A stunning diamond brooch the Queen gave to a duchess who stood in for her for a rehearsal of the Coronation has emerged for sale for £6,000
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A stunning diamond brooch the Queen gave to a duchess who stood in for her for a rehearsal of the Coronation has emerged for sale for £6,000.

Lavinia Fitzalan-Howard, Duchess of Norfolk, doubled as Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey for the practice run as the new monarch was too poorly to attend.

The jewellery, made by Garrard & Co, is modelled in the form of the letters ER in the Queen’s own hand-writing, and signed on the reverse ‘with grateful thanks’.

A stunning diamond brooch the Queen gave to a duchess who stood in for her for a rehearsal of the Coronation has emerged for sale for £6,000

A stunning diamond brooch the Queen gave to a duchess who stood in for her for a rehearsal of the Coronation has emerged for sale for £6,000

A stunning diamond brooch the Queen gave to a duchess who stood in for her for a rehearsal of the Coronation has emerged for sale for £6,000

The jewellery, made by Garrard & Co, is modelled in the form of the letters ER in the Queen's own hand-writing, and signed on the reverse 'with grateful thanks'

The jewellery, made by Garrard & Co, is modelled in the form of the letters ER in the Queen's own hand-writing, and signed on the reverse 'with grateful thanks'

The jewellery, made by Garrard & Co, is modelled in the form of the letters ER in the Queen’s own hand-writing, and signed on the reverse ‘with grateful thanks’

It was accompanied by a letter from Elizabeth expressing her ‘heartfelt’ gratitude for her support ‘at such an important moment of one’s life’.

She reveals that the brooch was her husband Prince Philip’s ‘inspired’ idea.

She wrote on July 4, 1953: ‘I write to express my heartfelt thanks to you for standing in for me in the Abbey in the weeks leading up to my coronation.

‘It was extremely kind of you to be there to support me at such an important moment of ones life, and it gave me such tremendous confidence to know all was ready before the service.

Lavinia Fitzalan-Howard, Duchess of Norfolk, doubled as Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey for the practice run as the new monarch was too poorly to attend

Lavinia Fitzalan-Howard, Duchess of Norfolk, doubled as Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey for the practice run as the new monarch was too poorly to attend

 Lavinia Fitzalan-Howard, Duchess of Norfolk, doubled as Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey for the practice run as the new monarch was too poorly to attend

The Duchess of Norfolk standing in for the Queen during rehearsal of Crowning Ceremony in Westminster Abbey May 1953

The Duchess of Norfolk standing in for the Queen during rehearsal of Crowning Ceremony in Westminster Abbey May 1953

The Duchess of Norfolk standing in for the Queen during rehearsal of Crowning Ceremony in Westminster Abbey May 1953

As Earl Marshall of England, the Duchess of Norfolk's husband, Bernard Fitzalan-Howard, 16th Duke of Norfolk, had overall responsibility for the organisation of the Coronation (pictured in 1937)

As Earl Marshall of England, the Duchess of Norfolk's husband, Bernard Fitzalan-Howard, 16th Duke of Norfolk, had overall responsibility for the organisation of the Coronation (pictured in 1937)

As Earl Marshall of England, the Duchess of Norfolk’s husband, Bernard Fitzalan-Howard, 16th Duke of Norfolk, had overall responsibility for the organisation of the Coronation (pictured in 1937)

‘The Archbishop was very grateful for all your patient help and Mummy hopes that my understudy will be available when I am next ill in bed!!

‘I hope you will accept this small gift, which was Philip’s inspired idea, as an enduring reminder of my appreciation.

‘Yours sincerely Elizabeth R.’  

At the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1937, the Duchess of Norfolk was also one of four duchesses who held the canopy above Queen Elizabeth during the latter’s anointing. 

The Duchess of Norfolk donated the brooch to a charity auction in 1956 to raise funds for the British and Foreign Bible Society.

The brooch was accompanied by a letter from Elizabeth expressing her 'heartfelt' gratitude for her support 'at such an important moment of one's life'

The brooch was accompanied by a letter from Elizabeth expressing her 'heartfelt' gratitude for her support 'at such an important moment of one's life'

The brooch was accompanied by a letter from Elizabeth expressing her ‘heartfelt’ gratitude for her support ‘at such an important moment of one’s life’

The Duchess of Norfolk donated the brooch to a charity auction in 1956 to raise funds for the British and Foreign Bible Society

The Duchess of Norfolk donated the brooch to a charity auction in 1956 to raise funds for the British and Foreign Bible Society

The Duchess of Norfolk donated the brooch to a charity auction in 1956 to raise funds for the British and Foreign Bible Society

It was acquired by an ancestor of the vendor, who is selling it with London-based auctioneers Noonans.

Frances Noble, head of the jewellery department at Noonans, said: ‘The Duchess stood in for The Queen during the rehearsals held at Westminster Abbey in the lead up to the Queen’s Coronation on 2 June 1953.

‘As Earl Marshall of England, the Duchess of Norfolk’s husband, Bernard Fitzalan-Howard, 16th Duke of Norfolk, had overall responsibility for the organisation of the Coronation, and indeed he had also planned the Coronation of King George VI in 1937.

The beautifully crafted brooch was in the Queen handwriting and was 'was Philip's inspired idea'

The beautifully crafted brooch was in the Queen handwriting and was 'was Philip's inspired idea'

The beautifully crafted brooch was in the Queen handwriting and was ‘was Philip’s inspired idea’

The brooch was acquired by an ancestor of the vendor, who is selling it with London-based auctioneers Noonans

The brooch was acquired by an ancestor of the vendor, who is selling it with London-based auctioneers Noonans

The brooch was acquired by an ancestor of the vendor, who is selling it with London-based auctioneers Noonans

‘Six identical brooches to this example were also given to the six Maids of Honour, who attended the Queen at the Coronation – Lady Jane Vane- Tempest-Stewart, Lady Anne Coke (later Lady Anne Glenconner), Lady Moyra Hamilton, Lady Mary Baillie-Hamilton, Lady Jane Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby, and Lady Rosemary Spencer-Churchill.

‘This is the first time that one of these brooches has been offered for sale at auction.

The elegant jewellery came in a burgundy leather box with the letters ER and a crown engraved in gold on top

The elegant jewellery came in a burgundy leather box with the letters ER and a crown engraved in gold on top

The elegant jewellery came in a burgundy leather box with the letters ER and a crown engraved in gold on top 

Inside the box it says 'By appointment to H.M The Queen Goldsmiths Crown jewellers Gerrard & CL'

Inside the box it says 'By appointment to H.M The Queen Goldsmiths Crown jewellers Gerrard & CL'

Inside the box it says ‘By appointment to H.M The Queen Goldsmiths Crown jewellers Gerrard & CL’

‘This brooch was donated by the Duchess of Norfolk in 1956 to be sold for the benefit the British and Foreign Bible Society.

‘It was purchased by a relative of the present vendor of the lot, and thence by family descent.’

Also in the sale, a 1930s Art Deco diamond brooch which was owned by Princess Margaret is tipped to fetch £8,000.

The sale takes place on June 14.

Six identical brooches to this example were also given to the six Maids of Honour, who attended the Queen at the Coronation

Six identical brooches to this example were also given to the six Maids of Honour, who attended the Queen at the Coronation

Six identical brooches to this example were also given to the six Maids of Honour, who attended the Queen at the Coronation

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