30 November 2012

The County of Cornwall Bracelet

The County of Cornwall Bracelet
Princess May of Teck (later Queen Mary) received a diamond and ruby bracelet set in gold from the County of Cornwall for her 1893 wedding. Her husband, the Duke of York (later George V) also gave her a jeweled diamond rose which she wore as a bracelet, so there is some confusion around this particular piece. Nevertheless, it is referred to as the County of Cornwall Bracelet.
Queen Mary
The central rose can detach from the bracelet to be worn as a pendant or a brooch, as seen on Queen Mary’s collar above. She gave the bracelet to her granddaughter Princess Elizabeth in 1947 as a wedding present.
Today, the Queen uses the bracelet occasionally with her other ruby jewels. It’s not a bad accompaniment to the similarly bold and floral Burmese Ruby Tiara. She seems to keep it as a bracelet, not using the brooch option for the center portion.

Appearances:
1983: State Visit to Sweden 
1982: State Visit from the Netherlands 

Photos: Royal Collection/Leslie Field/Corbis

29 November 2012

State Visit from Kuwait, Farewell

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh bid farewell to the Emir of Kuwait as he concluded his State Visit to the United Kingdom.
Every time I read about these state visit farewells, I get a mental picture of the royal family recreating a scene from The Sound of Music. Who needs the Von Trapps when you've got the Windsors, eh?


Photo: Bauer Griffin

28 November 2012

The Diamond and Ruby Butterfly Brooch

The Diamond and Ruby Butterfly Brooch
The Queen's best known wedding gifts came from organizations, countries, and close family members - but she received gifts from plenty of individuals as well. This brooch, described in the wedding gift list as a "diamond and ruby brooch in the form of a butterfly" was given by the Dowager Countess of Onslow.
This is not a well known wedding gift - it's not a well known brooch in the first place. The Queen doesn't wear it much, but when she does she predictably pairs it with pinks and reds.

Appearances:
19 January 2012: Sandringham Women's Institute

Photos: Getty Images/PA

Thames Hospicecare

The Queen visited Thames Hospicecare to mark their 25th anniversary.
No brooch days make me sad.


Photo: WPA Pool/Getty Images

27 November 2012

The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara

The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara
Queen Mary received this tiara as a wedding gift in 1893 from a committee representing the girls of Great Britain and Ireland. It featured pearls on top and a detachable base; Mary removed the pearls. She gave it to her granddaughter, Princess Elizabeth, as a wedding present in 1947. The Queen originally wore it without the base before reuniting the pieces in 1969.
Said to be light and easy to wear, the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara seems to be the Queen's favorite - she's said to call it "Granny's tiara", and it is her most frequently worn diadem.

Read more at Order of Splendor.

Appearances:
5 November 2013: State Visit from South Korea, State Banquet
27 November 2012: State Visit from Kuwait, State Banquet
7 March 2012: Order of the British Empire Service 
2011: State Visit from Turkey, State Banquet 
2011: State Visit to Ireland, State Dinner
2010: Visit to Canada
2006: Diplomatic Reception 
1983: State Visit to Sweden
Various Years: CHOGM Dinners

Photos: Getty Images

Queen Victoria's Bracelet

Queen Victoria's Bracelet
Each of the 5 links of this bracelet contains 9 diamonds of considerable size. They are surrounded by a diamond foliage setting, but when in use and from afar, the larger diamonds are what truly stand out. This was made for Queen Victoria in 1838 using existing diamonds in her collection, and it was designated by her as an heirloom of the Crown. Queen Victoria wore it in her official Diamond Jubilee portrait.
Left to Right: Queen Victoria, Queen Alexandra, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II
As an heirloom of the Crown, it passed after Queen Victoria's death to Queen Alexandra (who wore the bracelet for her husband's coronation), and then subsequently to Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. Elizabeth wore it for some of her most memorable and romantic portraits, and held on to the bracelet during her tenure as Queen Mother. It was inherited by the current Queen in 2002.

