The diamond-and-platinum piece is a family heirloom across the royal generations

By Simon Perry
June 30, 2017 07:01 PM
Credit: PA

Happy Canada Day from Queen Elizabeth!

On Friday, Buckingham Palace released a new portrait of the 91-year-old monarch to mark Canada’s 150th “birthday” on July 1. In the portrait, taken by Toronto-based photographer Ian Leslie Macdonald, the Queen wears the platinum-and-diamond maple leaf brooch she inherited from her mother Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.

The symbolic jewelry came into the royal family when Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, gave it to his wife in 1939 for their visit to Canada – the first by a reigning monarch.

Since inheriting it upon the death of her mother in 2002, Elizabeth has loaned it to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, for her first visit to Canada in 2009, and to Princess Kate for her Canada royal tour in July 2011, alongside Prince William. The Queen followed tradition in lending it to family members, as her own mother (who sometimes wore it as a hat accessory) loaned it to her to wear on her inaugural visit to Canada in 1951.

Elizabeth’s eldest son and heir, Prince Charles, and his wife Camilla are currently spending a few days in Canada as the annual celebrations take place.