Queen Camilla's electric blue outfit stands out from the crowd but it's the heartbreaking story behind her sapphire brooch that's got us chatting

Queen Camilla's sapphire brooch set her blue look off but the piece, which belonged to Queen Elizabeth II, has a seriously sad history

Camilla, Queen Consort attends the 2023 Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey on March 13, 2023 in London, England.
(Image credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images)

Queen Camilla's sapphire brooch was truly the icing on the cake of her electric blue look. The daring tone of choice popped as she clung to her hat in the blustery weather - but that stunning piece of jewelry sat firmly in place. Its story, however, is far from stable and is associated with a grim incident in European history.

Camilla, Queen Consort attends the 2023 Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey on March 13, 2023 in London, England.

(Image credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images)

Stepping out at the Commonwealth Day Service 2023 in Westminster Cathedral, members of the Royal Family looked glam - despite the blustery weather. Kate Middleton's peplum suit in navy wowed and she wasn't the only one sporting blue.

There was no stopping the Queen Consort, who supported her husband during his first Commonwealth service as King. It was, of course, her first time attending the annual service as Queen Consort and she seriously looked the part. 

She stood out from the rest in an electric blue wool crepe dress and coat by Fiona Clare with a feathered beret from her favorite milliner, Ireland's Philip Treacy.

Camilla, Queen Consort attends the 2023 Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey on March 13, 2023 in London, England. The Commonwealth represents a global network of 56 countries, having been joined by Gabon and Togo in 2022, with a combined population of 2.5 billion people, of which over 60 percent are under 30 years old.

(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Although she shone bright like a diamond - it was Camilla's sapphire brooch that caught our eye. The link between the Royal Family and sapphires is undeniable. From Kate Middleton's engagement ring, to Princess Eugenie's rare lotus blossom sapphire engagement ring, and of course Princess Anne's two engagement rings - the royal gals just gotta have 'em.

This time around, we're not talking about engagement rings, it's all about that Queen Camilla's sapphire brooch, which is one of the most recognizable among Queen Elizabeth's brooches of choice.

Among all of the Royal Family's cherished pieces, this one stands out as its intricate gold filigree, set between its vivid sapphire and cluster of diamonds makes it a truly unique piece - as does its heartbreaking history.

Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, wearing diamond and sapphire fringe earrings, attends a Ben Travers farce on his 93rd birthday in November 1986.

(Image credit: Zak Hussein/Corbis via Getty Images)

Known as the Russian Sapphire Cluster Brooch, this piece once belonged to Marie Feodorovna, consort of Russia's Tsar Alexander III and mother of Tsar Nicholas II - the last Russian Tsar. Queen Marie was also a sister of Queen Alexandra, the wife of British King Edward VII -  Queen Elizabeth II's great-grandparents.

According to the Court Jeweller, Queen Alexandra’s daughter-in-law, Queen Mary, is believed to have bought the brooch from Marie Feodorovna’s daughters in 1934. The brooch now belongs to the British Royal Family and was a favorite of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.

The Queen Mother (R) and Queen Elizabeth II arrive 23 February 1962 at Windsor's Theatre Royal for a performance of G. B. Shaw's "You Never Can Tell". It was in the summer of 1940, during the London blitz, that Queen Elizabeth (later Queen Monter) won the respect and affection of her subjects when she refused to leave for Canada with her daughters as German bombs devastating the British capital.

(Image credit: AFP via Getty Images)

That year, 1934, was, of course, decades after the fall of the Romanov dynasty, which ruled Russia from 1613 until the Russian Revolution in 1917. The Romanovs, along with many European royal families, were related to the British Royal Family.

This is owing to the intermarriage between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's children, among the monarchies and principalities of Europe. This means that both Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip were both related to the Romanovs.

Queen Elizabeth II leaves the Paul VI Hall after a meeting with Pope Francis on April 3, 2014 in Vatican City, Vatican. During their brief visit The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will have lunch with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and an audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican. The Queen was originally due to travel to Rome in April 2013 but the visit was postponed due to her ill health. The audience with Pope Francis will be the fifth meeting The Queen, who is head of the Church of the England, has held with a Pope in the Vatican.

(Image credit: Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

So much so that Prince Philip's DNA was used to solve a murder mystery - what really happened to Tsar Nicholas II, his wife, and their five children who were murdered in 1918. Sadly, many Romanov descendants believe that King George V of England, the Tsar’s cousin and grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II, could have saved them.

Despite initially being offered a safe place to live in exile in the UK, this offer was subsequently rescinded by the British government - on the King's orders.

Tsar Nicholas II of Russia with his wife, Alexandra of Hesse-Darmstadt, and her daughters, Ol'ga, Tat'jana, Marjia e Anastasia and Aleksej. 1913

(Image credit: Mondadori Portfolio / Contributor Getty)

History.com reports that papers published in the 1980s showed that King George chose to rescind their asylum offer - fearing the British monarchy was losing support. He believed the risk of offering safety to a man regarded as a blood-soaked tyrant was too great.

Understandably, this piece of history is said to be a bit of a touchy subject with the British Royal Family.

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.