31 May 2013

Woolwich Barracks Visit

The Queen, Captain General, visited the King's Troop at Woolwich Barracks, London.
Click for an article and video from the Telegraph.
This was certainly the most anticipated visit of the Queen's busy week, a visit which was scheduled long before last week's horrific attack (see the article linked above). As expected, she wore the appropriate regimental badge.

Photos:Telegraph screencap/PA

The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery Badge

The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery Badge (brooch and form)
Appropriately including a horse and crown for a mounted unit with important ceremonial and functional duties, the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery's badge includes a horse depicted under a crown. The Queen has a brooch form of the badge, and she wears it when she visits the regiment.

19 October 2017: King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery 70th Anniversary
31 May 2013: Woolwich Barracks Visit
1967: State Visit from Saudi Arabia

Photos: PA/RHAPD/Getty Images

30 May 2013

Coronation Bouquet Presentation and Buckingham Palace Garden Party

The Queen held audiences at Buckingham Palace and received the Worshipful Company of Gardeners, who presented her with a replica of her coronation bouquet to mark the 60th anniversary of the coronation. Later, she hosted a garden party, accompanied by other members of the royal family.

You know, I almost said yesterday how nice it was to get the Kent Amethyst instead of this one...and here we are! She's gonna need a bigger purple selection if we continue on like this. Anyway, receiving a bouquet calls for a bouquet brooch of one sort or another. Click here for an article about the replica bouquet.
For the garden party, she brought out one we haven't seen in close to a year - and the last time we saw it, it was on this same outfit, pink and bows, practically too sweet. Click here for an article on the garden party, which was the first one attended by Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie (who somehow managed to leave the statement hats to their aunt Anne).


29 May 2013

Queen's Award for Voluntary Service Reception and Mount Everest Ascent Anniversary Reception

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh held a reception to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service at St. James' Palace.
Click for video from ITNSource ("The Queen and the Duke Meet Volunteers").
No kidding, this brooch really is at the top of the pile at the moment! Unusual to pair rubies with this color outfit for her, but the rubies are small.

Ruby and Gold Flower Brooch
Three Strand Pearl Necklace

Later, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh attended a reception at the Royal Geographical Society to mark the 60th anniversary of the first successful climb to the top of Mount Everest by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. 
Click for video from NBC News.
And classic purple for her Everest reception later on. Of course, news of the ascent reached Britain on June 2, 1953, the day of the Queen's coronation, linking the two events in history.

Kent Amethyst Brooch
Three Strand Pearl Necklace

In other news, a striking new photograph of the Queen, in her robes of the Order of the Thistle and the Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara with emeralds has emerged. Click here to see, and for more information. This is rare - it has been several years since the Queen took the emeralds out for a spin. And even more unusual to see her standing out in the hills all dressed up, but I like it. Fabulous contrast. 

Photos: ITNSource screencap/NBC screencap

23 May 2013

Visit to Cambridge

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Cambridge.
Click for video from ITV.
This brooch must really be at the top of the pile this year, huh? (Also: she's in pink again! Yay! And there's a Koosh ball on her hat!)

Photos:ITV screencap/PacificCoastNews

22 May 2013

Buckingham Palace Garden Party and Audience

The Queen received the President of Croatia at Buckingham Palace. Later, she hosted a garden party, accompanied by other members of the royal family.
It was a day of favorites, starting with the Aquamarine Clips and moving on to the Jardine Star. I do so love her in pink.

Also, HM held an investiture at Buckingham Palace yesterday, though I have not seen anything to give a brooch hint.


20 May 2013

Chelsea Flower Show

The Queen and other members of the royal family visited the Chelsea Flower Show.
Click here for video from the BBC; click here for a photo gallery from The Telegraph.
Hefty royal turn out as always for the Chelsea Flower Show today (Sophie wins my best dressed title - and fancy hair to boot!). The Queen, as expected, wore her Chelsea Iris Brooch, her Diamond Jubilee gift from the Royal Horticultural Society. This is the brooch's public debut.
Unfortunately, it sort of fades away, I think. Particularly on this color background. Being primarily white gold, it doesn't have much sparkle to set it apart. I imagine it would do better on a darker outfit, though.

