14 July 2018

Visit from The King and Queen of the Belgians

The Queen received The King and Queen of the Belgians at Windsor Castle.
Belgian Royal Palace

This is very exciting! Both that King Philippe and Queen Mathilde swung by for a chat (they were in London for a ceremony commemorating Belgians fallen during World Wars I and II, which happened to place them in England on the day of the Belgium/England World Cup match), and that this marks an eagerly anticipated brooch debut.

Belgian Royal Palace

It's the Sapphire Jubilee Snowflake Brooch! A special gift from Canada presented to Her Maj last year and one I, like many of you, have been eager to see in action. These patterned dresses do a number on brooch detail (we know that from 99% of her audiences); in this case, the blue at the center of the piece has practically disappeared. But it's perfectly sized to her preferences, and I hope it's the beginning of many appearances.

As always, full info and more detail (including close ups) of the brooch can be found at the brooch link below.

13 July 2018

Meeting at Windsor Castle

The Queen met the current US president at Windsor Castle.
Royal Family Channel screencap

This is the outfit The Queen wore to last year's "dressed down" State Opening of Parliament. At the time, the hat was accessorized with yellow-centered blue flowers, making it look distinctly reminiscent of the European flag. I guess that feedback made it back to the palace, because the hat has since been redone, a bow replacing the flowers. Her Maj chose her mother's paisley brooch for today's event, echoing the swirling pattern of this blue fabric. And that's all we have to say about today.

12 July 2018

Audience at Windsor Castle

The Queen received the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar for an audience at Windsor Castle.
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I thought this brooch would be a one-and-done thing, never to be seen after its original "courtesy" appearance - only because it's not really Her Maj's style - so this was a big surprise! This is what I've blandly called the American State Visit Brooch, a gift from President and Mrs. Obama on their state visit in 2011. The petals are moss agate, a unique material in her brooch collection. You can read more about it in our flashback to that state visit here.

Engagement and Wedding Rings 

So you'll note I'm pretty specifically NOT making a comment on why she may have chosen to wear this brooch today. That's because I like to keep politics away from here. Call it a measure of personal sanity. Thanks in advance for playing along.

11 July 2018

Audience at Buckingham Palace

July 10: The Queen received the Governor General of New Zealand, Dame Patsy Reddy, with her husband David Gascoigne for a private audience at Buckingham Palace.
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Missed this yesterday, amidst all the RAF happenings: another appearance for the Pearl Triangle, a perennial audience favorite.

10 July 2018

RAF Centenary

The Queen, accompanied by Members of The Royal Family, attended events to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force, including a service at Westminster Abbey, a Presentation of the Colours at the Buckingham Palace forecourt, and a fly past watched from the balcony.

Westminster Abbey

Can't really go wrong with blue for an RAF event, can you? While some of the other ladies of the family wore badges related to specific RAF groups with which they are associated, I suppose there are simply too many of those in The Queen's collection to decide. She went neutral with the Jardine Star.

Royal Family

Three Strand Pearl Necklace

This was a big event for the whole family, and the rest of the lot will be coming up on the other blog tomorrow!

06 July 2018

Holyrood Week: Order of the Thistle Service

The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Cambridge (The Earl of Strathearn, in Scotland), and The Princess Royal, attended a Service for the Order of the Thistle at St. Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh.
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Holyrood Week comes to a close with its grandest event, the Order of the Thistle Service. The Thistle Service happens every other year and features a grand green velvet mantle (robe) and feathered hat with the Collar and St. Andrew of the Order of the Thistle.

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The Queen opted for the same earrings she wore to the last Thistle Service, Queen Mary's Cluster Earrings. Makes a nice duet with Queen Mary's Floret Earrings worn to this year's Garter Service, I suppose.

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And because it just wouldn't be a day around here without someone in pearls, we have The Princess Royal, sporting her own large version of her mother's favorite style.

05 July 2018

Holyrood Week: Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Visit

The Queen, Colonel-in-Chief, presented a new Standard to the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards at Leuchars Station, Fife. Her Majesty was accompanied by The Duke of Kent, Deputy Colonel-in-Chief.
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Just like that, we're back to the badges! There can be no more appropriate selection for an event like this.

Royal Family

This outfit was worn to that fun Women's Institute engagement with The Princess Royal and The Countess of Wessex in 2015 and today's posy bearers did their part to made things equally delightful here.

Royal Family

04 July 2018

Holyrood Week: Audiences and Garden Party

The Queen received the First Minister of Scotland and the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament for audiences at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
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After two days of badges, Her Maj makes up for it with a two brooch day. Starting out with a classic, Queen Victoria's Bow...

