Cover Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones at Royal Lodge after they announced their engagement (Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The Cartier brooch was bought by the Queen Mother in 1947 for about US$240

A breathtaking aquamarine- and diamond-set brooch once owned by Princess Margaret is going under the hammer later this month.

Her Royal Highness was gifted the Cartier brooch, which dates back to 1932, in January 1947 by the Queen Mother, who bought it from the jeweller for about US$240.

The beautiful jewel will be sold by Dix Noonan Webb as part of the auction house’s Jewellery, Watches and Objects of Vertu sale on Tuesday, November 23.

Engraved with the letter “M” underneath Princess Margaret’s coronet, which is a small crown that signified her royal rank, the gem-set piece is an elegant piece of history that's likely to garner interest. In September, an Art Deco bracelet worn by the Countess of Snowdon for her official 19th birthday photograph taken by Cecil Beaton sold for ten times its estimated price.

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The brooch resurfaced during a Christie’s auction in 2006, and is expected to fetch between US$54,000 and US$68,000.

Frances Nobel, head of jewellery and associate director at Dix Noonan Webb, said: “Princess Margaret’s love of brooches was evident throughout her life, and this particular brooch seems to have been a favourite, as there are numerous photographs of her wearing it.

“Known for her sense of fashion and style, Princess Margaret always coordinated the brooch to match her outfits, seemingly always in shades of blue. In 1950, at the age of 20, she was photographed wearing this brooch with a stunning strapless ballgown in ice-blue brocade, at a dance at the Dorchester Hotel.

“She is seen again wearing the brooch in a charming photograph after the birth of her first child, David, in 1961, where she and Lord Snowdon are introducing the baby to his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.”


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