Photos:BBC screencap/PA

18 May 2013

Flashback: The Chelsea Flower Show

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is put on each year by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in Chelsea, London, in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. The Queen is Patron of the RHS and typically attends the opening of the show in May each year, and other members of the royal family are sure to visit as well.

 As jewels go, this is a standard appearance for the Queen. Her standard day set of Queen Mary's Button Earrings and her Three Strand Pearl Necklace are worn today, with appearances early on from other options like the simple Pearl Stud Earrings. A brooch, of course, is required; though floral motifs are obvious choices, they share space with other more general designs and no one favorite stands out from the first 60 years of the Queen's reign.

The real standouts at the Chelsea Flower Show are actually not the jewels, but the headgear, to tell you the truth. Up until 1967 the Queen wore a hat, but from 1968 on she's gone hatless, arriving in either a headscarf or one of her hairnets studded with bows or little flowers...which is an interesting look, to say the least.

A selection of flower show appearances:
1952: Dorset Bow

1967: Teck Corsage

1977: Cullinan V

1982: Cullinan V

2007: Cullinan V

2012: Jardine Star

During her 2012 visit, the RHS presented their Patron with a special gift to mark her Diamond Jubilee: the Chelsea Iris Brooch. From 2013 to 2017, she wore that brooch for the Flower Show. In 2018, she opted for the Small Pink and Diamond Brooch; 2019's choice was the Flame Lily.

Photos: British Pathe/PA/BBC/Telegraph/Getty Images/Reuters

17 May 2013

Visit to Cornwall

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Cornwall.
Click for videos and pictures from ITV.
This seems like a really cute and fun visit - she even left her wee high-heeled footprints as a mark at St. Michael's Mount, just as Queen Victoria once did.

Photo: ITV screencap

15 May 2013

Audiences at Buckingham Palace

The Queen received the Ambassador of Egypt and the High Commissioner of Bangladesh at Buckingham Palace.
Interesting to see this one again, so soon. Always good to see things out of the vault, but...not my favorite.

Photo: PA

14 May 2013

Order of Merit Service

The Queen, along with the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales, attended a service for members of the Order of Merit at the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace and afterwards gave a luncheon.
Click for a video from ITNSource, then click "Watch Preview".
I thought it had been a while since we'd seen this brooch - for a time, it seemed a big favorite - and sure enough, it's been almost exactly a year since its last appearance!

Photos:ITNSource screencap/PA

13 May 2013

The Cullinan VI and VIII Brooch

The Cullinan VI and VIII Brooch
Both the central portion of the top brooch and its pendant are pieces from the famous Cullinan diamond. Cullinan VIII is the emerald-cut 6.8 carat diamond on top, and Cullinan VI is the 11.5 carat marquise diamond that serves as a pendant. The top portion alone also serves as a part of the Delhi Durbar Stomacher. The brooch was left to the Queen in 1953 by Queen Mary, and though it is used, it is not as common a sight as Cullinan V, its heart-shaped counterpart.

Read more at Order of Splendor.

3 June 2019: State Visit from the United States, Luncheon 
2 April 2019: National Council for Voluntary Organisations Reception
8 November 2017: Audiences at Buckingham Palace
5 March 2015: State Visit from Mexico, Farewell
14 July 2014: Queen's Award for Enterprise Reception
10 December 2013: Investiture at Buckingham Palace 
1961: Commonwealth Visit to India and Pakistan
1959: Chelsea Flower Show

