United Kingdom

The Queen wears diamond heart engagement brooch given to her by Prince Philip in 1947

The Queen kept Prince Philip close to her heart on Thursday as she donned the same six-petal diamond flower brooch she wore when the couple announced their engagement in 1947. 

The monarch wore the glittering accessory on a video call with health leaders from Windsor Castle in which she made a historic intervention in the coronavirus vaccination drive, suggesting it is selfish not to have the jab.

The Queen, 94, looked resplendent in a coral ensemble and wore the Diamond Clematis Brooch proudly displayed on her chest. 

The Queen kept Prince Philip close to her heart on Thursday as she donned the same six-petal diamond flower brooch she had worn when the couple announced their engagement in 1947

The brooch was gifted to the then Princess Elizabeth on her 21st birthday and she wore it just weeks later when she and her new fiancé announced their engagement to the world

The Queen has worn the brooch, pictured, on a number of occasions over the years

The brooch was gifted to the then Princess Elizabeth on her 21st birthday and she wore it just weeks later when she and her new fiancé announced their engagement to the world.

The Duke of Edinburgh, 99, is spending his twelfth day as a patient at King Edward VII Hospital in London. His condition is described as ‘comfortable and responding to treatment’.

The Queen has worn the brooch on a number of occasions over the years, including to the Epsom races in 2013 where Prince Philip was seen admiring the piece of jewellery. One of its most recent outings was to Ascot in 2019.   

The Queen is known to be very deliberate in her choice of jewellery and accessories, making it likely that she wanted to send a message of support with this particular brooch. 

In the video call with NHS officials in charge of the rollout, the Queen encouraged those with doubts to 'think about other people rather than themselves'.

The Queen wore the brooch to the Epsom races in 2013. Pictured with Prince Philip

The Queen also wore the brooch to the Scottish National War Memorial in Edinburgh in 2014

The 94-year-old monarch said her jab last month 'didn't hurt at all' and had made her 'feel protected'. Likening Covid to a plague, she said it was remarkable how quickly the inoculation programme had been put into action, helping 'so many people'.

A senior royal source said: 'It is a passionately held belief that people need to get out there [and get vaccinated] – this is important.'

It is highly unusual for the sovereign to take such a firm public stand on contentious issues and her remarks will be seen as a victory for efforts to increase take-up. 

An NHS vaccine chief said it was an 'incredibly important vote of confidence' in the programme.

More than 18million Britons – one in three adults – have had at least one jab. Another 448,962 were given first doses on Wednesday. 

One of the most recent outings was to Ascot in October 2019

But officials are concerned that 'vaccine hesitancy' could still undermine the rollout and even slow down the easing of lockdown restrictions.

They estimate that around 15 per cent of the population will not take up the offer of a jab, with scepticism highest among the young and minority ethnic groups.

The NHS has been working with community leaders and church groups to try to alleviate some of these fears with seminars and Q&A sessions.

The Queen was speaking during a WebEx video call with the four 'senior responsible officers' leading the deployment of Covid-19 vaccination across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Football news:

Perez on Chelsea and City's exit from Super League: Don't care. I am convinced that Bayern and PSG will join us
Real Madrid and Alabai have agreed a contract until 2026. Barcelona is no longer an option for a defender
Kenny Dalglish: Tough days for everyone who loves Liverpool. I hope we do the right thing
Wenger on Super League: It ignored the basic principles and would lead to the collapse of the national leagues
The protest that finished off the Super League: in London, Chelsea were forced to leave, then the rest refused
Woodward will finish at Manchester United before the end of the year. His departure is planned in advance
Conor: I think about buying Manchester United