Appearances:
27 November 2012: State Visit from Kuwait, State Banquet

Photos: Getty Images/Royal Collection

State Visit from Kuwait, State Banquet

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, together with other members of the Royal Family, gave a state banquet in honor of the Emir of Kuwait at Windsor Castle.
Isn't that terribly kind, Her Maj saw we were reviewing some of her wedding gifts this month and now she's worn another to follow the Williamson Diamond worn earlier in the day: it's the Girls tiara! (My fave.) Bless her sparkly little heart, that's ever so helpful.


Photo: Getty Images

The Williamson Diamond Brooch

The Williamson Diamond Brooch
This brooch takes its name from the fine pink diamond in the center, a wedding gift to Princess Elizabeth in 1947 from Dr. John Williamson. Dr. Williamson, a Canadian, owned the mine in Tanzania where the diamond was found. It was cut to its current 23.6 carat size and, in 1953, placed at the center of a brooch designed for it by Cartier in the shape of a jonquil. This is a personal favorite of mine, and I adore any time the Queen brings it out.

Read more at Order of Splendor.

Appearances:
9 November 2013: Festival of Remembrance
27 November 2012: State Visit from Kuwait, Welcoming Ceremony
2011: Royal Ascot
2010: Visit to Canada  
1998: Christmas Broadcast  
1956: Royal Maundy Service

Photo: Royal Collection

State Visit from Kuwait, Welcoming Ceremony

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh welcomed His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah of Kuwait at the beginning of his State Visit to the United Kingdom.
Click above for an article and video from The Telegraph.
Woohoo! The Williamson Diamond Brooch makes its long-awaited blog debut! The brooch was swapped to the dress underneath when it came time for indoor schmoozing.


Photos:Telegraph screencap/Getty Images

26 November 2012

Queen Mary's Stomacher

Queen Mary's Stomacher
This stomacher (a piece of jewelry designed to be worn on the front of the bodice) is composed of three brooches of graduated size. Made of diamonds set in gold and white gold, each brooch includes three pear-shaped pendants and two brilliant pendants; the smallest brooch includes an extra pendant as an elaborate end to the piece. This was made in 1920 for Queen Mary using two pieces already in her collection: the Kapurthala Stomacher, given to her by the Maharajah of Karpurthala, and a diamond crescent from the town of Swansea, both of which she received as wedding presents in 1893.
Queen Mary wearing the Karputhala stomacher
Redesigning existing pieces was something Queen Mary did often, and this is an example of how good she was this sort of repurposing; she took a rather dense and spiky piece and turned it into a light, airy, and intricate stomacher. She gave the redesigned jewel to her granddaughter Princess Elizabeth as a wedding gift in 1947.
Wearing the full stomacher (left) and just the bottom brooch (center and right)
Unfortunately, by the time she handed this down, the fashions that allowed Mary to wear stomachers with such panache had long gone out of style. Perhaps because of the difficulty of the stomacher design and size, these pieces are rarely used in public. The individual brooches are far larger than the Queen's preferred brooch size; she has worn the smallest brooch on its own, though when placed on the shoulder as she usually uses her brooches, the pendant hangs at an awkward angle. We didn't see her use the full stomacher as intended in public until 2002, when she wore it to a dinner celebrating her Golden Jubilee with other monarchs in attendance.

Photos:Royal Collection/Leslie Field/Corbis

The Household Cavalry Regimental Badges

The Household Cavalry Regimental Badges
The Queen is Colonel-in-Chief of the two regiments of the Household Cavalry, the Life Guards and the Blues and Royals. For events concerning the Household Cavalry, she regularly wears these two regimental badges - one for the Blues and Royals (the Garter topped by a crown), and the other for the Life Guards.
While they can obviously be worn separately, they are often paired and so they are paired here.

Appearances:
26 November 2012: Combermere Barracks Visit

Photos: Getty Images

Combermere Barracks Visit

The Queen, Colonel-in-Chief, visited the Household Cavalry Regiment at Combermere Barracks in Windsor.
Click above to see an article and video from ITV.
Not one but two regimental badges today, and plenty of shiny buttons to fit right in with all those uniformed folks.