Photo: Royal Collection

12 May 2013

Flashback: The Order of Merit

The Order of Merit is one of the honors the Queen presides over. It is presented for great achievement in the fields of the arts, learning, literature and science, and was created by King Edward VII in 1902.
The Order of Merit
The order is limited to 24 members from the Commonwealth realms plus honorary foreign recipients and is solely the personal gift of the Queen - making it one of the most prestigious honors a person can receive.
Presenting Mother Teresa with the award in 1983. The Queen is wearing the Cambridge Pearl Pendant Brooch.
Past members include Florence Nightingale, T. S. Eliot, Mother Teresa (honorary) and Sir Winston Churchill; current members include the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, and Sir David Attenborough.
Holders of the Order of Merit gather in 2009. The Queen wears the Kent Amethyst Brooch.
Members gather for a service in the Chapel Royal at St. James' Palace, held about every five years. Presentation of the honor is typically done in an audience with the Queen. Recent presentations covered here include:

Below are presentations to some of the current members of the Order of Merit (and the brooches worn by the Queen while presenting, naturally).

1995: Nelson Mandela, (Then-) President of South Africa (Honorary)

2007: Tim Berners-Lee, Computer Scientist and Inventor of the World Wide Web

2000: Tom Stoppard, Playwright

 2000: Roger Penrose, Mathematical Physicist

2009: Jean Chr├ętien, Former Prime Minister of Canada 

2010: Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum
No Brooch

There is an Order of Merit service scheduled for May 14, 2013. This will be followed by a luncheon, and surely some scintillating conversation - or so one would hope, with this group!

Photos: Buckingham Palace/PA/British Monarchy

10 May 2013

The Ruby and Diamond Swag Demi-Parure

The Ruby and Diamond Swag Demi-Parure
Another of the modern sets of jewelry owned by the Queen is this demi-parure of a necklace and earrings in rubies and diamonds. The necklace is a diamond swag design set in gold and centered around 2 large rubies. The matching earrings each include a central ruby set in a diamond swirl.
According to Leslie Field in The Queen's Jewels, this set was a gift from Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, who was the Emir of Qatar from 1972-1995. He presented the set during a state visit to Britain in November 1985. They've been in rotation among the Queen's ruby jewels ever since, even making a couple of appearances at the State Opening of Parliament.

2009: State Visit from India
1990, 1994: State Opening of Parliament 
1988: State Visit to Spain

Photos: Getty Images/PA/Royal Collection

08 May 2013

State Opening of Parliament

The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, traveled in State to the Palace of Westminster to open the Session of Parliament. The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were also in attendance.
Video, above: The State Opening of Parliament
Back to the old faithfuls for Her Maj today: a double dose of Queen Victoria, in diamonds and pearls. And a bonus in a bracelet we've not featured here before, the Pearl and Diamond Floral Bracelet!

The occasion had an added point of interest, too: the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall came along. Buckingham Palace announced their attendance some time ago, though it will no doubt be given even more attention given yesterday's announcement that the Queen will not attend CHOGM 2013 and the discussion about transfer of responsibilities as the Queen gets older that ensued in the press. This was the first State Opening of Parliament for the Duchess, and the first in 17 years for the Prince.
 For us, of course, it gives an opportunity to see more of the Queen's jewel collection on display - this time in the form of the Greville Tiara, which is on loan to Camilla. She paired it with her Four Strand Pearl Choker with Large Diamond Clasp, for a pretty standard jewel appearance.

For a complete change of pace, she later visited the first day of the Royal Windsor Horse Show, click here for pictures.

Photos:Getty Images/PA

Queen Mary's Pearl and Diamond Floral Bracelet

Queen Mary's Pearl and Diamond Floral Bracelet
One of several pearl bracelets in The Queen's collection, Queen Mary's Pearl and Diamond Floral Bracelet has five strands of pearls in graduated sizes and a diamond clasp. The clasp is a diamond flower featuring five petals around a diamond center. Each petal has a large central diamond surrounded by several smaller diamonds to form a petal with curved dimension.
Queen Mary
As the name indicates, this bracelet came from the collection of The Queen's grandmother, Queen Mary. It is likely she inherited it with many of the rest of Queen Mary's personal jewels when Mary died in 1953.
The bracelet is worn together with other pearl and diamond jewelry in the Queen's collection for formal occasions.

