28 June 2012

Bomber Command Association Memorial Unveiling

The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh and other members of the Royal Family, unveiled the Bomber Command Association Memorial in Green Park followed by lunch at the Royal Air Force Club.
Are you seriously telling me that no one's given Her Majesty a giant diamond fighter plane brooch yet?! Come on now. The absurd bejeweled objects are what make this game fun.

Queen Victoria's Bow Brooches

One of Queen Victoria's Bow Brooches
Commissioned by Queen Victoria from Garrard, this set of three diamond bow brooches (one large, two small) was left to the Crown. Read more at Order of Splendor.

Appearances: 
5 November 2014: Audiences at Buckingham Palace
21 October 2014: State Visit from Singapore, Welcome Ceremony
4 August 2014: World War I Commemoration and Turriff Show Visit
4 July 2014: Holyrood Week, Day 5: Forth Road Bridge Anniversary and Ship Naming
20 May 2014: HMS Lancaster Visit
25 December 2013: Christmas Service
15 July 2013: Community Service Volunteers Reception
10 July 2013: Visit from King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima
1 July 2013: Holyrood Week, Day 1: Dance Performance
16 June 2013: Cartier Queen's Cup Final
17 April 2013: Funeral of Baroness Thatcher
4 March 2013: Leaving King Edward VII Hospital
10 November 2012: Festival of Remembrance
24 September 2012: University of Aberdeen Visit
10 July 2012: Meeting the President of France
28 June 2012: Bomber Command Association Memorial Unveiling
13 June 2012: Visit to the Midlands, Day 1
24 May 2012: Queen Victoria's Journals On-Line Launch
29 February 2012: Jubilee Greenway Disc Unveiling and Somerset House Visit 
2011: Visit to Australia  
2011: State Visit to Ireland
2010: State Visit from Qatar 
2010: Aldgate Underground Station
2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011: Royal Ascot 
2006: Commonwealth Day Observance Service
1987: Royal Maundy Service  
1958, 1961, 1996, 2004: Chelsea Flower Show 
1954: Visit to Australia, Parliament Opening
1954: Visit to New Zealand, Parliament Opening
Various Years: Remembrance Events 

27 June 2012

Visit to Northern Ireland, Day 2

The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, finished a two day visit to Northern Ireland. Engagements included an historic handshake with former IRA leader and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.
Making nice with the faction that ordered the assassination of one's family member, confidante and friend...what to wear, what to wear. It's not for nothing that the sunflower is seen by some as a symbol of peace.

The Frosted Sunflower Brooch

Frosted Sunflower Brooch
Sometimes referred to as the Gold Dahlia Brooch, the Frosted Sunflower Brooch was made for the Queen by Garrard. It features petals made from 18 carat gold with a diamond center and diamonds studded on the petals.
This brooch is a favorite of the Queen. Like others commissioned by her or given by family and friends, it has an all-purpose design (as opposed to something specific to a region or organization) which makes it easy to wear, not to mention suited to her personal taste.

Appearances: 
18 November 2014: Audiences at Buckingham Palace
6 November 2014: Flanders Fields Memorial Garden Opening
3 June 2014: Buckingham Palace Garden Party
13 May 2014: Audiences at Buckingham Palace
9 April 2014: Organ Recital 
21 March 2014: Rambert Dance Visit
10 March 2014: Commonwealth Day Observance Service
28 February 2014: Lunch at Chequers
4 December 2013: Audiences at Buckingham Palace
19 November 2013: Contemporary British Poetry Reception
29 October 2013: Ebony Horse Club Visit
18 October 2013: Youth, Education, and the Commonwealth Reception
18 August 2013: Church at Balmoral
10 June 2013: Hospital Visit
20 March 2013: Baker Street Underground Station
28 February 2013: Investiture at Buckingham Palace
14 February 2013: Audience at Buckingham Palace and Recording the Commonwealth Day Message
21 November 2012: Investiture at Buckingham Palace
13 November 2012: Meeting the President of Germany
25 July 2012: Visit to the South
27 June 2012: Visit to Northern Ireland, Day 2
12 June 2012: Sandringham House Garden Party
17 May 2012: Visit to the North West, Day 2
29 April 2012: National Parade of Queen's Scouts 
23 April 2012: Vice Admiral's Installation
27 March 2012: Receiving Loyal Addresses from Privileged Bodies 
5 February 2012: Attending Church in Norfolk
15 January 2012: Attending Church in Norfolk  
2011: Commonwealth Day Observance Service 
2010: State Visit to the UAE and Oman 
2006: 80th Birthday, Opening Cards and St. Paul's Cathedral Service
2003: Chelsea Flower Show 
1988, 1996: Royal Maundy Service 
1988: Official Visit to the Netherlands 
1982: State Visit from the Netherlands
Various Years: Christmas Broadcast
Various Years: Christmas Service 

