31 December 2012

2012: The Year in The Queen's Jewels

As we bid adieu to another year, it's time to wrap up the highlights of one sparkly year in the Queen's jewel vault: the brooches, the tiaras, the surprises, and more.

The Most Popular Brooches
Obviously, it's impossible for us to make a 100% accurate inventory of all the brooches the Queen wore in 2012. There are just too many events where the brooch can't be seen, or can't be positively identified (not to mention all the events we didn't see at all). But since I take my jewel nerd status seriously, I tallied up those I could identify - as cataloged right here on the blog - and this year's favorites are (drumroll, please)...
The Frosted Sunflower and Jardine Star had strong starts to the year, while the Aquamarine Clips ruled the apr├Ęs-Balmoral scene. Apart from those it was a pretty well-rounded year, brooch-wise, with plenty of surprises.

The New and "New" Brooches
Her Maj gifted us with several outings of brooches which I'd never seen before. Whether that means they are new to her or just had the vault dust swept off, we - the brooch appreciating general public - do not know. We do know for sure that she received at least three brooches to mark her Diamond Jubilee:
Of the three, we've only seen her wear the BJA brooch (on Christmas Day). I'm anticipating the Chelsea Iris for the 2013 Chelsea Flower Show, and we probably won't see the Canadian brooch until the Queen does something involving that regiment.

Biggest Brooch Omission
Did we really go this whole year without a sighting of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee Brooch? Granted, it wasn't exactly a favorite before...but still! (This was my guess for the Christmas message, by the way. Good thing I don't really bet on these things.)
The Tiara Appearances
We had to wait for state visit splendor until the end of the year, but we still got a nice batch of tiara appearances, didn't we? Not a colored stone tiara in sight, though - maybe next year.

My Personal Favorite Appearances
So often, the Queen's day to day wardrobe is utterly predictable: three row pearl necklace, button earrings, brooch, repeat. My favorite appearances this year weren't the tiara ones (believe it or not), but the ones when the daily uniform was thrown out the window in favor of some serious bling. Obviously, her Jubilee airing of Granny's massive chips was epic - based on her brooch history, it wouldn't surprise me if this is the last time we see it in her reign. But I also loved her appearance at the Olympics, so unexpectedly over the top in sparkle. She showed up to reign, and with her Bond girl appearance, reign she did.  

Which of the Queen's jeweled moments were your favorites in 2012?

What's Coming in 2013: In 2012, we built a pretty good record of what the Queen wears on a daily basis by cataloging her jewels as she wore them. In 2013, we'll be moving beyond that - look for more jewel features sprinkled here and there that aren't related to what the Queen's been wearing, in addition to the Queen's current events (and current jewels). Plus maybe a few other things, you never know. I hope you'll stick around for another sparkly year!

Photos: Getty Images/PA/Birks/Kristjan Eyjolfsson/BJA/Royal Collection

30 December 2012

Church at Sandringham

The Queen, accompanied by members of the Royal Family, attended church at Sandringham.
Click above for an article and pictures from ITV.
One of my least favorite outfit/brooch combos to end the year. Alas!

Photo: PA

25 December 2012

Christmas Service

The Queen, accompanied by members of the Royal Family, attended Christmas service at St. Mary Magdalene Church, Sandringham.
Click above to see an article with pictures and video from the Daily Mail.
Well, that was quick! The Queen has debuted her Jubilee present from the British Jewellers' Association, a modern take on a dove. Click the link below for more. It'll never be my favorite (most modern pieces aren't), but it is quite impressively sized.

Photos: Daily Mail screencap/Getty Images

Christmas Broadcast, 2012

The Queen's annual message was broadcast on Christmas Day.
Her Maj in her spiffy bedazzled 3D specs again: a Christmas present all on its own, am I right?


