11 November 2013

Flashback: State Visit from France, State Banquet, 2008

The Queen's second outing of the center of the large Diamond Cockade Brooch was during South Korea's state visit; the first was during a March 2008 state visit from the President of the French Republic, Nicolas Sarkozy, and Madame Sarkozy. The state banquet was held at Windsor Castle.
Video: The Queen's speech at the banquet
Just like at the Korean banquet, in 2008 the brooch was used to secure a simple and bold red sash, France's National Order of the Legion of Honour (they are not, of course, the same - in 2013, Korea's Grand Order of Mugunghwa was worn). I do wonder if it is the red that encourages her to bring out the Cockade, or just simply the fact that it works so well on a strong, single-colored background.

In 2008, she added rubies to emphasize the red; I believe this was her first outing of the luscious Crown ruby earrings and necklace which had always been a favorite with her mother. To this she added pieces that had been in her collection longer, the Art Deco Diamond and Ruby Bracelet and the Burmese Ruby Tiara (a shame she didn't complete the Queen Mother set and go with the Oriental Circlet, but I'd always prefer that one). She also wore her Pearl Evening Watch, an unusual choice without pearls elsewhere in the jewelry, and a Diamond Bar Brooch on her back.
Other tiara-wearing members of the family included the Princess Royal in her Festoon Tiara, and Princess Michael of Kent in her pearl and diamond tiara. The Duchess of Cornwall wore more of the Queen's collection: the Greville Tiara, and Queen Elizabeth's Coronation Necklace (which I wish she'd wear more often - it is spectacular, and suits her so well!). I didn't realize until I took this look back just how well the Queen Mother was represented here, but it seems fitting, doesn't it?

Photos: Getty Images/PA/WireImage/Reuters