Photos: Visual Images/Polfoto/Getty Images

26 June 2012

Visit to Northern Ireland, Day 1

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh today commenced a visit to Northern Ireland in celebration of Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee. Her Majesty and His Royal Highness attended a Service of Thanksgiving in St. Macartin's Cathedral, Enniskillen, and afterwards met families of the victims of the 1987 Enniskillen Bombing. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh subsequently visited St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church and South West Acute Hospital.
Tell me something...doesn't this hat ornamentation look like the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara? Atta girl, Lil, show those protestors who wears the tiara around these parts. A short second to my hat distraction is the Shamrock Brooch, which I don't recall seeing before but doesn't surprise me at all. She really does have a gem for every occasion.

Shamrock Brooch
Devon Button Earrings
Three Strand Pearl Necklace

The Shamrock Brooch

The Shamrock Brooch
A brooch of three shamrocks in diamonds with an emerald tie appeared during the Queen's 2012 visit to Northern Ireland. The Shamrock Brooch doesn't seem to have a known history at this time, though the motif makes a gift from a group associated with Northern Ireland a possible guess, and the late appearance makes a recent gift or something unearthed from the Queen Mother's collection another possible guess. The Queen certainly seems to be running with the shamrock motif, though, sporting it in Northern Ireland and for an Irish engagement at home.

Appearances:
23 June 2014: Heathrow Terminal 2 Opening and Visit to Northern Ireland
25 March 2014: Irish Community Reception
26 June 2012: Visit to Northern Ireland, Day 1


25 June 2012

Henley-on-Thames

The Queen, along with the Duke of Edinburgh, visited Henley-on-Thames and observed a flotilla on the Thames River as well as attending a garden party.
Another flotilla on the Thames, good grief. As though one didn’t get enough with the first thousand boats. Definitely a double brooch power day. Aquamarine Clips, because of the water and whatnot.


Photos: WPA Pool/Getty Images Europe

The Aquamarine Clip Brooches

The Aquamarine Clip Brooches
These twin brooches were a gift from Queen Elizabeth’s parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, for her 18th birthday in 1944. Done in the clip style popularized by Cartier, they are an Art Deco arrangement of aquamarines and diamonds. Though they are often called the Aquamarine Cartier Clips (they are identified as such in Leslie Field’s The Queen’s Jewels, where the connection is drawn to Louis Cartier’s adaptation of wooden clothes pins), according to the Royal Collection they were made by Boucheron.
Though these clips offer many configuration possibilities (including using them as one large oval brooch, as seen on the left above), the Queen usually sticks to wearing both of them upright, in a staggered fashion. 

Click here to see the Royal Collection’s page on the brooches. 

