The Queen’s official birthday is marked by Trooping the Colour, a large-scale ceremony of music and military display. This year, it is going ahead but in a scaled-back form privately at Windsor, so we can be sure that The Queen will be wearing a brooch that comes out each year for the event: the Guards’ Badge.
Her Majesty is Colonel-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and all of the Household Division’s seven regiments. This diamond-laden piece features the badges of the five foot guards: the Grenadier Guards badge sits atop a leek for the Welsh Guards, with the Scots Guards’ badge (a thistle) on the left, Coldstream (St George’s Cross) at the bottom and Irish on the right (shamrock).
The badges reflect the guards’ uniforms, and you can read more about their differences – including their buttons and bearskins – here.
The five badges are enclosed within an oval diamond border, which is topped with a crown, featuring a red interior. The words ‘Quinque Juncta In Uno’ (five joined as one) are emblazoned around the brooch, and the space at the bottom is filled with laurel leaves.
There were two pieces like this made, one for Queen Mary, and another for her only daughter, Princess Mary, Countess of Harewood by Garrard in 1922. This was originally a pendant – see here.
We see this each year at the event, since 1987 when The Queen stopped riding in the parade herself (side-saddle), dressed in uniform, and instead took a carriage. Unusually in 1988, though, she wore the Richmond Bow brooch – we are unsure as to why.
In 1989, the Guards Badge we saw looks smaller in size compared to the piece we usually see, which takes up most space on the shoulder, and would leave little room for another badge (in this case the Coldstream Guards’ badge).
Compare it below with 1995 when The Queen wore the normal brooch with the Grenadiers’ badge.
What do you think? Is it the same piece? Could it be that The Queen has both Queen Mary’s and Princess Mary’s badges, and wore the other one on this occasion? The size differential would make sense as Mary’s was made as a necklace/multi-purpose item.