The Most Popular BroochesThe Queen wore more than sixty different brooches and badges this year. Still, the old guard of favorites top the list of the ones she wore the most. (The usual disclaimer: these are my totals from the public events covered here for which we could agree on a brooch identification, and are undoubtedly non-comprehensive.)
- Cullinan V Brooch
- Queen Victoria's Bow Brooch tied with The Queen Mother's Palm Leaf Brooch
- Frosted Sunflower Brooch tied with Aquamarine Clip Brooches
- Cambridge Pearl Pendant Brooch tied with Jardine Star Brooch tied with Pearl Trefoil Brooch tied with Queen Victoria's 11 Pearl Brooch tied with Prince Albert's Sapphire Brooch tied with Round Cambridge Emerald Brooch
Some of these are veterans of the few year-end favorites lists we've done here, while others (Albert's Sapphire, the Cambridge Emerald, Queen Victoria's 11 Pearl) are pleasant surprises. The Cullinan V Brooch has been a favorite of The Queen's throughout her reign, but it's making a first appearance on our list - a triumphant return to the top with eight appearances for the year.
The New and "New" BroochesSeveral brooch debuts - those with first public appearances, apparent first public appearances, and first public appearances on The Queen specifically - spiced up the usual selections:
- We saw the FEI Lifetime Achievement Award Brooch worn for the first time (it was a gift in 2014).
- The HMS Ocean Brooch was a new gift to The Queen, debuted when she visited the ship.
- A delightful Diamond Art Deco Double Clip surfaced for a day at the races.
- The races brought out my biggest brooch jumpy claps of the year in the form Queen Victoria's Crown Ruby Brooch, worn for the first time in public by The Queen at Ascot.
- Another piece from The Queen Mother's collection appeared in October: the Triple Emerald and Gold Brooch.
- Finally, a trip to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting introduced us to the Malta Aquamarine Brooch.
The Most Significant Brooch of the Yearanother rare appearance of Queen Alexandra's Wedding Parure Brooch were my personal favorites, but Queen Victoria's Bow Brooch on the day The Queen took over as the longest-reigning sovereign is not to be denied. With a bonus appearance on the day the changes to the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 went into effect (while wearing the same outfit, I've just noticed), I'm naming Queen Victoria's Bow Brooch as the most significant pick of the year.
The Tiara Appearances
- We started the year off with a bang with the return of Queen Alexandra's Kokoshnik Tiara. Its showing at March's Mexican State Banquet was the first "real time" appearance (meaning, not in a flashback) of the tiara since the blog started.
- Obligatory crown moment: May's State Opening of Parliament, a showcase for the George IV State Diadem and the Imperial State Crown.
- The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara went to Germany for June's state visit, along with another appearance of the gorgeous Crown Rubies.
- October's Chinese State Banquet saw the return of the Modern Sapphire Tiara after a long absence.
- The Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara, in its emerald format, appeared at November's Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
- And as always, we must mourn the lack of a look inside a sixth tiara appearance: the Diplomatic Reception in December. Update: Mourning period over! A documentary for HM's 90th birthday caught it on film, and it was another appearance of the Girls Tiara. Click here.
My Favorite Jewel Trend of the Year: The Return of the Colored Gems!Would you look at that colorful selection above? Rubies! Sapphires! Emeralds! The Queen's been on a run of all-white jewels to match her white gowns for several years, but my favorite thing in 2015 has to be the return of a little color to the gala stage. It does make things a little more interesting around here.
My Second Favorite Jewel Trend of the Year: The Continued Opening of the VaultIn last year's review, I mentioned a couple significant loans of jewelry to The Duchess of Cambridge and asked for more. Her Majesty certainly delivered: The Duchess of Cambridge added Queen Mary's Diamond Choker Bracelet, The Queen's Wedding Gift Bracelet, The Queen Mother's Sapphire Tassel Earrings, and the Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara to her list of loans this year. Enough that I created a still-in-progress page here to track the Kate-specific loans. Can we keep it up in 2016, and keep spreading it around to other family members? Fingers crossed, everyone...
What was your favorite sparkly moment in The Queen's year?
Photos: Royal Collection/Queen Elizabeth II, via Getty Images, FEI, Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery, BBC video, British Moanrchy video, British Monarchy Twitter, Parliament video