Appearances: 
29 October 2014: Visit from the Emir of Qatar
1 July 2014: Holyrood Week, Day 2: Garden Party
10 June 2014: Buckingham Palace Garden Party
20 April 2014: Easter Service
27 February 2014: Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education
10 December 2013: Barnardo's Headquarters Opening
20 November 2013: Audiences at Buckingham Palace
16 October 2013: Audiences at Buckingham Palace
15 June 2013: Hospital Visit
22 May 2013: Audience at Buckingham Palace
4 April 2013: British Film Industry Reception
5 February 2013: Queen Elizabeth Hospital
13 November 2012: Queen's Award for Enterprise Reception
2 November 2012: State Visit from Indonesia, Farewell
16 October 2012: Audiences at Buckingham Palace
12 October 2012: Eton Jubilee Celebration
10 October 2012: Diamond Jubilee Pageant Reception
29 August 2012: Opening Ceremony of the London Paralympic Games  
25 June 2012: Visiting Henley-on-Thames
5 June 2012: Queen's Diamond Jubilee Message 
27 April 2012: Visit to South Wales, Day 2 
14 February 2012: Charles Dickens Bicentennial Performance 
2011: State Visit to Ireland
2010: Visit to the United States
2010: Royal Ascot
2006: 80th Birthday Thanksgiving Service at St. George's Chapel
1958: Royal Maundy Service

Photos: Leslie Field/Getty Images/Pool

23 June 2012

Royal Ascot, Day Five

The Queen, with The Duke of Edinburgh, honored Ascot Races with her presence today.
Clearly bored with Ascot 2012, Betty rolled up in a housecoat with the Flame Lily Brooch attached. I say boo, I wanted the Australian Wattle Brooch or something in honor of Black Caviar, the racing star of the day.

The Flame Lily Brooch

Often called the Rhodesian Flame Lily Brooch, the Flame Lily was given to the Queen as a 21st birthday gift from the children of Rhodesia. Both Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother later received identical brooches; the Queen has inherited her mother's, and we won't make an attempt to differentiate here. Read more at Order of Splendor.

Appearances: 
17 October 2014: Investiture at Windsor Castle
1 July 2014: Holyrood Week, Day 2: Audiences
30 April 2014: Visit to Wales, Day 2
9 February 2014: Church at Sandringham
18 July 2013: Ashes Test at Lord's Cricket Ground
17 July 2013: Visit to Cumbria
6 June 2013: Buckingham Palace Garden Party
12 July 2012: Visit to the West Midlands, Day 2
3 July 2012: Holyrood Week, Day 2
23 June 2012: Royal Ascot, Day Five
17 June 2012: Cartier Queen's Cup Polo Final
2011: Christmas Broadcast 
2011: Visit to Australia  
2010: State Visit to the UAE and Oman 
2007: Royal Ascot
2006: Easter Service  

22 June 2012

Royal Ascot, Day Four

The Queen, with The Duke of Edinburgh, honored Ascot Races with her presence today.  
Poy-ple, yay! QEII may have worn this exact outfit – Amethyst Bouquet Brooch included – just last month, but when it comes to my favorite color you won’t hear any whinging from me.


The Amethyst Bouquet Brooch

The Amethyst Bouquet Brooch
This brooch is often identified as one given to the Queen when she opened the Queen's Bridge in Perth, Scotland in 1960, but this is incorrect. The association is based on a description in Leslie Field’s book The Queen’s Jewels which reads as follows:
The brooch is a miniature flower bouquet with seven amethyst buds surrounded by white and yellow gold ferns and grasses, with a central group of twelve freshwater mauve-tinted pearls from the River Tay.
Though we do have seven amethysts present, the rest of the description doesn't fit and this is not a pearl brooch; the Perth bridge brooch is a separate piece. Where this particular brooch, a bouquet of seven amethysts centering flowers with diamond petals and stems, came from is unclear. The amethysts appear to be set in yellow gold, with perhaps a white metal for the diamond settings.
This brooch seems to have grown in popularity in the past few years. Unsurprisingly, when she does wear it, it is usually on a purple outfit.

