New Zealand's Diamond Jubilee portrait of the Queen has been released.
A fringe fiesta! This is the first time we've seen Her Majesty pair the fringe tiara with a proper matching fringe necklace. The trouble with fringes is that there are multiples, and unless you start counting diamonds they can be hard to tell apart. In this case, the release accompanying these photos notes that the Queen is wearing the "historic Hanoverian Fringe Tiara and matching necklace", which they state was worn by the Queen on her wedding day. This is a common misconception. The Queen actually wore Queen Mary's Fringe Tiara on her wedding day, and that is what she's wearing here. I did count the diamonds (jewel nerd that I am), and I have to name the necklace as the City of London Fringe Necklace instead of a Hanoverian jewel.
These pieces of insignia from the Most Noble Order of the Garter are worn for simpler occasions than other pieces such as the mantle or collar. Today, we see them most often at state banquets.
The Queen's Garter Star is set with diamonds and was a gift to her from her father, King George VI, in 1947 (when she was invested). It was originally a wedding gift to him from the Royal Navy. The star is worn on the left breast. Click here to see the star at the Royal Collection site.
The distinctive blue riband is a 4 inch wide sash worn from the left shoulder to the right hip. Most orders of chivalry commonly seen today are worn the opposite direction; most we see today also have a thinner version for ladies, while the Garter does not.
The Lesser George
The badge worn suspended from the riband bow at the hip is called the Lesser George (in contrast to the Greater George worn suspended from the collar). It depicts St. George on horseback slaying a dragon. As with the star and the Greater George, the Lesser Georges can have different designs; the flamboyant George IV had 55 different badges at his death. The diamond-framed Lesser George shown above belonged to George IV, and was later a gift from Queen Victoria to Prince Albert (and was worn by her after his death). It is now worn by the Queen. Click here to see the badge at the Royal Collection site.