Photos: ITV screencap/Ministry of Defence

22 November 2012

The City of London Fringe Necklace

The City of London Fringe Necklace
This impressive diamond fringe necklace was given to Princess Elizabeth by the City of London (technically, the Lord Mayor of London and the Court of Alderman, the Governor of the Bank of England, the Chairman of the Stock Exchange, the Chairman of Lloyds, the Chairman of the Baltic Exchange and the Committee of London Clearing Banks, according to the Royal Collection) as a wedding gift in 1947.
The fringe on display with  the wedding gifts, and detail of the front
It’s a classic fringe design, which evolved from jeweled interpretations of the Russian kokoshniks and are frequently seen in both tiara and necklace form (the City of London gave a fringe tiara to the Duchess of Kent as a wedding gift in 1934). This particular 19th century jewel is all diamonds, set in gold and silver, and threaded on silk. The fringe extends all the way around the neck. Unlike many fringes, it does not include a setting to form a tiara.
The Queen has at least one, if not two, fringe necklaces of similar style, and she also has one basic fringe to keep in tiara form, Queen Mary’s Fringe Tiara. Now that the tiara has passed to her, she can make a double fringe pairing, which I happen to love.

Appearances:
17 February 2012: New Zealand Diamond Jubilee Portrait

Photos: The Royal Household/the Royal Collection/Getty Images

Visit to Bristol

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Bristol.
Click above for an article with video and pictures from the Daily Mail.
And what did they do in Bristol? They took a ride in a motorhome. A motorhome named Mavis, no less! Well done, Bristol - I don't expect this visit will be easily forgotten.


Photos:Daily Mail screencaps

21 November 2012

The Greville Chandelier Earrings

The Greville Chandelier Earrings
Mrs. Ronald Greville left her extensive jewel collection to Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) in 1942. Some have said King George VI was a bit uneasy about his wife collecting such a stash in such a way, but apparently he got over it, because the Greville collection provided jewels which still sparkle on the ladies of the royal family today.
Two items from the Greville jewels were gifted to Princess Elizabeth for her wedding in 1947: these chandelier earrings, and a large floral ruby and diamond necklace. The Greville Chandelier Earrings are made of platinum-set diamonds in a great variety of cuts (emerald, pear, square, half moon, trapeze, baguette, and more). Made by Cartier, they started out in a simpler form and evolved to what we see today by 1929.
 Video: In action in Canada, 2010
The Queen used these often in her early years; after the wedding, they were her main showstopper earrings for formal events. They are not worn as often these days, but it's always a pleasant surprise when they are – they’re really quite pleasant and cohesive for a concept that seems a bit gimmicky at first (combining all the cuts of diamonds could have gone wrong in so many ways!). And the swing of the long earrings adds a tremendous amount of sparkle power.

Appearances:
2010: Visit to Canada 
1983: State Visit to Sweden 

Photos: Leslie Field/Royal Collection/Getty Images

The Diamond Bouquet Brooch

The Diamond Bouquet Brooch
This brooch of unknown provenance depicts a floral bouquet in diamonds, possibly of roses of some variation or forget-me-nots. I agree with readers that noted that the style of this piece and the worn appearance of the setting seem to indicate an antique, possibly Victorian.
When this brooch appeared during an audience with the High Commissioner for Belize I thought it was a "new" appearance, but it is not: it was also worn during the 2006 state visit from Brazil, at least. The timing of those two appearances suggests a gem from the late Queen Mother's collection to me, but of course it is entirely possible that this has belonged to the Queen for decades.

Appearances:
20 November 2012: Audience at Buckingham Palace

Photos: Getty Images/PA/Corbis

Investiture at Buckingham Palace

The Queen held an Investiture at Buckingham Palace. Among the honors presented were an OBE for Gary Barlow, the musician that coordinated the Diamond Jubilee concert, and a CBE for actress Kate Winslet.
Click above for an article and video from the BBC.
I must say, Ms. Winslet certainly did look fierce fetching her gong in Alexander McQueen. She should get an award for that alone.


