31 December 2013

2013: The Year in The Queen's Jewels

It's time once again to take a look back at the Queen's sparkly year - the brooches, the tiaras, the new stuff, and the favorites. Curious how this compares to last year? Click here for 2012's wrap up.

The Most Popular Brooches
We saw well over 50 different brooches in this year's public appearances, most of which were worn just once or twice. There are some that always rise to the top with the largest number of appearances, and I have tallied them up. (With the required disclaimers, of course: these are only the public appearances that have been mentioned here, and we're not always able to identify brooches - and even when we are, sometimes we disagree.)
Our very first brooch sighting of 2013 was the Amethyst Bouquet Brooch, and at that time I wondered if it would mark the start of a purple year...and look at that! The steady old Frosted Sunflower Brooch received some much-needed competition in 2013. The rest of the brooches on the list are all perpetual favorites also seen on last year's list, with two additional welcomes: the Small Pink and Diamond Brooch which turned into a particular favorite, and the Ruby and Gold Flower Brooch, coming out of nowhere with a small handful of appearances.

Most Significant Jewel
It may be tied in third place, but the Flower Basket Brooch's appearances during two of this year's most important occasions - Prince George's christening and the always significant Christmas broadcast - gave it special sentimental value over all the rest. It became a designated link between the generations, from George VI (who, along with Queen Elizabeth, gave the brooch to Princess Elizabeth to mark Prince Charles' birth) right down to a future King George.

The New Brooches
The already enormous brooch collection continued to grow this year. The Emerald and Diamond Sarpech Brooch made its first public appearance at Ascot; new Commonwealth gems were picked up in the form of the New Zealand Blue Pearl Brooch and the Saskatchewan Tourmaline Flower Brooch; a visit to Newhaven added a horse brooch to the family. She was also given a new badge from the SSAFA during a visit in November. The list should probably be longer in the "new to us" category, since there are still brooches that remain unidentified from this year.

The Tiara Appearances
Woe is us, only one proper tiara appearance, plus the State Opening of Parliament. The Queen usually hosts two state visits a year, but this year the first one only included a state luncheon and no glittering state banquet. And of course, as usual, the annual reception for the Diplomatic Corps was another tiara appearance that went unseen for Her Maj. (It has to be noted that we did get an update of sorts on the Queen's tiara collection when the Duchess of Cambridge was spotted in the Lotus Flower Tiara, whose ownership was previously a question mark.) This year did also see the introduction of a portrait featuring the Queen in the Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara with emerald drops, though the picture itself was taken three years previously.

My Favorite Appearance of the Year
Has to be the one state banquet we did get, right? It's like she tried her best to give us magpies what we need, throwing in the massive Diamond Cockade Brooch and an extra sparkly diamond necklace. Bless.

Happy New Year, and thanks for tuning in this year! A very sparkly 2014 to you all.

What was your favorite moment in the Queen's jewel-filled year?

P.S.: These tallies include the last brooch appearance of the year...the Queen attended church at Sandringham in lovely purple, wearing the Kent Amethyst Brooch. Click here for a report from the Express, or here for the Daily Mail.

Photos: Getty Images/PA/Rex/MonarchyNZ/Hillberg & Berk/Sussex Express

25 December 2013

Christmas Service

The Queen, accompanied by members of the Royal Family, attended Christmas service at St. Mary Magdalene Church, Sandringham.
Video: Outside church at Sandringham
There's no way orange and black doesn't read Halloween to me, so I'm dubious from the start on this ensemble for the Queen - even if it is "burnt orange cashmere" from Stewart Parvin with fur hat and trim. The brooch is always a winner, though: one of Queen Victoria's Bows.
The sartorial winner of the day? The Duchess of Cornwall, as far as I'm concerned! Camilla looked chic and rocked her own brooch with Queen Victoria connections - an 1897 Diamond Jubilee gift from family members. See Camilla and more family members in the following features:
As you can see from the Daily Mail link, the Queen was also spotted at the first church service of the day, in a fur coat.