Appearances: 
25 March 2014: Audiences at Buckingham Palace
23 January 2014: Sandringham Women's Institute Meeting
11 December 2013: Audiences at Buckingham Palace
21 November 2013: Visit to Southwark
14 July 2013: Around Windsor Castle
3 July 2013: Holyrood Week, Day 3: Visit to the Scottish Borders
30 May 2013: Coronation Bouquet Presentation
17 May 2013: Visit to Cornwall
20 April 2013: Newbury Races
27 February 2013: Royal London Hospital
6 January 2013: Church at Sandringham
5 December 2012: Queen's Medal for Music
22 June 2012: Royal Ascot, Day Four
2 May 2012: Visit to the South West, Day 2
8 January 2012: Attending Church in Norfolk
1993: Christmas Broadcast 

Photos: Pool/Getty Images

21 June 2012

Royal Ascot, Day Three

The Queen, with The Duke of Edinburgh, honored Ascot Races with her presence today. 
 Whipping up a surprise for Ladies’ Day at Ascot, Liz showed up minty fresh and feathery with the Teck Corsage Brooch (a.k.a. the Duchess of Teck’s Emperor of Austria Brooch), minus the dangling string of diamonds and pearls.

The Teck Corsage Brooch

The Teck Corsage Brooch
Composed of a central large pearl surrounded by braided rows of diamonds with twelve collets around the exterior and a removable pendant chain of collets with three pendant pearls, this brooch is popularly known as the Teck Corsage Brooch. The newest publication on the Queen’s jewels, Hugh Roberts’ The Queen’s Diamonds, elaborates on this jewel and gives it a different name: The Duchess of Teck’s Emperor of Austria Brooch.
Princess Mary Adelaide, Duchess of Teck
It was given to the Duchess of Teck, mother of Queen Mary, by the Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria when he was named godfather of her son Prince Francis. It later ended up in Queen Mary's collection (after likely being inherited by her brother Francis and then probably by his mistress after his untimely death) and passed to the Queen when Mary died in 1953.
Queen Elizabeth
This brooch seems to have been more popular with the Queen in her younger years. When it appeared during the 2011 state visit from the United States, it hadn't been seen in some years. The Queen then used it in its simpler form, without the chain, at Ascot in 2012.
Without the lower chain and pendants

Appearances: 
21 June 2012: Royal Ascot, Day Three
2011: State Visit from the United States, State Banquet 
1984: Christmas Broadcast
1967: Chelsea Flower Show

Photos: Leslie Field/Getty Images

20 June 2012

Royal Ascot, Day Two

The Queen, with The Duke of Edinburgh, honored Ascot Races with her presence today.
Just like Molly Ringwald, QEII went for the vintage look on the second day of Ascot with the Centenary Rose Brooch. Bows, bows, everywhere.

The Centenary Rose Brooch

The Centenary Rose Brooch
A painted pink Queen Elizabeth rose sits in a frame containing 100 diamonds in this brooch commissioned by Queen Elizabeth II for her mother, Queen Elizabeth, as a 100th birthday gift. It now belongs to Queen Elizabeth II. Read more at Order of Splendor.

Appearances: 
5 November 2013: State Visit from South Korea, Welcome Ceremony
30 May 2013: Buckingham Palace Garden Party
20 June 2012: Royal Ascot, Day Two
2008: Commonwealth Day Observance Service
2007: Easter Service  
2004: Christmas Service 
2002: Christmas Broadcast  

19 June 2012

Royal Ascot, Day One

The Queen, with The Duke of Edinburgh, honored Ascot Races with her presence today. 
 Lizzie started her week at the races with a kick start for us brooch watchers: the Brazilian Aquamarine Parure Brooch. Nothing wrong with a whopping big aquamarine, no there’s not.

18 June 2012

Garter Day

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh gave a Luncheon Party for the Companions of the Most Noble Order of the Garter. A Service was held in St. George's Chapel this afternoon.
Little known fact: Honi soit qui mal y pense was originally translated as "Make fun of the hat and die."

