To all who mourn in Israel, He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory. Isaiah 61:3

Monday, March 3, 2014

Royal Orders: Order Breast Star

Aaaah Royalty.  I had a friend tell me the other day that she wasn't "into" them like I was and it got me thinking.  Why am I so enamored with the thought of royalty? And not just the British royal family, all royalty in general, present and especially past.  I think the reason why I love them so is because over here in the wonderful USA, we don't have any! "Antique" royalty is so full of wonder. The stuff of fairy tales and legend, myth and reality, heartache and true love, tragedy and triumph, love matches and marriages for political gain.  The pictures of Queens and Princesses in their silks, satins, jewels, tiaras, crowns and huge feather fans, really speaks to my inner princess.  I wish I could hear what those ladies were thinking and feeling.  Were they happy, sad, miserable, content?  Did they love their life and their children and husband?

Well, to advance my Royal theme of costuming this year, I decided I needed a Royal Order.  Not a Royal Family order as I shared here.  This Royal Order would be like the many Royal Orders that are in existance today and are awarded to those who are royalty and sometimes not!  I want mine to be complete with a breast star, sash and badge as demonstrated here. Here is a list of some of the orders, most in existance today: The Order of the ThistleThe Order of the ElephantThe Order of the Golden FleeceThe Royal Victorian Order, and The Order of St. Andrew.

First on the list for my Royal Order was the breast star.  I found some lovely sites online that sold reproduction stars, Replica Reglia and Quarterdeck Medals & Militaria.  While they have great reproductions, the price of the stars was a bit out of my budget for costume jewelry.  So, I spent about a week combing eBay, etsy, Hobby Lobby, Charming Charlie, Macy's, Dillards, JC Penney, Kohls, etc. Nothing presented itself to be even remotely close to a royal order star.  Then I happened upon a store on eBay that sold "bridal rhinestone jewelry".  "Ok" I said to myself, this is the last store we will look at.  I scrolled down their hundreds of brooches and necklaces and my eyes landed on a brooch.  THE brooch.  Holy mother of pearl!!!  This was it!  Well...not really, it would need a lot of work, but THIS WAS IT!!!  I am a DIY girl anyways so I was even more thrilled at the prospect of this project.  Below is a long list of pictures and research that brought me to my Royal Order Breast Star!  I still need to come up with a great name and story behind my order, but for now I am just seriously content at the brooch that is pinned to my Emma mannequine!

My Royal Order!!

My Finished Royal Order!  I am incredibly beyond happy with how it turned out!  For some reason, the pearlized ivory disk under the double headed eagle is photographing with a green tint...

A list of real Royal Orders

Breast Star of The Most Noble Order of the Garter, United Kingdom
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia

Information about The Most Noble Order of the Garter can be found here:

The breast star of The Order of the Rose, Brazil
Photo courtesy of  Royal Ark website

The Order of the Rose is one of my favorite breast stars...hello diamonds and pink roses!!  And it came with a pink sash!!
Information on the Order of the Rose can be found here:

Breast Star of the Order of St. Patrick, United Kingdom
Photo courtesy of The Tudors Wiki

Information on the Order of St. Patrick can be found here:

Breast Star of the Order of St. Catherine, Imperial Russia
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia

Information on the Order of St. Catherine can be found here:

Lovely Ladies wearing their Royal Orders!

Princess Alexandra of The United Kingdom wearing the breast star of The Order of the Garter.  She is also wearing three Royal Family Orders: The Order of Victoria and Albert, The Impreial Order of the Crown of India, and another one that I am not sure of it's name...more research will be done!
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

More information can be found here:

Queen Mary or the United Kingdom wearing the breast star, sash, and arm garter of the Order of the Garter
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Tsarina Maria Feodorovna of Imperial Russia wearing the breast star of the Order of St. Catherine
Photo courtesy of Grand Ladies blog

Wonderful website that contains many photos and paintings of the Grand Ladies of yesteryear

The process by which I acquired my Royal Order

Newely arrived bridal sunflower brooch from eBay

The very hour I got my brooch in the mail, I started pulling the "Clear AB" crystals off the brooch.  ( I used my seam ripper and a lot of elbow grease to remove them.)  I left one "ray" alone so I could use it for correct placement of the clear crystals I would glue back on.

I found these at Hobby Lobby.  Perfect, as the package contained an assortment of sizes! 