Christmas Broadcast, 2013

The Queen's annual message was broadcast on Christmas Day.
Video: The Queen's Christmas Broadcast
This is an instance in which the jewel makes all the connections: the Flower Basket Brooch was worn to Prince George's christening, which was featured in the message and in the photos sitting beside the Queen as she speaks, and she's also sitting beside photos of her parents, who gave her the brooch. Naturally she wore it again - and also the dress she wore to William and Kate's wedding, an interesting choice since the couple featured prominently in this year's video.

Photo: Getty Images

23 December 2013

Flashback: Christmas Broadcasts

The Queen's annual Christmas message, broadcast on Christmas Day, is a tradition dating back to George V. Her first address was a simple radio broadcast from Sandringham in 1952; by 2013, she was filming her television address in 3D for the first time. Though our flashback does not include every year, there is only one year in which there was no Christmas message: 1969, when the documentary Royal Family was shown instead.

This flashback focuses primarily on the brooches worn by the Queen, though there is variety in necklaces and earrings here too (particularly in the earlier years). She's worn many different brooches over the years, but the most popular ones are also pretty popular elsewhere: the Pearl Trefoil, Cambridge Pearl Pendant, and Cullinan V Brooches.
1953: No brooch, but the South African Necklace and Bracelet and Queen Mary's Cluster Earrings (she was broadcasting from New Zealand while on her post-Coronation tour)
1957: No brooch
1958: No brooch
1961: No brooch
1972: No brooch

1975: Cullinan V
1976: Australian Wattle
1977: Modern Ruby 
1978: Cambridge Pearl Pendant
1980: Scroll Cambridge Emerald
1981: Cullinan V
1982: Jardine Star
1983: Diamond and Gold Rose
1984: Teck Corsage
1985: Pearl Trefoil
1986: Grima Ruby
1987: Prince Albert's Sapphire

1988: Flower Basket
1989: No brooch
1990: Sapphire and Ruby Flower Spray
1991: Gold Lace Work
1992: Pearl Trefoil
1993: Amethyst Bouquet
1994: Empress Marie Feodorovna's Sapphire
1995: Jardine Star
1996: Cambridge Pearl Pendant
1997: Pearl Trefoil
1998: Williamson Diamond
1999: Cullinan V

2000: Pearl Trefoil
2001: Empress Marie Feodorovna's Sapphire
2002: Centenary Rose
2003: No brooch
2004: Cambridge Pearl Pendant
2005: Pearl Trefoil
2006: Flower Basket
2007: Grima Ruby
2008: Cullinan V
2009: Queen Victoria's 11 Pearl
2010: Frosted Sunflower
2011: Flame Lily
2012: Cambridge Pearl Pendant

2013: Flower Basket
2014: Cambridge Pearl Pendant

And a programming note... Posts regarding this year's Christmas church and Christmas message appearances will be up late on the 26th, due to the holiday. (I'm sure if there's anything particularly interesting, I'll tweet it first!) Happy holidays, all!

Note: My thanks to the contributors in this thread at the Alexander Palace Time Machine forum, which was a most helpful reference in putting this flashback together. Many of these messages have been uploaded on YouTube, which was also a great help.

