THE Queen will be presented with one of her favourite types of jewellery in Cork today — a stunning hand-crafted silver brooch.
Queen Elizabeth will also be presented with a contemporary lace scarf to mark the role her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, played in founding University College Cork (UCC).
Lord Mayor Cllr Michael O’Connell will, on behalf of the people of Cork, present the Queen with the one-off brooch, created by the city’s most famous silversmiths, during her visit to the English Market.
His office commissioned master silversmith Chris Carroll to design and make a gift for the Queen.
Mr Carroll, who runs Cork Silver: Sean Carroll and Sons — one of the city’s last remaining manufacturing silversmiths — spent several months researching the project.
He said he finally decided on a brooch because of the Queen’s apparent love of this type of jewellery.
“I noticed that she always wears a brooch during her public appearances. This is a huge honour. It doesn’t get much better than this,” he said.
The brooch, a model of Cork’s famous Butter Exchange building, is made of 42 individual handmade pieces. It has 18 carat gold mountings and is set with garnets and diamonds to represent the Cork colours.
And later, during her visit to the Tyndall, Queen Elizabeth will be presented with a lace scarf in an echo of a presentation made by Queen Victoria in 1900 to a Cork-born man who fought in the Boer War.
After graduating from the then Queen’s College in 1897, medical graduate Richard Rowland Thompson emigrated to Canada and volunteered as a medical assistant in the 2nd (Special Service) Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry.
He went to South Africa in 1900 and displayed immense courage assisting wounded comrades on the battle front while under fire.
He was one of four soldiers from the colonies who were awarded by Queen Victoria for their bravery.
She presented them with khaki wool scarves she had designed and crocheted herself. The scarves had a very small royal monogram, VRI, sewn in white thread in the corner.
After Thompson’s death, the Queen’s scarf passed to his older brother, William, in Cork.
In 1965, Thompson’s grandson, Samuel F Thompson, presented it to the people of Canada in a special ceremony on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The scarf is now in the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.
As a reciprocal gesture, the president of UCC, Dr Michael Murphy, will today present Queen Elizabeth with a lace scarf, designed by Cork artist, Carmel Creaner.
It is crafted in Cork lace against a silk backdrop and incorporates elements of Boolean algebra.
George Boole was the first professor of mathematics at Queen’s College Cork and his algebra forms the basis of modern computer science.
The scarf combines hand printed white scripts on white silk muslin, with hand and machine embroidery embellishments.
It also has references to Irish textile history — Irish crochet lace which uses the symbols of the shamrock, rose and thistle.
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