31 October 2013

Visit to East Sussex

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh made a one day visit to East Sussex.
Video: The Queen, the DoE, and some mega fish. Also click here for an article and pictures from the Express, worth it for the picture with the four-year-old alone.
She's in a pink mood this week and she's working it - lovely to see the Small Pink and Diamond Brooch out and about again, and just as I was giving its provenance another ponder, too (see the comments on the brooch entry).

Also, it looks like the Queen left East Sussex with a new addition to the collection! And we shall dub it the Newhaven Horse Brooch.


30 October 2013

Audience and Investiture at Buckingham Palace

The Queen received the President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, for an audience at Buckingham Palace. She also held an Investiture.
Looks like President Karzai and his impressive bow were treated to an outing of the Gold Trellis Brooch, though this is an extreme angle to spot it at (click here for video, or here for a gallery). He also stopped by to see the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall over at Clarence House.

Blog update! You might have noticed, I added a few things on the sidebar of the blog. (<---That way.) Now we have a list of Recently Updated Posts and a list of Recent Comments. Conversations still happen on older posts and I continue to update past published posts as I come across new information, and both features will let you know when that happens.


29 October 2013

Ebony Horse Club Visit

The Queen visited Ebony Horse Club, Brixton. She was accompanied by the Duchess of Cornwall, President of the organization.
Video, above
A girls' day out with the horses, a common interest for these two ladies - adorable, no? As for the gems, totally typical, and the Frosted Sunflower Brooch is well on its way to claiming this year's #1 Most Worn spot...again.

P.S.: You might want to check back in on yesterday's post, I have posted a video link for another look at that new addition to the brooch collection in action.

28 October 2013

Commonwealth Nations Reception

The Queen, accompanied by other members of the Royal Family, hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace in advance of the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which will be held in November in Sri Lanka.
Click here for an article from ITV News.
Look at this, kids: it's the first public appearance of the New Zealand Blue Pearl Brooch, given to Her Maj in September! A Commonwealth event debut, well played. It looks darker here than I thought it would. Is it living up to your expectations?

UPDATE: Click here for a video with several brooch glimpses from ITNSource.

Photo: PA

24 October 2013

Audiences at Buckingham Palace

The Queen received the Ambassadors of Iraq and the Republic of Korea at Buckingham Palace.
Click above for a video from ITNSource.
This is amusing me greatly. Just one day after the christening... "You want a Cambridge brooch? FINE. I'll give you a Cambridge brooch!"

Photo: ITNSource

23 October 2013

The Small Aquamarine Brooch

The Small Aquamarine Brooch
The aquamarines worn most often by the Queen have become quite well known - the Aquamarine Clip Brooches, and the pieces of the Brazilian Aquamarine Parure - but they aren't the only aqua jewels in the collection. This aquamarine brooch contains a rectangular aquamarine stone surrounded by a delicate diamond laurel wreath, described in Leslie Field's The Queen's Jewels as "two curved diamond branches".
Unfortunately, that diamond detail disappears when worn on a patterned fabric as the Queen has done. The brooch also looks much larger when seen from the side or on video, when its depth is revealed. But when worn on a patterned fabric, as The Queen has done in some of the recent outings of this brooch (and there are not many, as this is a rare one), it can appear small.

17 December 2015: Train to Sandringham
23 October 2013: Diamond Jubilee Trust Reception

Photos: Abaca/PA/ITNSource

Diamond Jubilee Trust Reception

The Queen, with other members of the Royal Family, attended a reception for the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust at Buckingham Palace.
The royal wheel doesn't stop turning, not even for a christening! This evening there was a reception to attend and a (new to the blog!) brooch to wear. (Apparently the jolly mood continued on, though - click here for a cute article and video.)

UPDATE: Click here for a video from ITNSource, which proves that this brooch may look small, but is actually quite a hefty little rock!

Photo: PA/ITNSource

The Christening of Prince George

The Queen, along with other members of the Royal Family, attended the christening of Prince George of Cambridge at the Chapel Royal, St. James' Palace.
Click above for an article with pictures and video from the Daily Mail.
Interesting choice from the Queen for the big christening today - the Flower Basket Brooch certainly has sentimental value, having been a gift from her parents to mark Prince Charles' birth in 1948, but it's also not what I'd think of as a "special occasion" brooch, since we see it so often (it tied for fourth place on last year's list of most worn brooches, and has already been seen several times this year.) Perhaps that makes it the perfect choice for an event like this, which was deliberately low-key.

For Charles' christening, she picked the Dorset Bow Brooch from Queen Mary; for William's, she opted for Prince Albert's Sapphire Brooch, one of her more historic choices. (And either that sapphire or one of her Cambridge-named pieces would have been my guess for today - so yet again I am glad I never actually bet on these things!)


22 October 2013

National Theatre Anniversary

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited the National Theatre, South Bank, London, to celebrate the institution's 50th anniversary.
Video: The Queen meets a puppet horse from the production War Horse. Click here for an article and pictures from the Express.
I confess, when I saw pink from a distance, I wondered if the new Saskatchewan brooch might be involved - but no, no, too soon. Oh well. Yay for pink jewels in any case!

