27 September 2013

The Gold Foliate Brooch

The Gold Foliate Brooch
This brooch is a spray of golden leaves with a five petal flower. It is a piece with a lot of dimension and varying depth, which makes it hard to identify in use as it can appear different sizes depending on the angle. When worn during a state visit in 2010, it appeared to be composed of gold and additional materials such as bronze, but this could have been an issue of lighting.
It has been in the Queen's collection for some decades now, since at least 1966, though it is scarcely used.

2010: State Visit to the UAE and Oman

Thanks to ADCA in the comments for further appearances.

Photos: Bauer Griffin/PA/Corbis

25 September 2013

Flashback: State Visit to the United Arab Emirates and Oman, 2010

In November 2010, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh made a two-for-one state visit, stopping first in the United Arab Emirates and next in Oman. They were accompanied by the Duke of York, who at the time still held his title as the United Kingdom's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment.
Straight away on arrival in Abu Dhabi, the Queen gives us something to discuss. The brooch is an interesting one, the Gold Foliate Brooch. The hat's interesting too, perhaps not in a good way - but it served a purpose, as the Queen was heading to a mosque.
Video: Visiting a mosque
She threw a veil on over the hat and donned a long coat with a beaded leaf design to cover herself appropriately. She even ditched her shoes when called for, which was apparently quite newsworthy (though not as newsworthy as the engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton just before this trip, as you will see reflected in the news report above).
Their time in the UAE was short, and didn't include a proper state banquet as we know them. But there was this formal meeting and exchange of gifts with President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan that gave us a gown, the Star, Riband, and Lesser George of the Order of the Garter plus some diamond sparkle: the Antique Girandole Earrings, a diamond collet necklace, the 10 Diamond Bar Brooch, the Baguette and Brilliant Bracelet, and her Diamond Evening Watch. The brooch was meant to just be at the top/back of the shoulder to secure the sash, but slipped forward when she put on her gift, the chain of the Order of Zayed. What's missing is obviously a tiara, but if I recall correctly, this event happened during the day (and tiaras are worn in the evening). Plus, Philip and Andrew are clearly not in white tie. Certainly an odd dress code compared to what we're used to with state visits.

Next stop: Oman and Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, who happened to be celebrating his 40th year on the throne.
Brooches, left to right: the Flame Lily (I lied - this one was in the UAE still), Empress Marie Feodorovna's Sapphire worn unusually without the pearl pendant (now we're in Oman), the Small Pink and Diamond, Queen Victoria's Wheat-Ear Brooches, the Frosted Sunflower (and a Sgt. Pepper outfit, because obviously), and the Cullinan V.

In Oman they also had a non-tiara event as the state banquet. The Queen wore Queen Victoria's Crown Ruby Necklace and Earrings (my favorite of all her rubies, yum), the Art Deco Diamond and Ruby Bracelet, the same diamond evening watch as before, and the Irish Blossom Brooch. The brooch is kind of a strange edition to the outfit - over on its proper entry, you can see some discussion in the comments on whether it might be tied to Oman somehow. Or maybe it's just a regular mismatch...
The gold vase the Queen's admiring there is one of her gifts from the Sultan; the other gift he gave her was a Fabergé-style musical egg. We've covered several jewels on the blog that were gifts she picked up on her 1979 swing through the region, but this modern shorter visit was not so profitable for the jewel vault.

Photos: WAM/Getty Images/Bauer Griffin/PA/Pool

22 September 2013

The New Zealand Blue Pearl Brooch

The New Zealand Blue Pearl Brooch
Monarchy New Zealand shared via Twitter a personal gift given by New Zealand Prime Minister John Key to the Queen during his September 2013 visit to Balmoral Castle: a brooch! From Eyris Pearls in Christchurch, the brooch includes a blue pearl surrounded by a design of mixed metal tones and what look to be marquise diamonds. The blue pearl makes an interesting addition to the brooch collection; I don't know that I've seen the Queen wear a blue pearl before, publicly at least. She already has at least one New Zealand-specific brooch, of course, the New Zealand Fern Brooch.

