooch, one rarely seen in public (Queen Elizabeth was not seen wearing it until 2014) for such a momentous speech? The Queen’s jewelry choices are the subject of deep and constant analysis. With this choice, was Her Majesty harkening back to the past and all that her family, her country, and her world, has survived? Was she linking herself to her grandmother who helped support the King during the First World War? Or did she want a colorful brooch that might lift the spirits?
There is also the legend of turquoise, long celebrated as a stone of healing and love and protection, worn for centuries as amulet and talisman, and thought to enhance powers of leadership. It has also been known to help cure writer's block. And so if that brooch had anything to do with the crafting of that message, if it at all inspired “We Will Meet Again,” then all hail turquoise forever.
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