Engagement and Wedding Rings 

The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of York and The Earl of Wessex, attended a Garden Party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
Royal Family

...and following that up with a more interesting selection, the Tudor Rose! (If you can make it out there.) This one came mysteriously on the scene in 2012 and was used regularly for a couple years. We haven't seen it since 2014.

Royal Family

I love the pink and blue flowers on this dress - though, as I often would, I'd lose at least one thing from the hat.

03 July 2018

Holyrood Week: No. 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron Reception, and Badge

The Queen, Honorary Air Commodore, hosted a reception for No. 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force. The Duke of York and Earl of Wessex were present. Also today, The Queen held an Investiture at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
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For more: Zimbio gallery.

Day 2 of Holyrood Week brings us another badge in action.

No. 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron RauxAF Badge
Engagement and Wedding Rings 

No. 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron RauxAF Badge
Royal Family

The Queen has been Honorary Air Commodore of this Squadron since she was Princess Elizabeth, in 1951. She has worn this badge to multiple occasions with the group. On a shield suspended from wings, it appears to incorporate the triple-towered castle present in the Squadron's badge (below). That castle is similar to the one present in the Arms of Edinburgh.

The Squadron's badge
Royal Air Force

3 July 2018: Holyroodhouse Reception

02 July 2018

Holyrood Week: Ceremony of the Keys

The Queen arrived at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, at the start of her annual week of Scottish engagements. Her Majesty was presented with the Keys of the City which she returned in the traditional Ceremony of the Keys. A Guard of Honor mounted in the Forecourt of the Palace was reviewed.
Royal Regiment of Scotland

Yellow and blue begins another packed week for Her Maj, who's looking good after cancelling an appearance at a service for the Order of St Michael and St George last week because she didn't feel well. This is the start of Holyrood Week, her annual week of engagements in Scotland where she will be based at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

To get things started, she went with her usual choice given this ceremony includes the military: the appropriate regimental badge.

27 June 2018

26 June 2018

Queen's Young Leaders Awards

The Queen presented awards and hosted a reception for the Queen's Young Leaders at Buckingham Palace. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were also present.
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We'll cover The Duchess of Sussex on the other blog tomorrow; for now, we've got Her Maj in her customary cheery floral and a splash of diamonds and pearls. This is already the Diamond and Pearl Navette Brooch's third appearance of the year. Will it make a run for the 2018 favorites list?

Royal Family

24 June 2018

Royal Windsor Cup

The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, presented prizes for the Royal Windsor Cup Final at Guards Polo Club.
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The Duke's back! And so's the Singapore brooch, which we haven't seen since last year's Balmoral break. I guess I'll have to continue my campaign to see a pearl brooch to go with those pearl buttons; she's already worn this outfit with the Singapore brooch and with the Botswana Flower.

23 June 2018

Royal Ascot, Day 5

The Queen honored Ascot Races with her presence today.
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Ascot 2018 finishes up with another surprising brooch appearance: the Maple Leaf, at an occasion not specifically Canadian (which is how Her Maj usually uses it). That solid block of diamonds does look good on this patterned suit; it's her outfit from the CHOGM Opening, with a newly revealed hat.

Three Strand Pearl Necklace

Just a few additional guests to cover today:

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Peter and Autumn Phillips were on hand again. We saw this hat on Autumn at Trooping the Colour 2017, where she paired it with a jade green dress from Hobbs in one of my favorite hat pairings of the year. The magenta's no longer an accent this time around, and I think this dress is the same style as the Trooping dress. This pink looks great on her. (As it does on most people, really!)

Lady Sarah Chatto was there too, sticking to her most classic style. Viscount Linley and Arthur Chatto were also spotted.

And that's a wrap for Ascot 2018!

Day 1: Queen Mary's Russian Brooch, on a yellow background
Day 2: The Jardine Star on light blue
Day 3: The Centenary Rose on pink
Day 4: The Queen Mother's Shell on green
Day 5: The Maple Leaf on blue/green

So Ascot 2018 did not, in the end, bring us anything new or anything exceptionally rare in the brooch department. The name of the game this year was surprising combinations, my favorite being the use of a sapphire on a yellow outfit. Which was your favorite?

22 June 2018

Royal Ascot, Day 4

The Queen honored Ascot Races with her presence today.
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Her Maj is here to prove once again that she can wear alllllll of the colors, just in case you had any doubt left. Day 4's ensemble is by Angela Kelly. Also once again, she's bringing her mother's memory with her to the races today, wearing the Shell Brooch.

