The EMPRESS EUGENIE and NAPOLEON III became friends of Queen Victoria. When the French Imperial Family went into exile, they were invited to live in England as guests of Queen Victoria. The Emperor Napoleon III, the Empress, and their son the Prince Imperial are all buried in England. The Empress lived a long life, more than 90 years old, and died in 1920.
The Empress Eugenie had a passion for beautiful jewels. Her famous pearl and diamond tiara contained the largest natural pearl in the world. Her long five strands of pearls were admired. She and the ladies of the Imperial Court were magnificently dressed and often the subject of spectacular paintings, especially by Winterhalter.
Recently, Queen Elizabeth II has on two occasions worn a feather broach with a large sapphire and diamonds. She wore the broach to Royal Ascot which sent all the “royal watchers” scurrying trying to figure the broach’s history. It is a spectacular piece of jewelery and was given by the Empress Eugenie while she lived in exile in England to Queen Mary, then the Duchess of York, upon her marriage to the future King George V in 1893. This spectacular broach was left by Queen Mary to her granddaughter, the current Queen Elizabeth II.
I am attaching a page from a publication which shows some of the jewels which were wedding gifts to Queen Marry. Other than the wedding gifts from Queen Victoria and the Empress, the jewels were comparatively simple when compared to the elaborate collections Queen Mary left to her children when they were married.
Well, that is the story of the Queen’s SAPPHIRE FEATHER BROACH.
Thanks to one of my readers who got it “almost right.”