The Art Deco Diamond and Ruby Bracelet

The Art Deco Diamond and Ruby Bracelet
This bracelet of diamond plaques accented with rubies can be spotted accenting the other ruby jewelry in the Queen's jewel vault on formal occasions. It is described by Leslie Field in The Queen's Jewels as a "wide Art Deco diamond bracelet...formed of eight oblong plaques studded with small rubies."

Appearances:
18 June 2012: Garter Day
2010: State Visit to the UAE and Oman
2009: State Visit from India 
2008: State Visit from France, State Banquet 

The Collar and Great George of the Order of the Garter

The Queen wearing her Collar with the Marlborough Great George suspended from the center
The Collar of the Most Noble Order of the Garter is a chain of pure gold. The chain is composed of enamel plaques depicting the famous blue garter with the Order's motto, Honi soit qui mal y pense ("Shame on he who thinks ill of it"), surrounding a rose which are separated by gold knots. Different Collars may have slightly varying forms of the plaques and knots. The Collar is worn draped over the shoulders.
Details of two different historical Collars: at left, made for Queen Victoria in 1837; at right, probably made for James II in 1661.
Suspended from the Collar in the front is the Great George, a figurine depicting St. George slaying a dragon from atop his horse. As you might suspect, Garter insignia also includes a Lesser George, which is a badge worn at the hip on the famous blue sash.
The Marlborough Great George
All Great Georges are not the same; some are enamelled, others are bejeweled. The Queen usually wears the Marlborough Great George, which she wore for the Coronation in 1953 and which is covered in diamonds, enamel, and gold. It was made for George IV and was copied from a Great George worn by the 1st Duke of Marlborough, hence the name.  Click here for a look at it on the Royal Collection's website.
On Garter Day (left) and the State Opening of Parliament (right)
Excluding portrait sittings, the Collar and Great George are worn for the annual Garter Day service at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in mid-June (over the Mantle), and for the State Opening of Parliament. It can also be worn on the most formal of occasions with a military uniform.

Click here for more information on the Order of the Garter from the British Monarchy's official website. Click here for more on the general use of order insignia in all royal countries from Order of Splendor.

Other Featured Garter Insignia:
The Mantle and Bonnet
The Star, Riband, and Lesser George 
The Garter

Appearances:
16 June 2014: Garter Day
4 June 2014: State Opening of Parliament 
17 June 2013: Garter Day 
8 May 2013: State Opening of Parliament
18 June 2012: Garter Day
8 May 2012: State Opening of Parliament 
1953: The Coronation 
All Years: State Opening of Parliament 
All Years: The Garter Service

Photos: Royal Collection/Queen Elizabeth II/Getty Images

Queen Victoria's Crown Ruby Earrings and Necklace

Worn with the Burmese Ruby Tiara and the center brooch of the Diamond Cockade
Queen Victoria commissioned a magnificent necklace of opals surrounded by diamonds with a matching pendant and drop earrings which she later left to the Crown. No fan of opals, Queen Alexandra had them switched for stunning large rubies on the necklace, earrings, and also on the Oriental Circlet Tiara (read more at Order of Splendor). Though they weren't rubies in Victoria's time, I have chosen to use the name "Queen Victoria's Crown Rubies" to differentiate these from other rubies that have been left to the Crown.
Worn by the Queen Mother with the Oriental Circlet and a diamond and ruby flower brooch
The set passed from queen to queen until it landed in the hands of Queen Elizabeth, the future Queen Mother. The Oriental Circlet became one of her favorite tiaras (one of only two she wore in her later years, in fact), and with it she often wore the Crown Rubies. She kept them until her death in 2002, at which point they came into the Queen's possession.

