16 January 2013

Jewelry Additions from the Royal Gift List, 2012

Buckingham Palace's release of the list of gifts given to the royal family in the previous year is in the news today. The list includes official items exchanged between heads of state as well as gifts from the public. Since it was the Diamond Jubilee year, 2012 was particularly prosperous for the Queen. Tucked amongst gifts including honorary ownership of a llama, 78 portraits of herself, and a crown-shaped corgi bed (please tell me she already had one!) are some additions to the royal jewelry collection. These adds include:
  • A parure consisting of a necklace, earrings, a bangle, and a ring given by the Emir of Kuwait during his November state visit. This is the most interesting item on the list, and likely to be the biggest bit of bling. The list also reveals that the Princess Royal and the Countess of Wessex were given similar gifts. (The Prince of Wales' office has their own list which would include anything given to the Duchess of Cornwall or the Duchess of Cambridge). 
  • A Jaeger-LeCoultre wrist watch. The Queen wore a Jaeger-LeCoultre watch at her coronation in 1953; click here for the company's press release on the gift.
  • A brooch from the British Jewellers' Association. We've already seen this one in action, at Christmas.
  • Sixty pieces of onyx and ancient Yemeni silver jewelery, given by the President of Yemen. This one sounds like a museum sort of thing.
  • Precious stones from the President of Namibia. No word on what sort of stones these are, or if this is the sort of thing that could be made wearable later.
  • A Sharyak brooch and an ornate dagger from the President of Kazakhstan.
  • Two seashell necklaces and a basket given by the President of the Marshall Islands. If they are anything like what I picture when you say "seashell necklace", these will never be worn.
  • A diamond and gold brooch depicting a Bird of Paradise from the President of Singapore.
And now we wait to see if any (more) of these will ever be used!

By the way, these gifts are not personal property. The rules for royal gifts were revised after some controversy in past years, and they are published on the royal website.

Read more about the 2012 gift list: