Queen Elizabeth Wore the Brooch the Obamas Gifted Her for Trump’s Visit

Coincidence? I think not.

Andrea Hanks/ZUMA

Was Queen Elizabeth hoping to reveal her preference for a certain American president during President Donald Trump’s visit to the United Kingdom last week? If the jury were to rely on social media, the answer would be a resounding yes.

Thanks to expert observers of the royal family’s wardrobe and accessories, speculation currently abounds over whether the queen intentionally chose to wear a brooch that was given to her by the Obamas during their state visit back in 2011 in order to quietly knock her guest of honor during his recent visit to Great Britain. This was before his apparent difficulties in walking properly with the queen, which also sparked a media frenzy. 

On the second day of Trump’s visit, the same expert eyes noticed the queen wearing another brooch gifted to her by Canada, a country whose leader Trump has criticized and whose trade relationship with the United States he has repeatedly attacked. The potential significance of the brooches comes amid rumors Princes Charles and William went out of their way to avoid meeting the American president. 

While it’s highly unlikely the world will receive any official confirmation of the back-story behind the brooches, if true, the queen’s display would have certainly bested any effort by Melania Trump in her own sartorial choices to send sharp, political messages.


The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.