21 December 2012

Queen Mary's Floret Earrings

Queen Mary's Floret Earrings
These diamond and platinum earrings are another example of the multiple changes Queen Mary made to her jewels. The large central stones are the Mackinnon diamonds, a pair of solitaire earrings that were a wedding gift from Sir William Mackinnon to Mary for her wedding in 1893.
The stones were then set as the center of another pair, Queen Mary's Cluster Earrings. Later on, they were replaced and a new setting was created by Garrard, Queen Mary's Floret Earrings. In their new setting, each one is surrounded by seven slightly smaller diamonds.
The earrings were inherited by the Queen on Queen Mary's death in 1953. She wears them for occasions like the State Opening of Parliament, the Garter Day ceremony, and other formal events.

4 December 2018: Diplomatic Reception
18 June 2018: Garter Day
9 May 2014: Order of the Bath Service
17 February 2012: New Zealand Diamond Jubilee Portrait
2011: State Visit to Ireland, State Dinner
Various Years: State Opening of Parliament  
Various Years: The Garter Service

Photos: Leslie Field/Royal Collection/Getty Images

Updates from the Past

This batch of past events brings us up to the start of 2012, which is our end for now. These posts are dated back to when they actually occurred, so they don't appear on the front page of the blog. In case you missed them, here are the latest past event and jewel updates:

20 December 2012

Train to Sandringham

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh traveled to Sandringham for the Christmas holiday.
Click above to see an article and pictures from the Daily Mail.
You know what this means, don't you? It's officially Christmas time!


18 December 2012

Cabinet Meeting

The Queen visited Downing Street and, for the first time in her reign, attended a cabinet meeting.
Click above for an article with video and photographs from The Telegraph.
So they gave her placemats. Sixty placemats. A gift suggested by the palace and all handmade and fancy...but that doesn't mean I won't still pretend they're the sticky printed plastic ones, just for fun.

Photos:Telegraph screencap/Getty Images

13 December 2012

Bank of England

The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, toured the Bank of England.
Click above to see a video and article from Sky News
The DoE was in particularly fine form today. On the financial crisis: "Don't do it again!" When asked to sign an unissued £1 million note: “Is this just lying about? You won’t miss it, will you?” All that's missing is a foiled attempt to slip a gold bar into Lilibet's purse. Bless him. (And bless her for asking questions about the crisis, which is what's making headlines from this visit. Shouldn't we all be asking a few questions, hmm?)

Photos:Sky News screencap/WPA Pool

12 December 2012

Audiences at Buckingham Palace

The Queen received the Libyan Ambassador and the High Commissioner for the Republic of Malawi at Buckingham Palace.
The Kent Amethyst, perhaps?

Unidentified Brooch

Photo: PA

07 December 2012

The Sapphire Chrysanthemum Brooch

The Sapphire Chrysanthemum Brooch
The Queen has received many official gifts, including jewels, over the course of her life. I suppose one might reach a point at which it becomes commonplace, but at the beginning, it's something special. This brooch is one of those first gifts, and it seems to have retained a special status in the Queen’s collection.
The Sapphire Chrysanthemum Brooch, a chrysanthemum with diamond petals and a center of multiple sapphires, all set in platinum, was a gift to then-Princess Elizabeth for launching the British Princess oil tanker in 1946. The brooch was given by Sir James Laing & Sons Limited and the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company Limited. She wore it often in the early years, before her collection grew.
The brooch has made a few notable appearances, including for Princess Anne’s christening and famously for both the honeymoon photo and recreation of that photo for the 60th wedding anniversary of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. The Queen continues to wear the brooch today.