Photos: PA/BBC/Getty Images/YouTube

18 December 2013

The Dagmar Necklace

The Dagmar Necklace
There are many notable pieces in the jewelry collection used by the Queen, but one of the most remarkable has to be Queen Alexandra's Dagmar Necklace. A gift from King Frederik VII of Denmark to Princess Alexandra of Denmark for her 1863 wedding to the Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VII), it is a complicated structure of swags and scrolls connecting medallions of diamonds and pearls. Made by the Danish court jeweler Julius Dideriksen that same year from 118 pearls and 2,000 diamonds set in gold, the gems themselves are of great value, including the two largest pearl pendants which had been exhibited at the Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in 1851.
The Dagmar Cross pendant
What truly sets the necklace apart, and gives it its name, is the enamel replica of the famous Dagmar Cross. Queen Dagmar of Denmark (circa 1189-1213) was the wife of Valdemar II. When her grave was opened in 1690, she was found to be wearing this Byzantine cross, a relic that dates from around 1000 AD. The front side depicts Christ in the center of the cross and other figures on the arms. The back side depicts the Crucifixion. The Dagmar Cross became a well-known symbol and replicas became traditional gifts in Denmark. King Frederik VII made sure the replica given to Alexandra was true to its roots, and included a piece of silk from the grave of King Canute and a sliver of wood said to be from the True Cross within the necklace pendant.
Queen Alexandra at her coronation, the Dagmar Necklace pinned to her bodice
Alexandra seems to have recognized right away the difficulty involved in wearing such a piece, as one of the first things she did with it was to send it to Garrard for alteration. They made the necklace a flexible piece with detachable parts to wear separately as pendants or brooches (Hugh Roberts' book The Queen's Diamonds includes a fascinating look at the back of the necklace and all the fixings required for this task). Queen Alexandra was pictured wearing the cross as a pendant on a single strand of pearls and using the whole necklace as a stomacher, including for her 1902 coronation alongside her husband. She left it to the Crown with instructions that it is not to be altered.
It passed from Queen Alexandra to Queen Mary to Queen Elizabeth, but the next representation of it in use comes after it passed to Queen Elizabeth II in 1952. She wore it on a handful of occasions in the 1950s and early 1960s, including during her 1957 state visit to Denmark, each time using it with the two largest pearl pendants and the Dagmar Cross removed. (Garrard: The Crown Jewellers for 150 Years reports that the two removed pearl pendants were converted to earrings.) It has not been worn in public since those early years.
Looking at pictures of the necklace in use, it's easy to see why we don't see this one out and about anymore. It must be very difficult to wear; even with the removal of three moving parts, it manages to look messy and jumbled when the Queen is pictured in movement. It's also extremely large and extremely grand, nearly a museum piece from the start. That said, I've always found it very sad that we don't have any representations of the necklace in use as it was intended to be worn, and can't help but hope someone in the future will give it a try.

1958: State Visit from Germany
Photos: Queen Elizabeth II/Royal Collection/Leslie Field/PA

11 December 2013

Audiences at Buckingham Palace

The Queen held several audiences at Buckingham Palace.
Bit hard to see, but it looks like some amethysts came out to play.

10 December 2013

Barnardo's Headquarters Opening and Investiture

The Queen, Patron, and the Duchess of Cornwall, President, opened the new headquarters of children's charity Barnardo's, Barkingside. The Queen also today held an Investiture at Buckingham Palace.
Click above for a video from ITNSource.
I could get used to these two pairing up, this is adorable. The Queen sported her favorite Aquamarine Clips, while Camilla wore a special ensemble from Bruce Oldfield (click here for an article with more on that lovely gesture) and a green Barnardo's badge. And they brought gifts with them for a change - custom ornaments from the Royal Collection to hang on the tree!
They still left with gifts, too, in the form of Christmas stockings for both ladies. Aww.

Earlier in the day, the Queen held an investiture. Among the honors bestowed was a knighthood for cycling star Bradley Wiggins.
Click above for a video from the BBC.
This is a bit hard to see, but based on the level of sparkle in that pendant, I think we might have a rare sighting of the Cullinan VI and VIII Brooch on our hands. Do you agree?

UPDATE: A better quality video has been uploaded on YouTube, and yes indeed - this is the Cullinan VI and VIII.

Photos: ITNSource/BBC

06 December 2013

Westminster Hall Visit

The Queen visited Westminster Hall, Palace of Westminster, London, to view the window installed in honor of her Diamond Jubilee. While there, she visited a plaque commemorating Nelson Mandela's 1996 visit, one day after the former South African President's death.
Video: The Queen speaks about learning of Mandela's death, including the fact that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were at the premiere of the movie "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" when the announcement came. Click here for a gallery from the visit.
And it's the small pink brooch, as she continues with her run of visiting Diamond Jubilee windows (seriously, that seems to have been the gift to get the Jubilee girl).
Three Strand Pearl Necklace

In other news...the Queen held some audiences on December 4th, wearing what I think is the Frosted Gold Sunflower Brooch (and a longer three strand pearl necklace, again).