UPDATE: The previous evening, the couple dined at the Cavalry and Guards Club, click here for pictures. With her sparkly gown, the Queen wore pearls: a two strand pearl necklace, plus one of her pearl strand bracelets (we've covered two here previously, the Pearl and Diamond Floral and Queen Mary's Pearl Bracelet, but there are more options and it's hard to tell which this is). There are earrings as well, of course, but they're hard to make out.

Photo: PA

19 October 2013

British Champions Day at Royal Ascot

The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Beatrice of York, visited Ascot Racecourse for the Qipco British Champions Day.
Click here for more from the Express.
Funny - it was almost exactly a year ago that we saw this brooch for the first time (well, maybe the first time, first to me at least). I'd say such a delicate brooch doesn't hold up well on this kind of patterned background, but it's actually picking up the metallic accents in the fabric quite nicely!

Photos:Getty Images

18 October 2013

Youth, Education & the Commonwealth Reception

The Queen, accompanied by members of the Royal Family, hosted a reception for youth, education, and the Commonwealth at Buckingham Palace.

Video above: The Queen meets Malala Yousafzai .
 Click here for an article, video, and pictures from the Daily Mail.
We've just seen this outfit and brooch combo in our recent state visit flashback, coincidentally - thankfully, the marching band gold trim on the suit has since been done away with, leaving the Frosted Sunflower Brooch to shine.

17 October 2013

The Saskatchewan Tourmaline Flower Brooch

The Saskatchewan Tourmaline Flower Brooch
The Queen was presented with a new brooch representing Saskatchewan during an audience with the province's Lieutenant Governor on October 17, 2013. From Saskatchewan designer Rachel Mielke of Hillberg & Berk, it's described by the Lieutenant Governor's office as an 18K white gold brooch in the shape of a flower with five petals of Madagascar tourmaline in shades of pink with a central white fresh water cultured pearl, all surrounded by 300 diamonds (1.527 carats in all). The brooch is valued at $15,000 and was gifted by Hillberg & Berk. The designer shared with Maclean's that she spent a month studying the Queen's wardrobe to create something that would be a good fit, and that the tourmaline was already on hand, having been part of a larger purchase. After presenting the Queen with her new brooch, Lieutenant Governor Vaughn Solomon Schofield reported the monarch had gasped, smiled, and inspected her new jewel in detail. The remainder of the batch of Madagascar tourmaline that yielded the Queen's brooch has been turned into the Legacy Collection, available at the Hillberg & Berk website.

I'm eager to see it worn, but so far I have to say it might be my favorite of the modern designs presented to the Queen in recent years - fresh, but not a radical departure from the traditional styles so often worn by the Queen, and done in a particularly lovely color.

Update: The Queen wore this brooch for the first time publicly at church in February 2014.

28 November 2017: Lunch for the German President and Audiences
10 September 2017: Church at Balmoral
1 February 2015: Church in Norfolk
28 November 2014: Holyport College Visit
20 June 2014: Royal Ascot, Day Four
2 February 2014: Church in Norfolk

Photo: Hillberg & Berk

Audience at Buckingham Palace

The Queen received the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, Vaughn Schofield, at Buckingham Palace.
Best news of the day: the lovely Lieutenant Governor here came bearing gifts! In addition to a donation to the Malala Fund in the Queen's name, Her Majesty was presented with a new addition to the brooch collection: the Saskatchewan Tourmaline Flower Brooch. It's a year for brooch giving, apparently - you'll remember that the Queen was recently presented with a new gem from New Zealand as well. But for the moment, she stuck to one of her old faithfuls, the Flower Basket.

Photo: PA

16 October 2013

Audiences at Buckingham Palace

The Queen received the Ambassadors from Latvia and Italy at Buckingham Palace.
Feels like we haven't seen the old Aqua Clips in for-e-ver, which of course only means a couple months.

15 October 2013

MP and MEP Reception

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh hosted a reception for Members of Parliament and the European Parliament at Buckingham Palace.
Click above for more.
Hmm. I'm not sure what we have here...looks interesting...any thoughts?

Photos:Getty Images/WPA Pool

10 October 2013

Visit from the King and Queen of Tonga

The Queen received the King and Queen of Tonga at Buckingham Palace. She also held an Investiture.
Click above for a video from ITNSource.
This is a lot of brooch power for an audience - nice to see Her Maj bringing out the (relative) big guns for a fellow sovereign! Any sighting of Queen Adelaide's cluster of diamonds is a welcome sight. Tupou VI is visiting London in advance of his coronation next year; he came to the throne in 2012.

Photo: ITNSource

09 October 2013

Commonwealth Games Baton Relay Launch

The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, launched the Queen's Baton Relay for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow from Buckingham Palace.
Click above for a video and report from the BBC.
It's so good to see HM and the DoE together on the royal beat again, isn't it? I feel like the Queen put extra festive bits on her hat for the occasion. Actually, it sort of mimics the folded trellis of the Gold Trellis Brooch...so there you go.