Brooch with the "Clear AB" crystals removed and the clear crystals glued in place.

Please note that if any of you lovely followers plan on doing this, and you are using super glue to glue in your crystals, be very careful when glueing.  I got too much glue on a whole ray of crystals and they turned cloudy.  I don't know if it is the chemical make-up of the glue messing with the crystals or what, but use caution and a minimal amount of glue! 

Small crown buttons from Hobby Lobby

I noticed on a few of the real breast stars, there were neat little crowns above the center medallion.  I found the above buttons and Hobby Lobby and knew they would be perfect!

Earrings found at a local antique store.  The double headed eagle medallion would be perfect for the center of my star!

After I had my crystals and button crown glued to my star, the hard part came.  I needed a medallion for the center of my star.  I had looked and looked and looked for what seemed like forever (Nooooo...patience is NOT one of my virtues!) and I couldn't find anything that blew my skirt up!  Finally, yesterday, I went to a local antique store and literally spent 1.5 hours going over the place with a fine toothed comb.  I finally found a pair of earrings that had what would pass for a doable medallion.  I still wasn't convinced until I took them home, disassembeled them and layed them on the star.


I do believe I shattered my poor husband's ear drums I squeeled so loudly with delight!  I was so excited that pure joy was bubbling up in my chest!  Needless to say, I was pretty happy with how the double headed medallion looked on my star!  I also think it is pretty neat that the earrings had the emblem on them that they did.  I am fascinated with the Royal Family of Imperial Russia and the emblem for them was the Imperial Double Headed Eagle.  Too fun!

Disassembled earrings...thank you for your sacrifice!

Another shot of my completed Royal Order breast star!  I'm still pretty happy with how it turned out!

Now that the star is done, I am on the look out for a badge.  I am pretty sure my ribbon will be a dark red as I think it will go well with the color of dress I am planning on making!

More great information on Royal Orders can be found here:

This AWESOME blog has this great post about the orders that Royals around the world still use.  I will re-visit this when I post about the sash that will go with my breast star:

A very long read but this article has great information from an Encyclopedia fro 1911 on Royal Orders.  

My Pinterest board dedicated to Royal Orders...I was dismayed to discover that a bunch of pins I pinned from another pinner didn't have references...I will hopefully be finding out where the pins come from in the future...

Until next time my lovely friends!  I hope I have inspired you to make your own Royal Order Star!  Please share your stars with me if you decide to make your own!




  1. Princess Mary's GBE star is up for sale later this month if you decide to trade-up...

    1. Oh my word! Are you kidding me? I honestly don't understand how whoever is selling it can do that. It is a wonderful piece of history and I would be holding onto it...but that's just me! Thank you for the link Edwin!


  2. Really, really lovely, Gina! I am very impressed with your diligence in replacing all those stones! It's beautiful and I am jealous. I might have to order a brooch myself for my court gown... Thanks for sharing the link!


    1. Yeah!!! I cannot wait to see your court gown! Where do you plan on wearing it! Thank you so much for your took a very long time to replace those mom says I'm like a bull dog with a bone when I obsess about things like this! But it is so much fun!


  3. It looks great! To be honest, I wouldn't be so patient to change all these little gems ... ;)
    As Polish girl I'm determined by our history, so the first thought when I saw two headed eagle was not so nice. It is connected with our history (two black eagles - Germany and Russia - were attacking white eagle - Poland. That's allegory of the times, when Poland didn't exist, because of partition of the Poland).
    But, instead of all this I'm really fascinated with Romanow Dynasty and Russian fashion history ;)

  4. Ah yes...I understand the feeling about the two headed eagle. America and Russia had some strained relations during The Cold War, a time of political unrest... That is why, for me, I was focused on the story of the Romanov Dynasty. More old history than modern history!

    I have a bit of OCD (Obsessive, Compulsive Disorder) so doing things like taking out gems and putting them back in is very soothing to me! Weird huh!

    Blessings to you Fobmroweczka!!


  5. I know that I am very late here, but I wanted to know are you still going to do your royal order sash and bow mini tutorial? I absolutely love all of the tutorials you have on royalty!

    1. Hi Letizia!!
      I won't be doing a tutorial for a while as all my sewing time until the first week of September is filled with Victorian wedding dresses, but perhaps after that if you would remind me!! Thank you for your compliment! Royalty is so fascinating to me as we don't have any here!!