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It's the weekend and royal attendance at Ascot tends to taper off right about now, so let's take care of the other attendees here:
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 Princess Beatrice was joined by both her parents for a family day out at the races. I LOVE THAT HAT. Brim for daaaaays! It's by Sarah Cant and her dress is from The Fold. 

Sarah Cant Gloriosa hat
 Could have had a better dress pairing, I would say, but it's a shape she's clearly in love with as she wore a similar one in pink for Trooping the Colour. Sarah, Duchess of York opted for a navy Roland Mouret dress and a classic Philip Treacy hat.

I think Princess Eugenie handed off the floral baton yesterday to Princess Haya. I find this a more successful hat pairing, the solid black not competing with the big pattern. It was another successful day at the races for the Dubai royals and their Godolphin team, with Princess Haya and Sheikha Jalila accepting the prize for their winner in the King Edward VII Stakes.

21 June 2018

Royal Ascot, Day 3

The Queen honored Ascot Races with her presence today.
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HOT PINK for Ladies' Day, friends. Another combo from Stewart Parvin and Rachel Trevor Morgan today. I think the strength of this color helps to cut the serious twee potential of the Centenary Rose Brooch. Though I am, as ever, not wild about this brooch.

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20 June 2018

Royal Ascot, Day 2

The Queen honored Ascot Races with her presence today.
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Can you believe this is only the second appearance of the Jardine Star this year?! This year's list of most frequently worn brooches should be interesting. It looks great on this outfit from the dynamic duo of Stewart Parvin and Rachel Trevor-Morgan. I am in love with the pink flowers against this light blue.

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Following up on their cousins' day out to the Epsom Derby earlier in the month, Her Maj's carriagemate for the day was Princess Alexandra. In addition to her elegant hat, she really piled on the gems: emerald earrings, big pearl choker, emerald butterfly brooch, diamonds throughout. So far, my Best in Bling this Ascot. (But it's only Day 2, royal ladies, so step up and contend for the title...)

19 June 2018

Royal Ascot, Day 1

The Queen honored Ascot Races with her presence today.
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This yellow Angela Kelly outfit with blue accents isn't the only yellow with blue outfit in The Queen's wardrobe and it has been suggested here in the past - such as Ascot Day 1 in 2016, in fact - that she try out a sapphire brooch on the yellow background. Her Maj has heard you, and she's game. I like this version of giving us something interesting at Ascot; Queen Mary's Rusisan Brooch isn't anything especially rare (we saw it twice last year), but a shake up of the obvious color pairings is another way to surprise.

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She shared a carriage with a rather chic-looking Princess Anne (shown here in a textbook example of a "like mother, like daughter" photo), who sported a large brooch of her own. This gold and diamond number has been in her jewel vault for decades and is often attributed to Andrew Grima.

Three Strand Pearl Necklace

Coming up tomorrow at the other blog: The rest of it!

18 June 2018

Garter Day

The Queen gave a Luncheon Party for the Companions for the Most Noble Order of the Garter. A Service was held in St. George's Chapel this afternoon.
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The Garter Service begins with the Garter Knights and Ladies walking down to St. George's Chapel, a procession full of pomp and ceremony. The Queen did not walk this year, however, choosing instead to ride in her car. I suspect this is a permanent change, bringing an end to her walking the distance in a mantle so long it needs two pages to bring up the rear. (I can't blame her, of course; I'm just glad she's still wearing the robes.) Her last time walking in the procession was actually 2015, since 2016's was switched to cars because of rain and 2017's service was cancelled.

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Jewel-wise, the event remains a showcase for The Queen's earrings. It's been white stones for a few years now, and that continues in 2018 with Queen Mary's Floret Earrings. We haven't seen these in use since 2014, so that's a nice return.

We'll be chatting about the rest of the crowd at the other blog tomorrow, so stay tuned.

17 June 2018

Cartier Queen's Cup Polo

The Queen attended the Cartier Queen's Cup Final at Guards Polo Club, Windsor Great Park.
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No brooch, oh no. How ironic, leaving off one's signature jewel when attending an event sponsored by none other than Cartier. I hope Her Maj is getting ready to ramp up the jewelry for the big week to come...