7 March 2021: Commonwealth Day Message
19 November 2020: 73rd Wedding Anniversary
29 October 2019: Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust Reception
11 October 2019: Haig Housing Trust Opening
24 January 2019: Sandringham Women's Institute Meeting
29 September 2017: Visit to Aberdeen
16 June 2015: Audience at Windsor Castle
5 April 2015: Easter Service
3 February 2014: Visit to RAF Marham
5 June 2013: Audiences at Buckingham Palace
2 March 2012: Investiture at Windsor Castle
1 January 2012: Attending Church in Norfolk 
1996: 70th Birthday Walkabout
1957: Royal Maundy Service 
1952: Christmas Broadcast  

Photos: The Royal Collection/Corbis/PA 

Updates from the Past

As time allows, I add events and jewels worn in the past by the Queen. I'm currently working my way back through the 2012 events which occurred before the blog started. These posts are dated back to when they actually occurred, so they don't appear on the front page of the blog. In case you missed them, here are the latest past event and jewel updates:

05 December 2012

Queen's Medal for Music

The Queen attended the concert and presentation of the Queen's Medal for Music at the Barbican Centre, London.
I do like this for other reasons besides the purple. So rich, this fabric!

Photos:Bauer Griffin

Audiences at Buckingham Palace

The Queen received the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea and the High Commissioner for the Commonwealth of Dominica at Buckingham Palace.
Looks like another appearance of one of this year's "new" brooches (new to us, heaven only knows if it's new to the Queen) - for the third time. Quite a lot for a newbie!

Photo: PA/Bauer Griffin

The BJA Diamond Jubilee Brooch

The BJA Diamond Jubilee Brooch
The British Jewellers’ Association (BJA) presented the Queen with this brooch made of diamonds, platinum, and gold to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee. A contest was held to select the brooch, and the winning design came from Ivonna Poplanska. According to the BJA:
"Her design entitled ‘The Eternal Dove’ is loosely based on the 'Sceptre with Dove’ an item in the Crown Jewels which, was made for the Coronation of King Charles 11 in 1661. The dove, which is in flight, encompasses four flowers –the shamrock, the daffodil, the thistle and the rose - chosen to represent the countries of the United Kingdom. These are made in rare Irish, Welsh, Scottish and English gold which has been donated by enthusiastic local prospectors. Natural coloured diamonds have been used to highlight these flowers. Entwined holly leaves also feature in the design symbolising unity, while the dove stands for peace. "
The materials and craftsmanship required to create the graceful brooch were donated, and the final product was presented to the Queen on December 5, 2012, and first worn on Christmas Day.

Click here for more information from the British Jewellers' Association.

25 December 2012: Christmas Service

Photo: BJA

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.

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.

8 June 2021: Virtual Audiences
25 August 2019: Church at Balmoral
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.

4 December 2018: Diplomatic Reception
23 October 2018: State Visit from The Netherlands, State Banquet 
19 April 2018: CHOGM Dinner 
8 December 2015: Diplomatic Reception
24 June 2015: State Visit to Germany
21 October 2014: State Visit from Singapore 
6 June 2014: State Visit to France
9 May 2014: Order of the Bath Service
5 November 2013: State Visit from South Korea
27 November 2012: State Visit from Kuwait
7 March 2012: Order of the British Empire Service 
2011: State Visit from Turkey
2011: State Visit to Ireland
2010: Visit to Canada 
2007: CHOGM Dinner
2006: Diplomatic Reception 
2006: Order of the Bath Service  
2005: State Visit from China
1992: State Visit to Germany 
1991: Balmoral Ghillies Ball
1988: State Visit to Spain
1985: State Visit to Portugal 
1983: State Visit to Sweden 
1978: State Visit to Germany
1967: Visit to Malta  
1958: State Visit from Germany
1958: State Visit to the Netherlands 
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.

27 November 2012: State Visit from Kuwait, State Banquet
1978: State Visit to Germany
1967: Visit to Malta 
1965: State Visit to Germany  

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.

5 June 2014: State Visit to France, Welcome Ceremony
9 November 2013: Festival of Remembrance
27 November 2012: State Visit from Kuwait, Welcoming Ceremony
2011: Royal Ascot
2010: Visit to Canada  
2009: G-20 Summit Reception
1998: Christmas Broadcast  
1961: Commonwealth Visit to India and Pakistan
1958: State Visit to the Netherlands 
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.

24 October 2017: Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment Barracks Visit
28 May 2014: Household Cavalry Standard Presentation and Garden Party
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