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