15 November 2018

Anglo-Norse Society Centenary

The Queen and The King of Norway, Joint Patrons, attended a centenary reception for the Anglo-Norse Society in London.
Royal Family

A handy little joint engagement while the extended fam's in town for Charles' birthday party, how about that?

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It's a brooch treat, too. We haven't seen the Dorset Bow Brooch used outside of the Cenotaph remembrance service and one state banquet since this site's been in existence. (I like to think she had it out as a contender for Remembrance Sunday and then decided to give it a consolation appearance when it didn't make the final cut.) The size works really well here, balancing the bow at the waist nicely.

Three Strand Pearl Necklace

Royal Family

A bonus bunad alert in Britain! I like this whole engagement very much.

14 November 2018

The Duchesses at The Prince of Wales' 70th Birthday Party

The Queen hosted a 70th birthday party for The Prince of Wales tonight at Buckingham Palace.
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Tonight's party for Prince Charles was deemed a private event and no pictures were released from inside, mainly leaving us with a few car photos of guests arriving - except, of course, for the birthday boy himself. Charles and Camilla posed for a portrait before leaving Clarence House. 

The Duchess wore a new navy gown by Bruce Oldfield with her Pear Drop Diamond Demi-Parure and her favorite diamond bracelet. The necklace and earrings have been among her favorite jewels in her marriage, and with good reason. A fabulous glittering look for them both!


The Royal Family did publish The Queen's touching birthday toast to her son:

“It is a privilege for any mother to be able to propose a toast to her son on his 70th birthday. It means that you have lived long enough to see your child grow up.

 It is rather like - to use an analogy I am certain will find favour - planting a tree and being able to watch it grow. My mother saw me turn 70, of course. And she was heard to observe that 70 is exactly the age when the number of candles on your cake finally exceeds the amount of breath you have to blow them out. 

Over his 70 years, Philip and I have seen Charles become a champion of conservation and the arts, a great charitable leader - a dedicated and respected heir to the throne to stand comparison with any in history - and a wonderful father. Most of all, sustained by his wife Camilla, he is his own man, passionate and creative. 

So this toast is to wish a happy birthday to my son, in every respect a duchy original. To you Charles. To the Prince of Wales.”


From the other two top duchesses in the family, we got a duo of mystery earrings.

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The Duchess of Sussex wore the pair of earrings she debuted at a dinner in Fiji on the couple's recent tour. It was said that they are borrowed - but the palace declined to specify from whom they were borrowed. Since they usually say when things come from The Queen, I'm inclined to believe these are not from HM's vault. Time might tell, I guess.

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The Duchess of Cambridge wore a big pair of pink-toned earrings last seen at the BAFTA Awards in 2016. There has been some question if these are costume pieces; I don't think so, particularly given their appearance here. These are in Kate's collection, not borrowed from The Queen.

As for the other guests: the Norwegian royal family posed for a photographer on their way to the party. That's about it so far. Car pictures all around! Typical of the Windsors, what can you say.

Audiences at Buckingham Palace

The Queen held audiences at Buckingham Palace.
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Something with a pearl, but other than that, I'm turning the guessing game over to you.

Unidentified Brooch

11 November 2018

Armistice Centenary Service

The Queen and members of the Royal Family attended the National Service to mark the centenary of the Armistice at Westminster Abbey, London.
BBC

The Queen was joined by the President of Germany at this evening's service, which the two began by laying fresh flowers at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior.

Westminster Abbey

The flowers, as you can see, were of bright colors to symbolize celebration at this armistice service, according to Westminster Abbey. (And for the flower lovers among you, the arrangement includes heather, gerbera, lilies, roses, and chrysanthemums.)

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Fittingly, the black dress code we usually see for remembrance gave way to some more colorful attire from the Royal Family. The Queen used the Jardine Star Brooch to hold her poppies on her purple coat.

Three Strand Pearl Necklace


BBC

The Queen was joined by The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, The Duke of Kent, and Prince Michael of Kent for the Westminster Abbey service. Other members of the Royal Family were dispatched to services around the United Kingdom: The Duke of York was in Belfast, The Earl and Countess of Wessex were in Cardiff, The Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence were in Glasgow.

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The Duchess of Cornwall joined The Queen in purple attire, wearing her Everyday Pearl Pendant Earrings and the Poppy Collection Women of the First World War Brooch. Her pearl choker is a newer addition to her collection and one we haven't yet covered.

Westminster Abbey

The Duchess of Cambridge repeated her green Catherine Walker coat and added a green velvet Jane Taylor headband. She wore a crystal poppy brooch and her pearl earrings from this morning.