14 June 2018

Visit to Cheshire

The Queen, accompanied by The Duchess of Sussex, visited Cheshire for a day of engagements.
Kensington Palace

A jolly away day for these two, as you knew it would be. The Queen was neon in her repeated Stewart Parvin coat and dress with a Rachel Trevor-Morgan hat; The Duchess of Sussex was elegantly blergh in Givenchy, a return to her British wedding gown designer, Clare Waight Keller.

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I would be absolutely head over heels about Meghan's ensemble if it was in a more interesting color, but as I said, it is still elegant. The real feature here are her earrings. Buckingham Palace took the unusual step of confirming that they are a gift from The Queen - a gift, not a loan. They are pearl and diamond, a baby version of the button earrings worn by Her Maj on a daily basis.

Many are suspecting that these were pulled from The Queen's personal collection, but I'm not so sure; she tends to loan those pieces, so the mention of these being a gift has me wondering if they weren't purchased for Meghan. This design is so basic and so common, it will be hard to be certain unless the palace decides to confirm again.

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Anyway, the design works well on Meghan. (There's a reason one pearl and one diamond in an earring is such a popular combo, there's a version for everyone!) As for Her Maj herself, she sported Queen Victoria's Bow Brooch, which we haven't seen much of this year, and it looks great on this coat.

Royal Family

09 June 2018

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 The Coldstream Guards was trooped.
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Another year, another official birthday, and another appearance for the Brigade of Guards Badge. The Queen's traditional choice in the years since she stopped riding in the parade, this badge combines the symbols of five Household Regiments, tying Her Majesty to the different troops that perform Trooping the Colour each year.

This year's Stewart Parvin outfit and Angela Kelly hat makes two light blue years in a row for Her Maj. Still giving us time to recover from 2016's neon surprise, I've decided. As for the rest of the family, check out the post at the other blog!


08 June 2018

Westminster Abbey Diamond Jubilee Gallery Opening

The Queen, accompanied by The Prince of Wales, opened The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries at Westminster Abbey.
Westminster Abbey

The Grima Ruby is certainly a statement brooch - and I had to laugh, coming after a no brooch day, that she made sure there was no way we'd miss this one. Especially on a magenta background. (She wore it on a similar color in December.)

Westminster Abbey

Charles was her escort for the day, and the galleries they opened - The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries - sound absolutely fascinating. They're set in the medieval triforium way above the floor at Westminster Abbey, showcasing 300 pieces from the Abbey's collection. Their Facebook page has a little teaser video; the space opens to the public on June 11.

07 June 2018

Audience at Buckingham Palace

The Queen held an audience at Buckingham Palace.
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These floral dresses are notorious for concealing brooches, but this might be the rarest case of all: I see no brooch here at all. Instead, I guess, we'll have to make do with a new angle and loads of pictures for those of you that love the identification game.

06 June 2018

Medical Detection Dogs Anniversary

The Queen and The Duchess of Cornwall attended a demonstration by the Medical Detection Dogs charity at The Royal Mews, Buckingham Palace, for the charity's 10th anniversary. The Duchess of Cornwall is their Patron.
Royal Family

These two always make a jolly pair, especially when they get to hang out with some Very Good Dogs. Her Maj brought back one of her cuter brooches, the Sapphire and Diamond Grapes from The Queen Mother's collection, which we haven't seen since 2014. The Duchess of Cornwall wore her Everyday Pearl Pendant Earrings.

Royal Family

02 June 2018

Epsom Derby

The Queen, accompanied by Princess Alexandra of Kent, attended Investec Derby Day at Epsom Downs Racecourse.
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Looks like it was once again a cousins' day out for Her Maj, as Princess Alexandra joined her on her annual trip to Epsom. The year's purple theme continues, happily, with the Kent Amethyst and this lilac ensemble. The brooch was later transferred to the dress underneath.

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01 June 2018

Investiture at Buckingham Palace

The Queen held an Investiture at Buckingham Palace.
ITV screencap

A brooch we can see at one of these events, delightful. And it is the second appearance for Marie Feodorovna's Sapphire Brooch this year so far, also delightful.

ITV screencap

31 May 2018

Buckingham Palace Garden Party

The Queen, joined by The Duke of Cambridge, Princess Eugenie, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, The Duke of Kent, and Princess Alexandra, held a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.
Royal Family

What to pair with peacock feathers...a giant diamond, sure, why not? Must have been warm today, Her Maj opted not to wear the jacket that goes with this dress and hat.

Royal Family

30 May 2018

Audience at Buckingham Palace

The Queen received and held an audience with the Hon. George Brandis on his appointment as High Commissioner for the Commonwealth of Australia.
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Everybody's favorite audience game, Identify Those Photographs, pays off handsomely today: Her Maj has added a previously unseen photo of Harry and Meghan to her table. The brooch identification game also pays off today, with a rare sighting of the Double Swan Brooch! Debuted in 2014, this is only its third appearance.

