29 May 2015

Visit to Lancaster

The Queen, Duke of Lancaster, visited Lancaster.
Time for everyone to bust out one of the favorite factoids about Her Maj, that she is Duke - yes, Duke - of Lancaster, and time for her to bust out a new-to-the-blog brooch! As you might expect, this is really a badge related to her Lancaster title, and you can read more at the link below.

Also...The Daily Mail's article on this visit has photos at the bottom of The Queen being driven through London last night - that would be a third outfit and brooch change for the day, though I can't tell which brooch it is precisely.

Photos:via Getty Images and ITNSource video

The Duchy of Lancaster Badge

The Queen wears the Duchy of Lancaster Badge, 2015
The Duchy of Lancaster is one of two royal duchies (the second being the Duchy of Cornwall) and is held in trust for the Sovereign as a source of income (as the Duchy of Cornwall provides income for The Prince of Wales). The Dukedom of Lancaster merged with the crown when Henry IV came to the throne in 1399, and the title has remained with the Sovereign ever since.
A sketch of The Queen's brooch (via the Chorley Historical Society), left; an example of the Duchy of Lancaster coat of arms, right
The Queen is the current Duke of Lancaster, and she has a brooch associated with the Duchy of Lancaster coat of arms. The brooch includes a silver feather and a gold lion (with likely diamond accents) standing on a blue banner that reads Sovereyne.
She uses the brooch as she uses all her badges (military or organizational), wearing it when visiting the Lancaster area and not incorporating it into her regular decorative brooch rotation.

29 May 2015: Visit to Lancaster

Photos: via Getty Images, Chorley Historical Society, and Wikimedia Commons

28 May 2015

Buckingham Palace Garden Party and Audiences

The Queen held audiences at Buckingham Palace, including with the President of Italy, Sergio Matterella.
It's a double brooch day! Firstly, dressing to blend in with her wall color, but I can't help but note this is the second appearance in a row where this Cambridge emerald brooch gets to keep its pendant. A promising trend, I hope.

Engagement and Wedding Rings 

The Queen, accompanied by members of the Royal Family, hosted a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.
And secondly, the Rose Gold Brooch,which really needs a strong background color like this to stand out (similar to last year's Maundy Service, though a different outfit).

As always, several other royal attendees were hanging about, including The Dapper Duke of Edinburgh and The Duchess of Gloucester (who can just be seen behind The Queen above), plus these characters:

Breaking out the outfit she sported for the Cambridge wedding back in 2011, The Princess Royal appears to have had a whale of a time. She's holding her own in the hardware department, too, with diamond flower earrings, a double strand of pearls, and a pretty big brooch.
It's always a bit jarring to see her in something with such added fuss (and in something crafted in recent years), isn't it? Takes a blink or two to realize who you're looking at.

Speaking of added fuss...I'm just not sure about this combination of pattern and embellishment, Princess Beatrice. But I can't lie, I covet those shoes and their saucy metallic toes. Like tap shoes with attitude.

It's not a fashion accessory, but I am certain that Princess Michael chose an outfit with black trim to coordinate with her new pirate life and you have to love her for making the best of things. (Apparently she had eye surgery last week.) The always well-tailored Prince Michael rounded out the black and white theme with a gray scheme of his own.

Photos:via Getty Images and ITNSource video

27 May 2015

State Opening of Parliament

The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, traveled in State to the Palace of Westminster to open the Session of Parliament. The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall were also in attendance, as was The Princess Royal. 
After two years of pearls, The Queen returned to diamonds and one of her most frequently worn combinations for today's State Opening of Parliament. The Coronation Necklace and Earrings are among the most historical and important pieces she wears regularly, and they're always a nice choice for an occasion with as much pomp and circumstance as the State Opening. 

George IV State Diadem (worn arriving and leaving)
Imperial State Crown (worn during the speech)
Coronation Necklace and Earrings
Modern Three Row Diamond Bracelet
Diamond Evening Watch
Collar and Great George of the Order of the Garter

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall were in attendance for the third year running.
Camilla is settling into her own routine of favorite jewels for the occasion: the Greville Tiara, together with her Everyday Pearl Pendant Earrings and her Four Strand Pearl Choker with Large Diamond Clasp, the same combination she's worn for the past two years. She is also wearing the Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II and the Star, Riband, and Badge of the Royal Victorian Order.
There were a couple new things this year, though. She usually anchors her sash with a diamond rosette brooch on her shoulder, but she's gone for a rather geometric diamond number this time around, which is a first. She also has a new court dress (well, coat and dress). The white court dresses worn to the State Opening always walk the bridal line and this might be stepping a wee bit close to that line, but she looks fab nevertheless. 

Also present: The Princess Royal! 
In her position as Gold Stick-in-Waiting (which she fulfills as Colonel of the Blues and Royals), she accompanied The Queen. Looking spiffy in her uniform, as though it could be any other way. Anne, Charles, and Philip are all wearing the Collar of the Order of the Garter, and the dark green Riband of the Order of the Thistle.

And finally, because this is a jewel blog and we do the jewels, some peering around for other tiaras in attendance: 
The Queen's Ladies-in-Waiting wear their tiaras. Standing to the right of Her Maj above are The Lady Susan Hussey and The Hon. Annabel Whitehead. (Lady Susan, like The Duchess of Cornwall, wears the Riband of the Royal Victorian Order.)
And for those with eagle eyes, there's always some tiara spotting to be done among the assorted peeresses in attendance in the audience.

Links & More:

Photos: via Getty Images and UK Parliament screencap

22 May 2015

The Duchess of Cornwall's Irish Claddagh Brooch

While on a trip to Ireland and Northern Ireland with The Prince of Wales this week, The Duchess of Cornwall picked up a new addition to her brooch collection.
The Duchess of Cornwall's Irish Claddagh Brooch
During a visit to the Claddagh National School in Galway, Ireland, The Duchess of Cornwall was presented with the gift of a Claddagh brooch. Known best in the iconic ring design, these traditional Irish jewels include two hands (representing friendship) on either side of a heart (representing love) which is topped by a crown (representing loyalty).
These brooches are available on the Dillon's website in Gold (€345) and Silver (€75).
The gold brooch is from Jonathan Margetts of Thomas Dillon, the Irish jewelers that hold the oldest license to make original Claddagh rings. The company presented Queen Victoria with one of their rings on her visit to Ireland in 1849. It's a classic design associated with Ireland and which has a history tied to the Galway area, making it a very appropriate gift for this royal visit.
It was also apparently a gift very much appreciated by this royal visitor. "She told me she had always wanted a piece of Claddagh jewellery, and I told her to wear it in good health," Mr. Margetts told the Irish Independent afterwards. And Her Royal Highness was quick to demonstrate it: The Duchess wore the brooch the day after it was presented and for the next two days as well, as their tour moved on to Northern Ireland. A lovely gesture for an historic trip, I think.

20-22 May 2015: Visit to the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland

Photos: via Getty Images and Dillon's

20 May 2015

Buckingham Palace Garden Party

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh hosted a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.
One dapper duke and one favorite brooch, not a bad turn out for the second garden party of the season.

Photo: WPA Pool via Getty Images

19 May 2015

Audience at Buckingham Palace

The Queen, Colonel-in-Chief, received representatives from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada for an audience at Buckingham Palace.
I'm surprised not to see a regimental badge here (in a collection of badges this size, you know she has the right one for these guys - and it's one we've covered before), but you won't see me complaining about a big ol' sapphire any day. No indeed.

Photo: WPA Pool via Getty Images