The Queen's Famous Brooches Have Special Hidden Meanings

queen elizabeth brooches
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The Queen is not afraid of bold and unique fashion choices. The monarch famously wears bright, eye-grabbing outfits in a rainbow array of colors so that she's easy to spot at events—seriously. "She needs to stand out for people to be able to say 'I saw the Queen,'" Sophie, Countess of Wessex explained in the documentary The Queen at 90."Don't forget that when she turns up somewhere, the crowds are two, three, four, ten, 15 deep, and someone wants to be able to say they saw a bit of the Queen's hat as she went past."

While the meaning behind the Queen's colorful wardrobe is pretty well known, there's another regular part of her look that's laden with deeper and sometimes hidden meanings: Her brooches. A lot of the brooches in the Queen's collection have been passed down through the generations in the royal family (she's even passed a few down to younger royals like Kate Middleton) and, often, the Queen chooses a brooch that has a special meaning or history that's tied to the event at hand. Here are the special stories and meanings behind some of the monarch's favorite and most famous brooches.

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1 The Flower Basket Brooch
london, united kingdom   december 12 queen elizabeth ii records her christmas message to the commonwealth, in the blue drawing room at buckingham palace on december 12, 2013 in london england broadcast on december 25, 2013, the queen wears a diamond, ruby and sapphire brooch given to her by her parents to celebrate the birth of prince charles in 1948 by her side are photographs of her parents, king george vi and queen elizabeth   the queen mother, and also a picture from this years christening of prince george of cambridge photo by john stillwell   wpa poolgetty images
PoolGetty Images

The Queen's parents gave her the Flower Basket Brooch in 1948, when Prince Charles was born. She wore the piece in Charles' first official portraits and then again 65 years later for her great-grandson, Prince George's, christening in 2013. That year, she wore it yet again for her Christmas address, sitting in front of a picture from George's christening and one of her late father, King George VI.

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2 The Chrysanthemum Brooch
24th november 1947  princess elizabeth and the prince philip, duke of edinburgh enjoying a walk during their honeymoon at broadlands, romsey, hampshire  photo by topical press agencygetty images
Topical Press AgencyGetty Images

The Queen famously wore the sapphire and diamond Chrysanthemum Brooch for her honeymoon portraits with Prince Philip in 1947. That's why it was so romantic when she wore the brooch again in 2007 for her and Philip's 60th wedding anniversary. She's also worn the Chrysanthemum Brooch for other important family occasions, like a family portrait with Philip, Princess Anne and Prince Charles in 1950.

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3 The True Lover’s Knot Brooch
london, england   april 29  queen elizabeth ii  following the marriage of prince william, duke of cambridge and catherine, duchess of cambridge at westminster abbey on april 29, 2011 in london, england the marriage of the second in line to the british throne was led by the archbishop of canterbury and was attended by 1900 guests, including foreign royal family members and heads of state thousands of well wishers from around the world have also flocked to london to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the royal wedding  photo by chris jacksongetty images
Chris JacksonGetty Images

The True Lover's Knot brooch has a romantic name, so it's appropriate that the Queen has worn it on some very romantic occasions. She wore it in 1960 to her sister, Princess Margaret's, wedding. And, in 2011, she famously wore the piece, which has scalloped edges and tassels set with gorgeous diamonds, to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. This is an example of a brooch with a strong sense of royal history, as well. It originally belonged to the Queen's grandmother, Queen Mary.

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4 The Scarab Brooch
liverpool, england   december 01  queen elizabeth ii arrives at liverpool lime street train station at the start of a day long visit to liverpool on december 1, 2011 in liverpool, england the queen and the duke of edinburgh will visit the museum of liverpool and new brightons floral pavilion  photo by christopher furlonggetty images
Christopher FurlongGetty Images

Another of Queen Elizabeth II's most romantic brooches is the Scarab Brooch, which she received as a gift from her husband, Prince Philip, in 1996. The stunning piece is made of gold, diamonds, and rubies. The Queen has worn it several times, including, appropriately, for her 70th wedding anniversary portrait with Philip.

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5 The Centenary Rose Brooch
london, united kingdom   march 10 embargoed for publication in uk newspapers until 24 hours after create date and time queen elizabeth ii wearing the g collins  sons centenary rose brooch which she commissioned as a 100th birthday present for queen elizabeth, the queen mother attends the annual commonwealth day service at westminster abbey on march 10, 2008 in london, england photo by max mumbyindigogetty images
Max Mumby/IndigoGetty Images

The Centenary Rose Brooch is one of the Queen's most sentimental pieces of jewelry, hard stop. The piece was actually a birthday gift that Queen Elizabeth II had made for the Queen Mother's 100th birthday in 2000. The special meaning doesn't stop there, though. The rose on the brooch is actually the Queen Elizabeth Grandiflora Rose, which was bred specifically in honor of Elizabeth's coronation. When the Queen Mother died in 2002, the brooch became Elizabeth's and she wore it for her Christmas address later that year.

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6 The Courtauld Thomson Scallop-Shell Brooch
ascot, united kingdom   june 22 embargoed for publication in uk newspapers until 24 hours after create date and time queen elizabeth ii wearing the courtauld thomson scallop shell brooch, which belonged to queen elizabeth, the queen mother attends day five of royal ascot at ascot racecourse on june 22, 2019 in ascot, england photo by max mumbyindigogetty images
Max Mumby/IndigoGetty Images

The Courtauld Thomson Scallop-Shell Brooch was a favorite of Queen Elizabeth's mother, the Queen Mother, who received it from writer Winifred Hope Thomson, who left it to her in 1944. The brooch was made by Goldsmiths and Silversmiths Co., Ltd. in 1919 and features a single round pearl surrounded by diamonds in a gorgeous shell shape. The Queen has worn the piece several times over the years, sometimes at events with a connection to her late mother, like in February 2009 when she wore it to the unveiling of a statue of the Queen Mother on the Mall.

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7 The New Zealand Silver Fern Brooch
wellington, new zealand   april 07  catherine, duchess of cambridge attends a ceremonial welcome at government house on april 7, 2014 in wellington, new zealand the duke and duchess of cambridge are on a three week tour of australia and new zealand, the first official trip overseas with their son, prince george of cambridge  photo by samir husseinwireimage
Samir HusseinGetty Images

The New Zealand Silver Fern Brooch is a stunning diamond and platinum piece that was given to the Queen in 1953 by Lady Allum, the wife of the Mayor of Auckland, on behalf of the women of Auckland. As a result, the Queen has frequently worn the piece when visiting New Zealand and even loaned it to Kate Middleton in 2014 for her trip to the country.

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