Prince of Wales brooch
If Elizabeth Taylor had a rival in her obsession with jewelry, then it was definitely the Duchess of Windsor Wallis, wife of the failed King Edward VIII. Wallis was passionate about jewelry, having a great talent for mixing her most pretentious jewelry in one look and at the same time looking elegant and appropriate.
Like Elizabeth’s husbands, the Duke of Windsor also sought to capture the most important moments of his love for Wallis with jewelry. One of the most emblematic David presented to Wallis, while still in the legal status of Prince of Wales. In 1935, Mrs. Simpson received from the heir a magnificent brooch made of 18-carat gold, made in the form of three feathers, completely encrusted with diamonds. It was a heraldic symbol used by the princes of Wales for centuries. This is how the heir to the throne wanted to show his beloved that, despite the protests in the family. In Parliament, he would marry her. And, more importantly, he would definitely make her an English queen.
Of course, these plans were not destined to come true. Edward abdicated the throne, and since then their belonging to the royal life was confirmed only by the houses with servants and the stunning Wallis jewelry. The Prince of Wales brooch remained with her all her life. But it seems that her main fan was not the Duchess, but Elizabeth Taylor.
The actress and her husband Richard Burton had a close friendship with Edward and Wallis. Perhaps there was no such meeting between the couples that Elizabeth did not praise the Duchess’s brooch. The question arises: why? After all, Wallis’s collection also contained much more interesting specimens. But perhaps the answer lies in the symbolism of the decoration. It is known that Richard and Elizabeth often compared their story to the novel by Edward and Wallis. In addition, Burton himself was Welsh, which also played a role.
Wallis herself, in the end, even gave Elizabeth permission to make a replica of the jewelry, but Mrs. Taylor never accepted the offer. The turning point came in 1987, when, after the death of the Duchess, her jewelry was put up for auction at Sotheby’s. Perhaps this was the most important purchase in Elizabeth’s life. The actress’s desire to get a brooch from her late friend was so great. That she managed to take it right from under the nose of Prince Charles, who also participated in the auction.
Then Elizabeth vowed that she would wear the royal brooch only on the most exceptional occasions. The jewel went to her for 620 thousand dollars. After her death, it will sell at twice the price.