Baroness of Brooches: are Lady Hale’s pins more than just jewellery?

Lady Hale's caterpillar brooch and Etro's spider brooch
Lady Hale's caterpillar brooch and Etro's spider brooch Copyright REUTERS TV and Etro
Copyright REUTERS TV and Etro
By Rosie Frost
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Twitter users have been examining whether the trailblazing judge's could be a coded statement.


Yesterday, Lady Hale, President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom announced the “unanimous verdict of all 11 judges” that the decision to advise the Queen to prorogue parliament was unlawful.

Whilst most eyes and ears were on this historic judgement and what it meant for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Twitter was occupied by something very different. Lady Hale's fabulous jewellery.

Statement brooches seem to be a favourite of Lady Hale's but many are asking whether the spider brooch, worn by the Manchester academic and legal trailblazer, was a coded message to Boris Johnson about the dangers of weaving a web of lies.

Lady Hale delivering the historic announcementREUTERS TV

Such was the buzz around the brooch that indie shirt company, Balcony Shirts, even created a design to commemorate the occasion which was sold in aid of homelessness charity, Shelter. "We have SOLD OUT!" the company wrote on twitter, " We've sold 6500. With (we think) £18k+ going to Shelter".

Lady Hale wouldn't be the first to employ subtly symbolic brooches to make her thoughts known. Earlier this year, it was claimed that the Queen was marking her dislike of Donald Trump when she wore a brooch gifted by Barack Obama during the president's state visit.

The true queen of brooch based feuds, however, is former US secretary of state, Madeleine Albright. As former Secretary of State, Albright used brooches throughout her career to express feelings and opinions on political happenings in a subtle and humorous way. She started her use of jewellery for diplomatic purposes just after the Gulf War when she mirrored the Iraqi media’s comparison of her to an “unparalleled serpent” by wearing a snake pin to her meeting in the country. She even wrote a book “Read My Pins: Stories From a Diplomat’s Jewel Box” detailing her coded use of pins.

With statement brooches making a comeback on the catwalk this season in collections from Gucci and Chanel, Lady Hale’s big sparkly spider is bang on-trend. If you fancy dropping hints those around you about their questionable life choices we’ve put together a collection of brooches from sustainable jewellery brands as inspired by Lady Hale.

Read More | What is sustainable gold and which brands are using it?

Tatty Devine
Fox Brooch, £45Tatty Devine

This fox brooch by Tatty Devine, a company who hand make all of their jewellery in the UK and minimise waste by using laser cutting techniques, can be found in Lady Hale's own collection.

Catherine Zoraida
Gold Thistle Brooch, £550Catherine Zoraida

Scottish appeal court judges had a large part to play in bringing this issue to the Supreme Court. As the thistle is Scotland's national flower, this brooch from Catherine Zoraida could be the piece of the moment. The designer handcrafts each piece in England using fair trade materials.

Spider Brooch, £130Etro

Sustainability is never an afterthought for Etro as it has always been a part of the brand's ethos. Replicate Lady Hale's spidery statement with this crystal arachnid that can be found second hand on Farfetch here.

Annie Sherburn /V&A
Large Bee Brooch, £75Annie Sherburn /V&A

This collection of unique brooches by Annie Sherburne is created from glass, beads and stones salvaged from factories in what was Czechoslovakia. You can buy these bee broaches from the V&A Museum shop here.

Ludmilla Navarro
Upcycled Lion Brooch, €298Ludmilla Navarro

Fine artists and jewellery designer, Ludmilla Navarro, creates each unique piece in her store from upcycled materials. Navarro creates jewellery she hopes will empower women so this lion brooch seems like a natural choice for the #girlyswot looking to channel Lady Hale.

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