Lady Hale’s spider brooch — which cost £12 from Cards Galore — didn’t have ‘hidden message’

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By Adam Mawardi on


Lady Hale delivering last year’s landmark Supreme Court judgment, sporting her now-famous spider brooch

Lady Hale has explained how she came into possession of her famous spider brooch.

“None of my brooches are worth very much; they are all costume jewellery,” Hale has revealed in an interview with The Guardian. “The infamous spider brooch was from Cards Galore; it cost about £12.”

The eight-legged accessory was famously worn by the former Supreme Court president last year, as she delivered the ruling that Boris Johnson’s prorogation of parliament was unlawful.

The stylish spider pin quickly reached mega-viral fame, with fans across the world paying tribute — from politicians wearing spider-brooch t-shirts to the US Supreme Court legend Ruth Bader Ginsburg receiving her own version of the eye-catching pin. Lord Reed, now the president of the Supreme Court, even described the jewel encrusted brooch as “a symbol of swashbuckling womanhood”.

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But Hale, who retired from the Supreme Court last year, insists that she wasn’t trying to convey “any sort of hidden message”. The ‘Beyoncé of the Law’ continued:

“If I had realised some of the things that people might have speculated, then I would probably have worn an innocuous bunch of flowers.”

According to Hale, she first began wearing brooches while serving in the family division of the High Court. “I was wearing, on the whole, dark suits and my husband started buying me brooches to lighten them,” she said. Her unique brooch collection has since grown, and now includes “bugs, beetles, a dragonfly, a fox and a nice little cat”.

Hale isn’t the only ex-bench member to boldly accessorise their courtroom garb. Former Supreme Court judge and legal icon Lord Sumption was known for his eye-catching tie collection.

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