In addition to Camilla’s all-white outfit, complete with various silver and gold embellishments, one of the accessories she wore was a silver shell-shaped brooch covered in diamonds. The brooch, which formerly belonged to Camilla’s late mother-in-law, featured one large pearl in the centre and several strings of diamonds in varying lengths dangling underneath.
What makes Camilla wearing the brooch so special is that she specifically wore it during her and Charles’ trip to Kenya, a country that holds significance to the former monarch. Back in 1952, Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, were visiting Kenya when they received the news that Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, had died and she would be named Queen.
The brooch is named the Courtauld Thomson Scallop-Shell Brooch. It was designed in 1919 by Lord Courtauld-Thomson, the son of a famous Scottish inventor.
The accessory wasn’t added to the royal family until 1944, when Courtauld-Thomson’s sister - Winifred Hope Thomson - left the brooch to Elizabeth’s mother, the Queen Mother. It was so special to her that she chose to wear it on her 100th birthday celebration, and left it to Elizabeth upon her death in 2002.
Queen Elizabeth II was also a fan of the brooch and was seen wearing it to many special occasions, such as the unveiling of her mother’s statue and Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall’s wedding.
On Tuesday 31 October, Charles and Camilla landed in Kenya as part of their four-day state visit, which was the first time they had done so since their coronation. The trip fell on the 60-year anniversary of Kenya gaining its independence from the United Kingom in 1963.
During his speech at a state banquet on Tuesday, Charles made sure to acknowledge “painful aspects” of the relationship between the two nations. “If I may say so, it is particularly special to be able to return to this extraordinary country in the 60th year of your Independence,” he said. “It means a great deal to my wife and myself that, in our coronation year, our first state visit to a Commonwealth country should bring us here, to Kenya.”
“We both take considerable pride in renewing the ties with Kenya, a country that has long held such special meaning for my family.”
He continued: “However we must also acknowledge the most painful times of our long, complex relationship. The wrongdoings of the past are a cause of the greatest sorrow and the deepest regret.”
“They were abhorrent, unjustifiable acts of violence committed against Kenyans, as they waged a painful struggle for independence and sovereignty. And, for that, there can be no excuse.”
According to a statement posted on the royal family’s website, the visit will “celebrate the warm relationship” between Kenya and the UK, and “the strong and dynamic partnership they continue to forge”.
Buckingham Palace said the King and Queen will “acknowledge the more painful aspects” of the countries’ shared history, and that the King will spend some time “deepening his understanding of the wrongs suffered in this period by the people of Kenya” throughout their trip.