30 May 2019: Audiences at Buckingham Palace
17 July 2014: Reading Railway Station Opening
28 October 2013: Commonwealth Nations Reception

Photo: @monarchynz

Meanwhile, at Balmoral...

We've gotten a peek into a few events of the summer break:
And that's that! The Queen will start inching back into her public schedule soon; she'll visit Aberdeen next week.

20 September 2013

The Enamel Maple Leaves Brooch

The Enamel Maple Leaves Brooch
This brooch is a corsage of six maple leaves made from blended colors of enamel from green to pink. The leaves are tipped in diamonds and their stems come together to end with a single pearl in a diamond setting. Leslie Field writes in The Queen's Jewels that Queen Mary received an "enamel maple leaf spray" by the ladies of Montreal while on an extended tour of the Realm in 1901, as the Duchess of Cornwall and York. This may have been unseen until the Queen brought it out during her 2010 Canadian tour, so if it is in fact Queen Mary's, it may have had a particularly long nap in the vaults.
This is an interesting member of the Queen's brooch collection - enamel showpieces are not among her usual favorites. Now that it has been unearthed, I expect it to remain designated for Canadian events.

2010: Visit to Canada

Photos: Getty Images/Government of Nova Scotia

The Royal 22nd Regiment Badge

The Royal 22nd Regiment Badge
The Queen is Colonel in Chief of the Royal 22nd Regiment in Canada and has a brooch version of their cap badge to wear when appropriate. The badge features a beaver on top of a log with the regiment's motto (Je me souviens, or I Remember) and behind their arms, the words Regiment Canadian Français, and the number 22. The badge is topped by a crown. It is made of a light metal such as silver or platinum.

2010: Visit to Canada

Photos: Wikipedia/Getty Images

The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada Badge

The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada Badge
For those keeping track, the Queen has a badge from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in the United Kingdom, and now we add one from Canada: the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada (Princess Louise's), part of the Canadian Forces. The Queen is Colonel in Chief, and she has a brooch version of their cap badge to wear when at engagements involving the regiment. It includes a wreath of thistle and maple leaves around their name and motto (Albainn Gu-Brath, or Scotland Forever). The center features a leopard's head and the whole thing is topped by a crown. It is hard to see the details of the brooch, but it seems to feature enamel as well as gold and possibly silver.

2010: Visit to Canada

Photos: Wikipedia

18 September 2013

Flashback: Visit to Canada and the United States, 2010

In the summer of 2010, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh headed to North America for a multiple day tour of Canada and a quick stop in the United States. The Canadian visit included Halifax, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Waterloo, and Toronto, and included a few memorable jewel moments.

Video: Canada Day
Naturally, the Queen of Canada scheduled her visit with Canada Day right in the middle. Her patriotic red and white outfit was memorable all on its own, but of course she added a patriotic jewel: the Maple Leaf Brooch, which we've seen on several family members. That might have been the easiest maple leaf tribute to predict, but it wasn't the only one the trip would bring.

She arrived under a raincoat, but soon enough the brooch parade got under way:
2. The Enamel Maple Leaves Brooch. This suit is interesting, too - it features beading done by members of the Mi'kmaq community in advance of the trip.
5. The Kent Amethyst Brooch, worn in combination with the Royal 22nd Regiment Badge.
8. Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee Brooch, worn without the pendant chain and interesting on the opposite side from her usual brooch spot.

There was also a glitzy dinner involved, because every visit needs at least one tiara.
Video: Day 8. The dinner begins around 4:05.
She wore some standard gems (the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, Queen Mary's Chain-Link Bracelet, and her Diamond Evening Watch), but she made some unusual choices too. Instead of the Coronation Necklace, she opted for Queen Alexandra's Collet Necklace; she brought out the Greville Chandelier Earrings, which are not nearly as popular with her now as they were when they were first received as a wedding gift; and she wore Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee Brooch with the chain attached, a rare sighting. The Queen also wore a gown with detachable crystal maple leaf appliqués. All together? An incredibly sparkly ensemble.

After finishing up in Canada, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh headed to the U.S. for a quick but important visit, where she addressed the United Nations and paid her respects at Ground Zero in New York City.
Video: At the United Nations
She chose her trusty Aquamarine Clip Brooches for the job - and then in a flash was on her way again, headed home to tuck away her maple leaf swag for another day.