Appearances:
18 June 2012: Garter Day (Earrings only)
2010: State Visit to the UAE and Oman 
2010: The Garter Service (Earrings only)
2008: State Visit from France, State Banquet  
1982: State Visit from the Netherlands (on the Queen Mother)

The Mantle of the Order of the Garter

The Mantle, worn with the Bonnet and the Collar with Great George
One of the most distinctive pieces of the wardrobe of the Most Noble Order of the Garter - England's highest chivalric order - is the Mantle, sometimes referred to as a robe, cloak, or cape. The Mantle has been used in one form or another, with varying fabrics and colors, since the 15th century. The current version is made of dark blue velvet lined with white taffeta and is accented by a red velvet hood (also lined with white taffeta), elaborate cords for closure, and white ribbons at the shoulders. The Garter Collar, with the Great George as a pendant, is draped over the Mantle across the shoulders.
The Garter Star on the Queen's Mantle
The Queen, as Sovereign of the Order, has a fancier Mantle than the rest of the members: hers has the longest train, which requires two Pages of Honour to manage, and a Garter Star. The rest of the members wear a Mantle with a sewn on patch depicting the heraldic shield of St. George's Cross encircled by the famous blue garter which bears the Order's motto, Honi soit qui mal y pense ("Shame on he who thinks ill of it"). The Queen's Mantle has a bejeweled Garter Star of metal.
The Bonnet
The Knights and Ladies of the Garter also wear a distinctive hat, a Tudor bonnet made of black velvet with a plume of white ostrich and black heron feathers and an ornament depicting St. George's shield surrounded by the garter with the Order motto written on it.

Excluding portrait sittings, the mantle and bonnet are worn only for highly ceremonial occasions, such as the annual Garter Day service at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in June.

Click here for more information on the Order of the Garter from the British Monarchy's official website.
Click here for more on the general use of order insignia in all royal countries from Order of Splendor.

Other Featured Garter Insignia:
The Collar and Great George
The Star, Riband, and Lesser George  
The Garter 

Appearances:
16 June 2014: Garter Day
17 June 2013: Garter Day 
April 2013: Recent Portrait Releases
18 June 2012: Garter Day
All Years: The Garter Service

Photos: WPA Pool/Getty Images/Rex Features

17 June 2012

Cartier Queen's Cup Polo Final

The Queen attended The Cartier Queen's Cup Final at Guards Polo Club.
Standard, standard, standard. I suppose I can't complain when she's werking it on a Sunday.

Three Strand Pearl Necklace

Photos: Getty Images Europe

16 June 2012

Trooping the Colour

Her Majesty, accompanied by members of the Royal Family, was present at The Queen's Birthday Parade on Horse Guards Parade at which The Queen's Colour of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards was trooped.
It’s one’s official birthday, and one will brooch it up if one wants too… Every year, never fails: the Guards’ Badge comes out to play.

Three Strand Pearl Necklace

Photos: FameFlynet Pictures

The Guards' Badge

The Guards' Badge
This regimental brooch combines the symbols of the Grenadier Guards, the Coldstream Guards, the Welsh Guards, the Irish Guards, and the Scots Guards. The Queen wears it every year for the Trooping the Colour ceremony. Read more at Order of Splendor.

Appearances: 
14 June 2014: Trooping the Colour
15 June 2013: Trooping the Colour
13 June 2013: Household Division Beating Retreat
16 June 2012: Trooping the Colour
Various Years: Trooping the Colour 

15 June 2012

"Cook for the Queen" Reception

In addition to other audiences, the Queen gave a Reception for the winners of the "Cook for The Queen" Competition at which the Duchess of Cornwall was present.
Ooh, a mystery brooch. The Irish Blossom Brooch, of unknown origin - but quite a large thing, isn't it?


Photos:Cropped from WPA Pool/Getty Images Europe

The Irish Blossom Brooch

Irish Blossom Brooch
Not much is known about this piece; it features six diamond flowers blossoming off a central stem. Each flower has a golden center.
It seems to be a fairly recent addition, possibly first appearing during a visit to Northern Ireland in 2009. It's made a handful of appearances since then, though no definite information about its provenance has come to light.

Appearances:
7 June 2014: State Visit to France, Flower Market Renaming and Departure
15 June 2012: "Cook for the Queen" Reception
2010: State Visit to the UAE and Oman 
2010: Visit to Canada 
2009: Royal Ascot

Photos: Pool/Getty Images