Photo: BBC screencap

20 November 2012

Audience at Buckingham Palace

The Queen received Ms. Perla Perdomo, the High Commissioner for Belize, for a private audience at Buckingham Palace.
Another new-to-me-and-this-blog brooch! Lilibet, you spoil us.
Okay, we seem to have here a little bouquet with one predominant blossom. This looks like a wild rose to me, but I am not botanically inclined. Anybody else have thoughts on the type of flower here?

UPDATE: It is not a "new" brooch, I have located a previous appearance. Click below for details.


Photos:PA/Getty

Flashback: The Wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Lt. Philip Mountbatten

Princess Elizabeth married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten on November 20, 1947, at Westminster Abbey in London.
Princess Elizabeth had enough problems on her wedding day to send any bride into a meltdown. Her bouquet went missing. The pearl necklaces given to her by her parents were already on display at St. James’ Palace, when the bride getting ready at Buckingham Palace wanted to wear them. The tiara broke as she was getting ready. Maybe that old adage about rain on your wedding day signaling a successful marriage is true after all: 65 years later, these two are still going strong.


Photos: Life

Queen Mary’s Fringe Tiara

Queen Mary's Fringe Tiara
There are a few different diamond fringe pieces in the Queen’s collection, and they can be hard to tell apart. Queen Mary’s Fringe Tiara – made by Garrard in 1919 from a necklace given to Mary as a wedding present by Queen Victoria – is often mistakenly identified as a tiara of Hanoverian diamonds from George III. Queen Mary gave this piece to Queen Elizabeth (the future Queen Mother) in 1936; it was then loaned to Princess Elizabeth (the current Queen) and Princess Anne for their wedding days. It was inherited by the Queen on her mother’s death in 2002, and can also be worn as a necklace.

Read more at Order of Splendor. 

Appearances:
17 February 2012: New Zealand Diamond Jubilee Portrait
1947: The Wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten

Photo: Royal Household

The Duchess of Teck Earrings

The Teck Earrings
Composed of a central pearl surrounded by 8 diamonds in a square formation, the earrings worn by the Queen on her wedding day were a gift from Queen Mary. Mary inherited them from her mother, Princess Mary Adelaide, Duchess of Teck on her death in 1897; Mary Adelaide originally inherited the earrings from her aunt, Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester in 1857.
Princess Mary Adelaide, Duchess of Teck (left); Queen Mary (right)
When Mary inherited them, the Teck earrings were the detachable top part of a larger pair of earrings called the Duchess of Gloucester's Pendant Earrings. Both Mary and her mother wore the top part separately, and Mary eventually separated them into two pairs of earrings. She gave the Teck earrings to her granddaughter Princess Elizabeth on January 31, 1947, the day Elizabeth set out for a tour of South Africa with her parents and sister.
Elizabeth wore the earrings on her wedding day, as well as for the photographs taken of her and Philip on their honeymoon. The earrings reappeared to recreate their honeymoon pictures for their 60th wedding anniversary.

Appearances: 
03 June 2013: Royal National Institute of Blind People Reception 
2009: Festival of Remembrance 
1947: The Wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten

Photos: Leslie Field/Royal Collection/Life

19 November 2012

Diamond Collet Necklaces

Any good royal collection has at least one diamond collet necklace - a basic necklace with single round diamonds (of considerable size on their own) in a single row. Queen Mary was a huge fan, often piling on multiple necklaces so as to create almost a diamond turtleneck for herself. She also kept a collection of loose collets at Garrard to vary the length of these "basic" necklaces.
Queen Mary and many, many diamond necklaces
The Queen also wears collet necklaces, but she tends to stick to one at a time. According to Hugh Roberts in The Queen's Diamonds, Queen Mary had 8 collet necklaces, and 2 of those were left to the Queen.

The Coronation Necklace would also fall under this category, with the Lahore pendant removed.

Queen Alexandra's Collet Necklace
Queen Alexandra wears the necklace on a velvet choker
One of those 2 necklaces was Queen Alexandra's Collet Necklace, which was a gift to Queen Alexandra for her 1863 wedding from the City of London.