Westminster Abbey

 The Duchess of Sussex joined her husband in the navy suit club with her elegant skirt suit choice. I like her nice big poppy - especially since some were complaining that they couldn't see the poppy she wore at the Festival of Remembrance.

And with that, we cap off a very busy two days of remembrance for the Royal Family.

Remembrance Sunday

The Queen and members of the Royal Family attended the Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph, London. The service honors those that have died in armed conflicts.
BBC

As she did last year, The Queen watched the Cenotaph ceremony from one of the Foreign Office balconies while The Prince of Wales laid  her wreath. This year she broke with her tradition of wearing one of her bow brooches to hold her cluster of poppies. She wore The Queen Mother's Shell Brooch instead. The jewelry choices, frivolous as they may seem to discuss given the occasion, can often add additional insight. That is certainly the case with The Queen's brooch choice today.

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We've seen The Queen wear pieces from her mother's collection multiple times for war remembrance events. In the year of the armistice centenary, choosing one of The Queen Mother's favorites seems an additional nod to the four Bowes-Lyon brothers that fought in the First World War, one of whom was killed in action.

This particular brooch offers yet more significance of its own; it was designed by Lord Courtauld-Thomson (its longer name is the Courtauld Thomson Scallop-shell Brooch), who was Chief Commissioner for the British Red Cross during the First World War. The jewel was made in 1919. (As always, full stories on jewel history can be found in the links below.)

Three Strand Pearl Necklace

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The Queen was joined on her balcony The Duchess of Cornwall and The Duchess of Cambridge. The Duchess of Cornwall repeated her jewelry from last year's service; her badge belonged to The Queen Mother and is of special significance to Camilla because her late father served with the 12th Lancers.

9/12th Lancers Badge

The Duchess of Cambridge wore her Poppy Collection Women of the First World War Brooch and repeated pearl earrings by Cassandra Goad.

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The Duchess of Sussex joined Frau Elke B├╝denbender, wife of the German president, on another balcony. "Federal German President His Excellency Frank-Walter Steinmeier laid a wreath on behalf of the German people. It is the first time since the Cenotaph was inaugurated in 1920 that a representative of Germany took part in the National Service of Remembrance and his attendance symbolises the peace and friendship that exists between our two countries today," according to the Ministry of Defence.

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The Countess of Wessex was on another balcony with Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence. She wore a Rifles badge, because she is Royal Colonel of the 5th Battalion. The Countess of Wessex Blog identified her ceramic poppy brooch; it was made by and given to her by the visually impaired students at St. Vincent's School. The students make these poppy brooches as a campaign to leave "a lasting legacy for those who lost their sight in the Great War." The Countess regularly supports charities for the blind and visually impaired. It's a personal cause for her since her daughter, Lady Louise, was born with an eye condition.

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The Prince of Wales led things on the ground, laying The Queen's wreath on her behalf.

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The Duke of Cambridge, The Duke of Sussex, The Duke of York, The Earl of Wessex, The Princess Royal, The Duke of Kent, and Prince Michael of Kent all laid wreaths as well. The Duke of Edinburgh's (who was not present at the ceremony today) was laid by his equerry, a Captain in the Grenadier Guards.

10 November 2018

Festival of Remembrance

The Queen and other members of the Royal Family attended the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall, London.
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The Festival of Remembrance regularly warrants an upgrade to The Queen's usual jewel selections, and the year of the armistice centenary warrants the second appearance of the large Richmond Brooch for the year. (It was also worn to the Sussex wedding.) It's unusual to see it twice in a year, but it has been used to anchor The Queen's cluster of poppies for this event in the past.

BBC

She also wore Queen Alexandra's Wedding Earrings and a double strand of pearls.

Two Strand Pearl Necklace

Royal British Legion

Members of the Royal Family in attendance were The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, The Duke of York, The Earl and Countess of Wessex, The Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, The Duke of Kent, Prince Michael of Kent, and The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.

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The Duchess of Cornwall continued to use her Poppy Collection Women of the First World War Brooch again, as she did throughout her recent African tour. She also wore her Everyday Pearl Pendant Earrings.

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We can see from the stem that The Duchess of Cambridge has once again worn the Pearl and Diamond Leaf Brooch on loan from The Queen on her sleek Roland Mouret dress. She covered up the three pearl leaves with three poppies, which I thought was a clever twist. Her earrings are possibly another loan; from some angles, they look like the earrings from the Qatar Pearl and Diamond Demi-Parure. From other angles, not so much.

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And finally, The Duchess of Sussex made her first appearance at this event in a repeated Stella McCartney coat. She was also wearing a poppy brooch.