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The Queen's jewellery: A closer look at one of her most treasured gems

Happy Canada Day!

queen maple left brooch
Gemma Strong
Gemma StrongOnline Digital News Director
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It's no secret that the Queen puts a great deal of thought into the jewels she wears to official events, with the majority signifying a connection to a particular country or event. One such example is the Canadian Diamond Maple Leaf Brooch, which the monarch has worn on a number of occasions in a nod to the Commonwealth country. In honour of Canada Day on 1 July, we take a closer look at one of the monarch's most identifiable gems…

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The Canadian Diamond Maple Leaf Brooch was first owned by the Queen Mother. She was presented with the brooch by her husband King George VI in the spring of 1939, when the couple made a state visit to Canada, the first by a reigning monarch.

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The brooch was made by Asprey and features diamonds set in platinum, formed in the shape of the sugar maple tree leaf, the national emblem of Canada.

queen mother maple leaf brooch

The Queen Mother pictured wearing the diamond brooch

The Queen inherited the brooch from her mother following her death in March 2002 at the age of 101. Since then, she has worn it on a number of occasions – both for trips to Canada and to events in Britain held in honour of the country.

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While the brooch is a much-treasured item, the Queen has also been known to lend it out to other members of the royal family. Her daughter-in-law, the Duchess of Cornwall, was seen wearing it for her first official visit to Canada in November 2009.

kate middleton maple leaf brooch

The Duchess has worn the maple leaf brooch on a number of occasions

Similarly, the Duchess of Cambridge showcased the brooch during her 2011 tour of Canada with Prince William, choosing to wear the spectacular jewel on Canada Day in Ottawa.

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maple leaf brooch

The brooch was made by Asprey and features diamonds set in platinum

Unsurprisingly, the monarch's choice of accessories are often viewed as significant. Among the brooches in the Queen's collection is a floral pin presented to her by the Obamas during their 2011 state visit – known as the Obama Moss Agate Floral Brooch.

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She thoughtfully chose to wear the brooch to a state dinner with the couple, with Michelle Obama later recounting: "We gave her a little pin and I remember the evening of the dinner after we exchanged gifts, we were standing in line and she had on a beautiful [outfit]... And in the gloriousness of that outfit that she had on, she put on the little bitty pin we gave her."

obamas queen

The Obamas with the Queen in 2011

Michelle continued: "And I did the same thing, I was like, 'You wore the pin', and she just said 'Hmmm, yes'. That was my experience... That kind of warmth and graciousness, and intelligence and wit. I like her."