The Duchess of Teck's Collet Necklace
Queen Mary (left), and Queen Elizabeth (right), both wearing the Teck necklace as the longest necklace
Queen Mary inherited this necklace from her mother, Princess Mary Adelaide, Duchess of Teck; she in turn had likely received it from her aunt, Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester. The necklace, though it has varied in length over time, is a longer form and currently includes 46 brilliant diamonds. It is the longer necklace on both Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother (seen at the 1953 coronation), above. This necklace was with the Queen Mother until her death in 2002.

Queen Elizabeth's Coronation Necklace 
Queen Elizabeth (left, with the Coronation Necklace), and the Duchess of Cornwall
The most notable collet necklace in the Queen Mother's collection was one made of old-cut diamonds and given to her by her husband, King George VI, in 1937 to celebrate their coronation. As used by the Queen Mother (Queen Elizabeth), it included 40 diamonds and was long enough to be worn beneath the Coronation Necklace. (She also wore it as the middle necklace in the three collet necklaces she wore to her daughter's 1953 coronation, shown above.) The Queen has loaned it to the Duchess of Cornwall, who shortened it to 31 diamonds.

Like pearls, these necklaces are devilishly hard to tell apart when in use. Thus, I will group those that do not seem to be the Coronation Necklace here.

Appearances:
19 November 2012: Royal Variety Performance
27 July 2012: Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics
2010: State Visit to the UAE and Oman 
2010: Visit to Canada  
2008: State Visit from France (Queen Elizabeth's, on the Duchess of Cornwall)

Photos: Royal Collection/PA

The Baguette and Brilliant Bracelet

The Baguette and Brilliant Bracelet
The Queen received this bracelet of diamonds set in platinum from her father, King George VI, in 1949. It was an existing piece bought at Garrard, and the band features two rows of brilliants with an alternating border of baguettes and a twist in the center.
 
The Queen has many diamond bracelets, and this one seems a choice especially for black tie events, without a tiara. It's also one of the pieces she loaned to the late Princess of Wales, who wore it during her 1983 tour of Australia with the Prince of Wales.

Appearances:
19 November 2012: Royal Variety Performance
2010: State Visit to the UAE and Oman 

Photos: Royal Collection/Leslie Field

Royal Variety Performance

The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, marked the 100th anniversary of the Royal Variety Performance with a show at the Royal Albert Hall.
When I saw this sparkly little dress in Angela Kelly's book with the teaser that we might see it on the Queen in the future, I wondered if it might be a showbiz kind of gown!
If you can bring yourself to look past the sparkly gown, we have some serious diamonds - and some are hard to identify. The earrings, it's hard to tell; the necklace is a collet necklace, and those are always hard to tell apart, it looks like Queen Alexandra's Collet Necklace but looks slightly longer this time. She's also not wearing her standard evening watch; based on the band, it could be her custom Patek Philippe diamond watch. Whatever the real identity of these pieces, this is some serious diamond power.

Diamond Earrings
Diamond Watch

Photos:Bauer Griffin/Getty Images

16 November 2012

The Wedding Gift Bracelet

The Wedding Gift Bracelet
The London firm of Philip Antrobus was entrusted to create both the engagement ring and the wedding present the Duke of Edinburgh gave his wife in 1947. Both jewels were made from diamonds taken from a tiara that belonged to the Duke's mother, Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark (born Princess Alice of Battenberg), and both were set in platinum.
Princess Alice, wearing the tiara dismantled to create the ring and bracelet
The wedding gift took the form of a wide bracelet featuring stepped geometric motifs centered around the three largest diamonds. It's quite a statement piece due to its width, and the Queen has continued to wear it from the early years of her marriage through today.
She chose to wear the bracelet in the official photographs taken to commemorate her Diamond Jubilee. Combined with other jewels which have great history and particular relation to Queen Victoria, the only other British monarch to celebrate 60 years on the throne, it seems a specific tribute to the Duke and the support he has given her throughout her reign. Awww.

Appearances:
6 February 2012: Official Diamond Jubilee Portrait

Photos: Royal Collection/Leslie Field