8 May 2013: State Opening of Parliament
2010: State Visit from Qatar
2000: State Visit to Italy, Papal Audience 

Photos: PA

The Greville Tiara

The Greville Tiara
The Greville Tiara, also often known as the Boucheron Honeycomb Tiara, was part of the Greville bequest to Queen Elizabeth, the future Queen Mother. The top of the tiara was altered by the Queen Mum, who counted this among the two tiaras she wore in her later years. It passed to the Queen in 2002. She never wore it, but loaned it to the Duchess of Cornwall following her 2005 wedding to the Prince of Wales. It has become the Duchess' most-worn tiara.

Read more at Order of Splendor.

Appearances (all prior to 2002 on Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, all after 2005 on The Duchess of Cornwall):
11 December 2019: Diplomatic Reception
14 October 2019: State Opening of Parliament
23 October 2018: State Visit from The Netherlands, State Banquet 
5 December 2017: Diplomatic Reception
12 July 2017: State Visit from Spain, State Banquet 
8 December 2016: Diplomatic Reception
1 November 2016: State Visit from Colombia, State Banquet
18 May 2016: State Opening of Parliament
27 November 2015: Visit to Malta, Day 2, CHOGM Dinner
18 June 2015: The Duke of Wellington's Waterloo Banquet
27 May 2015: State Opening of Parliament 
3 March 2015: State Visit from Mexico, State Banquet 
4 June 2014: State Opening of Parliament
8 April 2014: State Visit from Ireland
15 November 2013: CHOGM Dinner (plus previous years)
8 May 2013: State Opening of Parliament
29 April 2013: Dutch Pre-Inauguration Dinner (at Order of Splendor)
27 November 2012: State Visit from Kuwait (at Order of Splendor)
24 May 2011: State Visit from the United States (at Order of Splendor)
2010: State Visit from Qatar  
2010: State Visit from South Africa
2009: State Visit from India
2008: State Visit from France
2007: CHOGM Dinner
1998: State Visit from Japan
1991: Balmoral Ghillies Ball
1986: State Visit from Spain 
1982: State Visit from the Netherlands
1972: State Visit from the Netherlands
1960: State Visit from France   
1958: State Visit from Germany

Royal Windsor Horse Show

The Queen attended the Royal Windsor Horse Show (May 8-12) on various days.
The horse show is usually a time for the Queen on casual duty - a single strand of pearls peeking out from under her headscarf and coat, with her rings and casual watch - but there are glimpses of the duty uniform. This year, an emerald and an amethyst came out to play.

Photos:Getty Images/PA/PacificCoastNews

07 May 2013

Temple Church Organ Rededication

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were present for the rededication of the newly refurbished Temple Church Organ during Choral Evensong at Temple Church, London.
Click above for an article and video from ITV.
Today's engagement is not the news of the day, obviously: Buckingham Palace announced that the Queen would be represented by the Prince of Wales at the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka, the first CHOGM meeting she's missed in 40 years. Inevitable...and yet a touch surprising at the same time.

Photo: ITV screencap

05 May 2013

Flashback: The State Opening of Parliament

The State Opening of Parliament is one of the most formal and ceremonial items on the Queen's agenda for the year. It's an event filled with history - nearly everything about it is symbolic in some way. She opens a new session of Parliament by traveling to the Palace of Westminster (home of Parliament) and reading a speech outlining the government's agenda for the new session. The speech is written for her by the government.

The State Opening usually happens once a year, though there are exceptions (including 1974, when there were two - one of which was a "dressed down" version - and 2011, when no State Opening fell during the year). It has often occurred at the end of the year (November, December), but starting in 2012 it falls in May. The Queen has missed only two of these ceremonies, in 1959 while expecting Prince Andrew and 1963 while expecting Prince Edward.