27 May 2018

Church at Balmoral and Visit to Kensington Palace

The Queen, accompanied by The Earl of Wessex and Lady Louise, attended church at Crathie Kirk while staying on the Balmoral Estate.

The Queen appears to be having a bit of a rest in Scotland before the busy June royal calendar kicks in. This is one of two recent sightings with difficult brooches to identify. Click here for more pics at the Scottish Sun.

Unidentified Brooch (Update: Looks like the Triple Diamond Bar Brooch.)
 Engagement and Wedding Rings

May 24: The Queen visited Kensington Palace.

She also popped by Kensington Palace last week, in another tough to ID brooch. Click here for a pic at the Sun.

22 May 2018

Queen Mary's Diamond Bandeau Tiara

Royal Collection Trust

Queen Mary's Diamond Bandeau Tiara was commissioned by Queen Mary in 1932 and was designed to feature the detachable brooch at its center, an 1893 wedding present to Mary from the County of Lincoln. The tiara was bequeathed to The Queen in 1953. It had to wait until 2018 for its next appearance, when The Queen loaned it to Meghan Markle for her wedding to Prince Harry.

Read about the tiara's full story here, at Order of Splendor.

19 May 2018: The Wedding of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex

21 May 2018

Chelsea Flower Show

The Queen and other Members of The Royal Family visited the Chelsea Flower Show.
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After 5 straight years of wearing the Chelsea Iris Brooch, her Diamond Jubilee gift from the Royal Horticultural Society, Her Maj breaks rank to finish off a very pink outfit with a very pink brooch. She certainly fit right in with her surroundings.

Royal Family

Let's get one FAQ out of the way real quick: Why isn't she wearing a hat? Because this visit happens later in the day; she arrived just before 6 pm. She's been without a hat - or with one of her infamous bow- or flower-adorned hairnets - for this event since the late 1960s.

20 May 2018

Church at Windsor

The Queen attended Sunday church services while staying at Windsor Castle.
A post shared by The Mirror (@dailymirror) on

Only rarely do we see The Queen head out for church when she's at Windsor (though it's a weekly activity), but the place is still bustling after the wedding, so lucky us! The angle's making this very difficult for brooch identification, I'll turn it over for your thoughts. (Update: After looking at more pics, it is the Art Deco Double Clip!)

19 May 2018

The Wedding of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex

The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, and other Members of The Royal Family attended the wedding of Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle, now The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, at St. George's Chapel, Windsor.
Royal Family Channel screencap

The Queen came ready for a spring wedding today, in an outfit in lime, lemon, and purple by Stewart Parvin with a matching hat by Angela Kelly. The Duke of Edinburgh was looking in fine form too, returning to the royal fold after his hip surgery.

Royal Family Channel screencap

My "practical" brooch guess turned out to be spot on, if I do say so myself: The Queen sized up from her everyday brooch selections with the Richmond Brooch, one of Queen Mary's wedding gifts. Very sparkly indeed!

Three Strand Pearl Necklace

Queen Mary's wedding gifts also provided part of the bride's tiara, which was on loan from The Queen.

Royal Family Channel screencap

Queen Mary's Diamond Bandeau Tiara, as the palace called it in their release, has been popularly known on the internet as the Filigree Tiara. It's been a bit of a mystery, not seen since the later years of Queen Mary's life (she died in 1953), and it wasn't known if it was still with The Queen. Here's what the official information from the palace:

The veil is held in place by Queen Mary's diamond bandeau tiara, lent to Ms. Markle by The Queen. The diamond bandeau is English and was made in 1932, with the centre brooch dating from 1893. 

The bandeau, which is made of diamonds and platinum, is formed as a flexible band of eleven sections, pierced with interlaced ovals and pavĂ© set with large and small brilliant diamonds. The centre is set with a detachable brooch of ten brilliant diamonds. 

The diamond bandeau was made for Queen Mary and specifically designed to accommodate the centre brooch. This brooch was given as a present to the then Princess Mary in 1893 by the County of Lincoln on her marriage to Prince George, Duke of York. The bandeau and the brooch were bequeathed by Queen Mary to The Queen in 1953.

We'll have more on the tiara over at the other blog and it will eventually get its own post here as other jewels have - but first, the rest of the wedding posts! Stay tuned to the Order of Splendor.