Following Queen Camilla’s appointment as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards in December 2022, Her Majesty has been seen to be wearing a brooch connected to the regiment’s history.
So, what’s the story behind the brooch?
We know the brooch dates back to the reign of George VI, who reigned from 1936-1952, as we can see his ornate cypher – GVI R – in diamonds.
The cypher is surrounded by the blue sapphires to create a border, which is inscribed with the Order of the Garter‘s motto ‘Honi soit qui mal y pense’. This is translated to ‘shame on him who thinks evil of it’, and this border is finished with a buckle, a nod to the garter itself.
The badge also features a stylised Tudor crown in precious stones, a frequent symbol of the British Monarchy.
The brooch originally belonged to Elizabeth II. She was presented with the piece to mark her appointment as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards in 1942, a role she took over from Queen Victoria’s son, Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, after his death.
The then-Princess was presented with the brooch on 20th April 1942. She would then debut the brooch during her first official royal engagement on 21th April 1942, which was an inspection of the Grenadier Guards.
Her late Majesty has continued to wear the brooch throughout her reign, for Grenadier related duties.