Photos: Getty Images/Nova Scotia/Reuters/Canada Press/PA

11 September 2013

The Qatar Pearl and Diamond Demi-Parure

Qatar Pearl and Diamond Demi-Parure
This set includes a six strand pearl necklace and a pair of matching earrings. The necklace has small diamond plaques, each including six marquise diamonds and one round diamond, spanning two strands of pearls, and one large off-center plaque spanning all six strands. The earrings each have a group of diamonds on top of a group of pearls.
The demi-parure was a gift to the Queen from Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar, during her 1979 visit to the country and she wore it during the trip (above, left). The trip was a tour of the Gulf states and these pieces are just some of the jewels she picked up; others featured previously include the King Khalid Diamond Necklace and the Dubai Looped Sapphire Demi-Parure. We've also previously featured the Ruby and Diamond Swag Demi-Parure, another jewel in the Queen's collection with a Qatar connection. As for the Qatar Pearl and Diamond Demi-Parure, it has been worn outside of Qatar visits, but sightings are still pretty rare (that necklace is a statement piece to be sure, perhaps not the easiest to wear).

2010: State Visit from Qatar
1999: CHOGM Dinner

Photos: Qatar Living/Leslie Field

09 September 2013

Flashback: State Visit from Qatar, 2010

In October 2010, the Queen welcomed the Emir of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, and his glamorous wife Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned to Windsor Castle for their state visit to the United Kingdom.
The welcome was a double ruby brooch affair for the Queen: the Gold Lace Work Brooch on her coat for the outdoor welcome ceremony, and the Australian Hibiscus Brooch on her dress underneath, revealed when the party went inside. These of course were accompanied by a three strand pearl necklace, pearl and diamond button earrings, her gold watch and engagement and wedding rings. (While inside they exchanged gifts; the Queen received an 18 carat gold casket decorated with diamonds, amethysts and pearls - who doesn't need one of those? - and the Duke of Edinburgh got a horse statue on a clock base.)

Video: The state banquet
That evening's state banquet featured pearls for the Queen: the Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara, the Qatar Pearl and Diamond Demi-Parure (earrings and necklace, a previous gift from the Emir's father), the Pearl Evening Watch, and Queen Mary's Pearl and Diamond Floral Bracelet. Her long golden chain is Qatar's Collar of Independence. Other spotted bling includes the Greville Tiara on the Duchess of Cornwall, the Meander Tiara on the Princess Royal, and the Countess of Wessex with her wedding tiara.
Finally, the Queen bid her guests farewell at the end of their visit in one of Queen Victoria's Bow Brooches. This was a jolly visit, really - the Queen and the Duke seem to enjoy their Qatari friends each time they meet. The Emir has since abdicated in favor of his son.

In other news... the Queen was spotted going to church this past Sunday in the Flower Basket Brooch, and the previous Sunday in what I'm thinking must be the Pearl Trefoil Brooch (and perhaps my least favorite color, too).

Photos: WPA Pool/Getty Images

07 September 2013

The Braemar Gathering

The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh and the Duke of Rothesay, attended the annual Braemar Gathering in Scotland.
Click above for a video and report from BBC News.
A second public outing for Prince Philip - he's looking well, no? And another for her event-specific brooch, the Braemar Feather - never sure that I like this one, but it does look perfect with this event in the background.

Photos:BBC News/Getty Images

02 September 2013

The Irish Silver Spiral Brooch

The Irish Silver Spiral Brooch
On her state visit to the Republic of Ireland in 2011, the Queen was presented with this brooch by President Mary McAleese. Both the brooch and the matching cufflinks given to the Duke of Edinburgh were created by goldsmith Declan Killen. The brooch is made of sterling silver and has ten disks with spiral designs inspired by motifs from the Newgrange monument.
As she has done in the past with gifts of jewelry, the Queen made sure to wear the brooch before the end of the visit, at an event given by the British embassy. I believe it stands as the only public outing of this brooch so far.

2011: State Visit to Ireland

Photos: Getty Images