Princess Anne's sapphire brooch said to be inspired by one of the Royal Family's most romantic stories

Princess Anne's sapphire brooch is thought to be one of her favorites but she's not the only royal linked to it

Princess Anne
(Image credit: Getty)

Princess Anne's sapphire brooch has the kind of history romance novels are made of as it's believed to be inspired one of the Royal Families most enduring loves - Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

In terms of jewelry, for the Royal Family, it's go big or go home. The Princess Royal didn't disappoint while attending an event in honor of British Olympians and Paralympians. After all, she's a patron of Team GB, and did you know that Princess Anne was an Olympian herself? She may not have won gold that time, but she's been racking up medals in the styles stakes ever since - especially with her accessories of choice.

Queen Elizabeth's brooches may be among the most cherished in the Royal Family's history, but this precious accessory is thought to be associated with another beloved queen. Princess Anne's sapphire brooch is believed to be connected to the incredibly beautiful piece that Prince Albert gave to Queen Victoria, the day before their wedding in 1840. According to The Court Jeweller, "the bauble, a sapphire and diamond brooch set in gold, was received by Victoria with enthusiasm. In her diary, she noted that Albert had given her, 'a splendid brooch, a large sapphire set round with diamonds, which is really quite beautiful.'"

Princess Anne, Princess Royal as President of the Princess Royal Trust for Carers arrives in her Bentley car for a charity dinner at Les Ambassadeurs Club restaurant in London on December 19, 2006 in London, England.

(Image credit: Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images)

Queen Victoria was so in love with the piece, and indeed her groom, that she wore it on her wedding day and many times afterward, throughout her long life. Leslie Field, author of Queen's Jewels: The Personal Collection of Elizabeth II, describes the piece as, "a large oblong sapphire surrounded by twelve round diamonds.” 

After her passing, Queen Victoria's will stated that the jewel was an 'heirloom of the crown. This means that from then onwards, it's one of the pieces of jewelry that's specifically intended for the use of Queens, and Queen consorts. It's believed that, despite their incredible similarity, Princess Anne's sapphire brooch is in fact a copy of the original.

Princess Anne At A Banquet In Dubai During A Royal Tour (exact Day Date Not Certain)

(Image credit: Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images)

Sue Menkes, author of The Royal Jewels, said, “Prince Albert made copies of the brooch for his own daughters, and the Queen has given one of these to the Princess Royal.”

Perhaps this is the reason that Princess Anne's engagement rings, from her first and second husband, both feature the blue stone. Although it may now be considered a regular choice - Princess Diana's engagement ring, now famously sported by the latest Princess of Wales Kate Middleton has a huge sapphire - Princess Anne's engagement rings both broke royal protocol.

Aoife Hanna
Junior News Editor

Aoife is an Irish journalist and writer with a background in creative writing, comedy, and TV production.

Formerly woman&home's junior news editor and a contributing writer at Bustle, her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica and EVOKE.

Her poetry features in the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.

Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, yoga studio, lifting heavy weights, or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.