In 2023, Boucheron unveiled the Like a Queen collection, inspired by the Queen of England. All thanks to a double-clip brooch set with aquamarines from this French jewelry boutique that Elizabeth II received for her 18th birthday and wore all her life.
A jewel of great sentimental value! When she turned 18, the then Princess Elizabeth, daughter of King George VI, received a gift that would mark her forever, two identical clip brooches, art deco style, from the 1930s, made by Boucheron ateliers.
The double-clip brooch, set with aquamarines and diamonds, can be worn alone or together, and Elizabeth II liked to play with its arrangement on one side of her dress or jacket. Sometimes she wore them side by side, sometimes with the curved sides in opposite directions. It was one of the most worn accessories throughout her life, and on the eve of her state funeral last September, Buckingham Palace released the last photograph of the sovereign dressed in light blue and wearing this double piece. This unpublished photo was taken in May, a month before the grand celebrations of her Platinum Jubilee, which marked her 70 years on the throne.
Art deco design
The Like a Queen collection features a set of eighteen high-jewelry pieces, and the number eighteen was not random; it represents precisely the age at which Elizabeth II received this Boucheron piece of jewelry in 1944.
Claire Choisne, the house’s Creative Director, worked for three years on this collection that has now seen the light of day. It all started with the study of the house’s archives she came across, where the origins of these clips are found. “The severity and geometry of the art deco design, tempered by the softness and light blue hue of the aquamarines always fascinated me”, she said. Therefore, from this source of inspiration, Claire Choisne designed Like a Queen in a tribute to Elizabeth II, reinterpreting the art deco style with a contemporary touch, in a collection that was intended to be worn by both women and men.
All the pieces created and presented during Paris Fashion Week in January, share the same curved, symmetrical shape as Elizabeth II’s original jewelry. The Hypnotic Blue bracelet is, of all, the creation most identical to the Queen’s double-clip brooch. The aquamarines and diamonds are there, but the sparkle is made even more mesmerizing thanks to the addition of blue lacquer.
Then there is the Frosty White necklace, whose clips can be worn without the four strands of diamonds, the Green Garden set, where emeralds shine, or the Rolling Red set, starred by Mozambique rubies. But there is more: the Mega Pink set, where tourmalines stand out, and the Moon White, where pearls reign. In any of these variations, the symmetrical, double shape, just like the original piece from the 1930s, remains a constant. The use of gemstones of different colors is also a tribute to Elizabeth II, known for her brightly colored, cheerful outfits. And the “obsession” that Claire Choisne claims to have felt upon rediscovering the queen’s jewelry in the house’s archives has taken shape in the Like a Queen collection.
An acquisition from the Duke of Kent
This piece of jewelry was purchased in 1937 at the Boucheron boutique in London by the Duke of Kent, brother of King George VI and Elizabeth’s paternal uncle. It is accurately known that seven years later the clips were given to the then Princess Elizabeth, but by 1944 the Duke of Kent had already died two years earlier in a plane crash. The official version is that the jewel was a gift from the English royal family to the then-crown princess on the occasion of her constitutional majority. After that, Elizabeth wore this piece over and over again, and it is one of her most iconic accessories.
Boucheron was founded in 1858 by Frederic Boucheron and the history of this jewelry house has been run by four generations of the same family. Their creations became famous thanks to a high-quality know-how and an elegant, yet free and audacious style that attracted a rich and powerful clientele. The brand became a reference and many royal houses have pieces by Boucheron. Queen Camilla, for example, wears several pieces of Boucheron jewelry, such as the Greville tiara, which King Charles III inherited from his grandmother, the legendary Queen Mother.
A pioneer in creations and concepts, Boucheron is the first major jewelry house to set up shop in the mythical Place Vendôme in Paris in 1893, home to the best French jewelry boutiques.
Today, it has over 55 boutiques around the world and is a synonym of luxury and refinement across the world.
1 Elizabeth II with the double-clip brooch set with aquamarine and diamonds by Boucheron that was given to her in 1944. It was one of the jewels the queen wore most during her life
2 The Hypnotic Blue bracelet, presented in 2023, bears a great resemblance to the Queen of England’s double-clip
3 The double-clip, which can be attached to the Frosty White necklace, is also a 2023 creation, inspired by Elizabeth II’s pair of aquamarines
4 Next to her husband, Prince Philip, the Queen wears the clips on her lapel symmetrically. It was with this photo that Boucheron joined in mourning the death of the sovereign
5 These diamond and pearl earrings by Boucheron are part of the Like a Queen collection, 2023
6 Boucheron storefront at 26 Place Vendôme in Paris
7 On the eve of the Queen’s funeral, Buckingham Palace releases a last photo of Elizabeth II. It was taken, in May 2022, to mark her 70 years on the throne. In it, the sovereign wears the double-clip brooch she received when she turned 18
8 Rolling Red Earrings with diamonds and Mozambique rubies
9 Green Garden earrings with diamonds, emeralds, and green lacquer
By Alberto Miranda