When it comes to jewels, the State Opening offers us a chance to see some things we don't see at any other events. The Queen always departs Buckingham Palace wearing the George IV State Diadem, the only time she uses it apart from selected portrait sittings. When she arrives at the Palace of Westminster, she changes into her parliamentary robe and the Imperial State Crown, which has previously been retrieved from its home with the rest of the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London and has traveled to Parliament in a coach ahead of the Queen. This is the only time, apart from the coronation, when the crown is used. Prior to departure, she will change back into the George IV State Diadem. (In 1952, before her crowning, she simply kept the state diadem on for the ceremony.) This is also one of the only times we get to see her wear the Collar and Great George of the Order of the Garter, which is draped over her shoulders.

The Queen wears a dress in white or gold and selects a necklace, earrings, bracelet, and evening watch to go with. These are usually pearl and diamond, but there are years where colored jewels have made the cut. Thanks to this preference for white, the Queen's appearance can look near identical from one year to the next, and getting the year accurate can be a trial (you'll have to forgive any mistakes here). This flashback of selected State Opening appearances will focus on the necklaces and earrings. The wrist elements are harder to identify, particularly from past years; Queen Mary's Chain-Link Bracelets, the Wedding Gift Bracelet, and Queen Victoria's Bracelet are popular, as are various pieces from her collection of diamond evening watches, including her current favorite.

State Openings Covered In Depth:

As her favorite pearl and diamond necklace, it's no surprise that the Jubilee Necklace is perhaps the most often worn item for the State Opening. It was her pick for her first year as Queen, in 1952, paired with the pearl drop earrings.

The necklace has been particularly popular in her later years. Her pairing with the Gloucester Pendant Earrings is so much a favorite, it's practically a parure of its own.

She has, however, used the smaller pearl earrings from Queen Alexandra on a few occasions, which is not a pairing we see as often. 

The Coronation Necklace is a popular choice with the Queen at any formal occasion, obviously including this most formal of events. The necklace is usually paired with the matching earrings, and such is the case here.

The George VI Festoon Necklace and Various Earrings
It's unusual to see the Coronation Earrings paired with something besides the Coronation Necklace, but they've been paired with the Festoon Necklace here (1954, 1969). Other earring matches include the Antique Girandole Earrings (1968, 2002), Queen Mary's Floret Earrings (2007), and the Diamond Pendant Earrings (2012).

When a colored stone is selected, it's usually rubies, which pick up on the red of the robe and the Black Prince's Ruby (which is actually a spinel) at the front of the crown. The Baring Ruby Necklace is the most popular choice, usually paired with Queen Mary's Ruby Cluster Earrings.

The Ruby Swag Necklace and the Ruby and Diamond Floral Bandeau Necklace
Other ruby choices less frequently worn include the Ruby Swag Necklace and matching earrings (feature to come), and the large Ruby and Diamond Floral Bandeau Necklace, which was even paired with the Coronation Earrings in 1965.

Other Choices
Emeralds have been chosen for the State Opening at least once, in 1955, when the Queen wore the Delhi Durbar Earrings and the Delhi Durbar Necklace. And 2010 brought a surprise in a primarily pearl necklace, a double strand necklace which may be the Hanover pearls, very old indeed.

Many parts of the State Opening of Parliament are precisely the same today as they were when the Queen started her reign, and for many years before that. But one thing that has changed is the number of members of the royal family in attendance alongside the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. The ceremony used to be attended by a large royal contingent including Princess Margaret, the Gloucesters, Kents, and so on, but royal attendance has been largely cut back.
The late Princess of Wales' attendance at the ceremony revealed a few other pieces from the Queen's jewelry collection: the Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara, in 1981 and 1991, and the King Khalid Diamond Necklace in 1982. When Princess Anne attended as a young princess, she did so on occasion in the Halo Scroll Tiara.

Photos: PA/Getty Images/Corbis/ITNSource/CSPAN/British Pathe