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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Regina

Prince Albert’s Sapphire Brooch

Updated: Mar 3


Prince Albert’s Sapphire Brooch Image © Royal Collection Trust / HM King Charles III 2023

Prince Albert is renowned for designing pieces of jewellery as a gift for his wife, Queen Victoria. One of the first, and perhaps most famous, pieces he gave her was a ‘splendid brooch of an immense Sapphire, set round with diamonds’, which she received on the evening of 9th February 1840, the day before their wedding. Despite not wanting to get married covered in jewels or state robes, Victoria made sure to wear her ‘Angel’s beautiful sapphire brooch’ for the ceremony. This was later immortalised by Franz Xaver Winterhalter in his 1847 portrait of the Queen, which you can see pictured below.


Queen Victoria in her wedding dress by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, dated 1847 © Royal Collection Trust / HM King Charles III 2024

Naturally, the brooch quickly became one of Victoria’s favourite pieces of jewellery and was worn for many special occasions and portraits throughout her reign. Before his premature death in 1861, Prince Albert had brooches made in a similar style for each of their five daughters. It is also thought Princess Diana's sapphire wedding ring was inspired by Queen Victoria's beautiful sapphire brooch.


Queen Victoria, Queen Alexandra, Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth wearing the Sapphire brooch Credit: Public Domain

Upon Queen Victoria's death in 1901, she left the iconic brooch as a Heirloom of the Crown. Since then, it has been worn by each Queen Regnant and Queen Consort, although Queen Alexandra, Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth (later the Queen Mother) rarely only wore it on a small number of occasions. However, the piece quickly became a firm favourite of Queen Elizabeth II upon her ascent to the throne in 1852, and went on to become one of her most worn pieces of jewellery.


Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Camilla wearing the brooch Credit: Public Domain

Upon her death in 1901, Queen Victoria left the iconic brooch as a Heirloom of the Crown. Since then, it has been worn by each Queen Regnant and Queen Consort, although Queen Alexandra, Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth (later the Queen Mother) rarely only wore it on a small number of occasions. However, the piece quickly became a firm favourite of Queen Elizabeth II upon her accession to the throne in 1952, it went on to become one of her most worn pieces of jewellery.

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