Queen Adelaide’s brooch was made as a clasp for a pearl necklace for Queen Adelaide (born of Saxe-Meiningen) on the orders of her husband, King William IV.
The stones were taken from a jewelled badge of the Order of the Bath that used to belong to King George III. The order was completed in 1831, and the intended necklace was probably worn by Queen Adelaide for the coronation on 8 September 1831.
After Queen Adelaide’s death, the necklace was next seen in Queen Victoria’s inventory. Queen Alexandra (born of Denmark) wore it as a brooch on her waist. Queen Mary (born of Teck) and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother also wore it as brooches. Queen Mary sometimes attached a pear-shaped pendant.1 Queen Elizabeth II notably wore the brooch for the 2001 National Service of Remembrance for Britons killed in the 9/11 attacks.