It’s tough to track down the provenance of this beautiful diamond encrusted brooch. Even the Royal Collection isn’t very forthcoming, sharing only that, “The Queen (as Princess Elizabeth) wore this brooch in the shape of a maple leaf during her first visit to Canada in 1951.”
This beautiful brooch is listed in the “gifts’ section of the catalogue but sadly there is no further information on where it is gifted from. If you know any more, please let us know!
This is the first picture we have of Princess Elizabeth wearing the brooch. This is from the visit to Canada n 1951:
She has worn it as the Queen in more recent years and certainly showed her support for Canada by wearing the country’s colours:
The Queen Mum
The Queen Mum has also worn the brooch on occasion. It appears she is wearing it on her hat in this photograph:
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
The Queen loaned Camilla the brooch for a November 2009 visit to Canada. Camilla wore the brooch along with a British Poppy and a Canadian Poppy for Remembrance Day. Check out our post on the Remembrance Day service this year for more info on poppies.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Kate wore the brooch three times during the Cambridge’s visit to Canada. she wore it with two separate outfits on Canada Day.
This was taken during the daytime Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa. She wore the brooch on a white Reiss dress and paired it with a specially made maple leaf hat.
She also brought it out with her purple Issa dress for the evening concert:
And she brought it out again for their last day in Canada. In a patriotic move, Kate wore a bright red Catherine Walker dress and jacket with it:
Here’s a closer look:
Kate and William definitely looked the part as they left on their way to California.
The thing is, as great as it is that Kate is carrying on the tradition of wearing this brooch, we can’t help but feel it was a bit of a faux pas that she had just been gifted a diamond polar bear brooch from the North West Territories and didn’t manage to wear it before the end of the trip.
That’s the Premier of the North West Territories passing over the gift:
As you can see in the picture below, Prince William received matching cufflinks. The brooch is made out of 302 Canadian diamonds in platinum and was designed by Harry Winston, which is now a Canadian owned company.
That last day could have been the perfect time to wear it, if not during their engagements in Calgary. Heck, maybe she could have even worn it together with the maple leaf… Sometimes you’ve got to be flexible and over accessorize a bit so as to be respectful of your hosts. In Kate’s defence, she likely had that red dress and coat made especially for the departure day from Canada and knew the brooch paired with it would be a great, classic photo op.
what do you think?
Side Note: The Queen has received a new Canada brooch to mark her 60 years on the throne. it is diamond, gold, and platinum and and was designed by Birks (Canada’s answer to Tiffany’s). It was commissioned by the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery, who presented it to the Queen at Buckingham Palace in early January. We’ll have to keep our eyes out for it!