The story behind Queen Elizabeth II's magnificent diamond shell brooch, designed by the late Lord Courtauld Thomson, was bequeathed to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, by his sister, Miss Winifred Hope Thomson in 1944, as a "mark of respect and admiration". Miss Thomson said "I venture to hope the jewel will be passed on from the Queen to Queen of England".
The brooch is composed of diamonds in the form of a shell with a pearl at the base, from where the diamonds drop and spray out resembling water falling.
The scallop shell, entirely pave-set with brilliants and with a single pearl at the centre, suspending five unequal pampilles, or articulated drops set with square-cut stones ending in pear-shaped pendants, the reverse with two alternative fastenings.
Made by the Goldsmiths Silversmith Co Ltd 1919, in white gold, diamonds; size 9cmx5cm
The Queen wore it for her Christmas speech in 2020. The Queen Mother wore the brooch on her 100th birthday in 2000, as seen above in the picture.
Source: Army News; Queen's Diamonds, Hugh Roberts; Royal Collection;