Queen Elizabeth wore a significant heirloom during a virtual meeting with young leaders supported by the Queen's Commonwealth Trust

By Lanford Beard
July 16, 2021 04:34 PM
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The Queen speaks to Queen’s Commonwealth Trust
Credit: Buckingham Palace

Queen Elizabeth wore a beloved brooch on Friday that has rich ties to royal history.

In a virtual meeting with young leaders supported by the Queen's Commonwealth Trust, the monarch, 95, appear to be wearing one of her three Victoria Bow Brooches handed down from Queen Victoria and dating back to the late 1800s.

Though her great-grandmother preferred to wear the trio all at once in a cascade, Queen Elizabeth favors wearing them one at a time, often during daytime events.

On Friday's call, she praised four leaders the U.K., the Maldives, Guyana and Rwanda whose work has helped members of their communities, including children impacted by the pandemic, young people diagnosed with cancer and women experiencing domestic violence.

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Previously, the monarch brought out this particular brooch for a personally momentous occasion on Sept. 9, 2015, when she surpassed Victoria herself as Britain's longest-reigning monarch. This choice, wrote the Express, "meant the trio of jewels will forever be associated with long-serving queens."

Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Mother at Funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales
Credit: Jeff Overs/BBC News & Current Affairs via Getty

Queen Elizabeth has also chosen to wear one of the bows for more somber occasions, including the 1997 funeral of Princess Diana, after the Princess of Wales died in a car crash in Paris.

HRH Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York and HRH Prince Andrew, Duke of York at The Braemar Games, Scotland Sept 1986.
Credit: David Cooper / Alamy

And this coming September will mark 35 years since the Queen loaned the piece to Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York. Then a newlywed, the Duchess donned the sparkler as a collar accent at the Braemar Gathering, an annual sporting competition in the Scottish Highlands that became one of the reigning monarch's official patronages during the reign of Queen Victoria.

sarah ferguson
Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York on the cover of PEOPLE.
| Credit: David Burton

The Duchess of York spoke exclusively to PEOPLE for this week's cover story and reflecting on her "brave" friend Diana. The Duchess also touched on another prominent royal woman who often borrows some of the Queen's most cherished jewels: Kate Middleton.

"If [Diana] were sitting with me right now, I know she would say, 'I am so proud of both of my boys and the wonderful wives they have chosen,'" the Duchess told PEOPLE.

She also noted, "And she would be just like me, obsessed with her grandchildren. Because that's what she loved."