Brooches & Pins
Brooches and pins were some of the first pieces of jewellery invented, as they are very useful for holding clothing in place. Nowadays they are still used to hold a collar or scarf tightly around the neck on a cold day.
Famous Brooches and Their Owners
Mrs Wallis Simpson
One of the most famous brooch owners was Mrs Wallis Simpson, the American divorcee who caused a constitutional crisis in Great Britain by marrying King Edward VIII after he abdicated the throne. She was a great collector of jewellery, many pieces bought for her by her husband. After her death an auction of her jewels raised over $45,000,000 for charity. Her close friend, the Holywood actress Elizabeth Taylor, bought one of Wallis' brooches. It was a diamond brooch, designed by Edward, and known as the Prince of Wales Brooch. Elizabeth Taylor paid $566,000 for it as a sentimental reminder of her friend.
Elizabeth Taylor's own collection contained a diamond and emerald brooch given to her by the actor Richard Burton on their engagement in 1962. It was designed and made by Bulgari and the emerald is believed to have once belonged to the Grand Duchess Vladimir of Russia.
Presidents and Politicians
The President of the United States is never to be seen without a pin of the Stars and Stripes flag on his lapel. Barack Obama stopped wearing the pin after 9/11 saying "I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest. Instead I'm going to try to tell the American people what I believe ... and hopefully that will be a testimony to my patriotism." The controversy that ensued ended with Barack Obama wearing his pin every day.
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