We also got a look at the Queen signing the message she placed inside the baton, back on September 27. This is at Balmoral, so she's in casual mode.


07 October 2013

Queen Victoria's Wheat-Ear Brooches

Queen Victoria's Wheat-Ear Brooches
We normally see a few of these in use at a time, but the Windsor collection actually includes a full set of six brooches depicting ears of wheat in diamonds set in silver and gold. The set includes three mirrored pairs of two brooches each. They were first made for Queen Adelaide at the request of her husband, William IV, by Rundell, Bridge & Co. in 1831 using stones from the family collection. The brooches were turned over to Queen Victoria after she took the throne, but three included stones that had to be returned to the King of Hanover when he won his claim for the return of Hanover jewels that had belonged to Queen Charlotte, wife of George III. Those brooches were redone by Garrard in 1858.

Queen Victoria, brooches along her dress neckline
Queen Victoria made all six brooches heirlooms of the crown, and they have passed from queen to queen ever since, coming into the hands of the current Queen in 1952. She has worn them both as hair ornaments and in a set of two as brooches.

The Queen (as a hair ornament, left, and as brooches, right)
Ears of wheat were a popular jewel motif, but these brooches do not seem to have been worn all that often. They occupy an interesting position in the collection, though; The Queen doesn't use hair ornaments outside of tiaras often, so these serve a unique dual purpose, plus they are some of the older pieces outside of the crown jewels. In 2018, she loaned one of the brooches to Princess Eugenie for her wedding dinner.

12 October 2018: The Wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank (Evening Dinner, on Princess Eugenie)
2010: Visit to Oman
1991: State Visit to the United States
1988: State Visit to Spain 

Photos: Getty Images/Royal Collection/Royal Opera House/Bauer Griffin

03 October 2013

The Diamond Bar Brooches

Not all of the jewelry in the Queen's collection is made for display alone; some of it serves functional and practical purposes. When a royal lady wears a riband - the sash from an order of chivalry - she needs something to secure it in place, and brooches do that job nicely. A decorative brooch (or a Royal Family Order) on the front is a common sight, but many royal women will also use a brooch on the shoulder or back to tack everything in place. There are at least two brooches of a simple bar design in the Queen's collection today which serve that utilitarian purpose particularly well.

The 10 Diamond Garter Bar Brooch 
Composed of 10 round diamonds in two even rows set in gold and silver, this brooch was Queen Victoria's solution to securing her Order of the Garter riband. She originally wore it in two pieces of 5 stones each, but later had it altered to one brooch. For Victoria, this was not merely a decorative brooch; she considered this a part of her Garter insignia, and it was kept with her Garter Star. It was likely commissioned at the same time as Victoria's star, in 1838, from Rundell, Bridge & Co.
Left to Right: Queen Victoria (with the brooch in two pieces and later in one), Queen Alexandra, and Queen Elizabeth
The brooch has passed to successive queens, being used by Queen Alexandra and then Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. The Queen Mother kept it until her death in 2002, when it would have passed to the Queen with the rest of her possessions.

The 14 Diamond Bar Brooch
There is at least one other bar brooch in the collection. Queen Mary used a brooch with 14 diamonds set in two even rows of 7, but it is unclear whether it was created specifically for her or if it has another provenance entirely.
L to R: Queen Mary, the Queen using the brooch to secure her tartan sash, purely as a decorative brooch, and on the back of her Garter riband
The 14 stone brooch likely passed to the Queen with the rest of Queen Mary's remaining jewelry. And while the Queen has used it for its designated sash-securing purpose, she's also worn it outside of the realm of insignia, just as she would any other decorative brooch in her collection, though those occasions are rather rare.

We can identify these two examples of diamond bar brooches, but of course there could be more - with a design so simple, it would be hard to differentiate. And we don't often see the Queen's back, so picking up on appearances is a tricky task. (It should also be noted that these are not the only brooches the Queen uses to secure the back of a sash. Other examples include Prince Albert's Sapphire Brooch, which has been seen on the back of the blue Garter sash.)

3 June 2019: State Visit from the United States, State Banquet 
6 June 2014: State Visit to France, State Banquet 
8 April 2014: State Visit from Ireland
2010: State Visit to the United Arab Emirates and Oman
2008: State Visit from France, State Banquet 

Photos: Royal Collection/Queen Elizabeth II/Leslie Field/Corbis/Getty Images/AFP

01 October 2013

Visit to Aberdeen

The Queen visited Aberdeen, Scotland, where she opened the NHS Grampian Emergency Care Centre at the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and opened the Queen Elizabeth Theatre at the International School of Aberdeen.
Click above for an article and video from STV News.
She's back to work as she finishes up her Scottish holiday - and bless her heart, she's given us a nice look at her Three Thistle Brooch. This one was new (to me, at least) when it popped up last year (click the name below for the brooch entry, as always).

Photos:STV News/PA