Photo: PA

03 December 2013

Flashback: The Diplomatic Reception

One of the fanciest occasions of the Queen's year often passes by unnoticed, as we rarely get glimpses from inside. The event is the annual Diplomatic Reception at Buckingham Palace for members of the diplomatic community, hosted by the Queen in November or December and usually attended by a group of royals - all kitted out in their most formal white tie dress, tiaras and all.

2005 (left), and 2006 (I think, right)
It's been several years since we've had a good look at this event, but two recent years were occasions for the Queen's sapphires to come out and play: the Modern Sapphire Tiara paired with the Dubai Looped Sapphire Demi-Parure in 2005, and the George VI Sapphire set paired with the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara in 2006. Since the event is white tie, she also wears her royal family orders, and her Garter Star, Riband, and Lesser George.

The event is catching a whole lot of interest this year (2013), since it was announced that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would be in attendance. This is the first public tiara appearance for the Duchess since her wedding day. The Daily Mail has pictures of their arrival, in the car.

Interestingly, the Duchess is wearing the Lotus Flower Tiara (also commonly called the Papyrus Motif Tiara). Originally from the Queen Mother's collection, it was last known to be in the possession of the late Princess Margaret, and now it appears to have come back to the main royal line after Margaret's death - something I had hoped for, since it's a personal favorite of mine. (Originally I was quite surprised to see that she was already wearing a second tiara, but multiple people swiftly pointed out to me that the Halo Scroll Tiara from her wedding day is with an exhibit in Paris, so a swap was necessary.) Kate also wore a pair of diamond earrings from the Queen's collection, loaned to her and first worn in the United States when she and William were on their tour. A second look at this evening's pictures from Pop Sugar shows that she isn't wearing the Queen's own royal family order, meaning she likely hasn't been awarded the honor - yet.

Update: A documentary crew captured the 2015 reception on film, click here for a review.

Photos: Royal Insight/BBC

29 November 2013

Windsor Guildhall Visit

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Windsor Guildhall, Windsor, to officially unveil two stained glass windows marking her Diamond Jubilee.
Click above for a video from ITNSource.
Déjà vu! This is a straight up repeat, brooch and all, from this year's Maundy service.

Three Strand Pearl Necklace

In other news...'tis the season for investitures, I guess - another one was held on Thursday, November 28th.  

Photo: ITNSource

27 November 2013

Audiences at Buckingham Palace

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh met with the family of artist Albert Namatjira at Buckingham Palace. The Queen also received the High Commissioner for Malta in London and the Ambassador from the United States of America for audiences.
Click above for an article, pictures, and video from ABC.
Interesting - one of the longer three strand pearl necklaces, for a change.

In other current event news...an investiture was held on Friday, the 22nd, though it was hard to see the brooch as usual.

Photo: ABC

21 November 2013

Visit to Southwark

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited The Shard and Southwark Cathedral, Southwark, London.
Click above for an article, photos, and video from the Daily Mail.
I wondered why we didn't see an amethyst brooch on that lovely purple outfit from earlier this week, as we usually do - must have had it in reserve!

Photo: Daily Mail screencap

20 November 2013

Audiences at Buckingham Palace

The Queen received several people for audiences at Buckingham Palace, including the Most Reverend Desmond Tutu.
I found this explanation (above and in their linked Flickr site) for the visit interesting. Like, just in case you thought he'd just popped by for some gossip and a scone. Nope.

19 November 2013

Contemporary British Poetry Reception

The Queen, along with the Duke of Edinburgh, the Princess Royal, and Princess Michael of Kent, attended a reception for contemporary British poetry at Buckingham Palace.
Click here for an article and gallery from the Mirror.
I think I rave about the richness of this suit every time it pops up, but it's time to do it again: check this photo on the British Monarchy's Instagram - is this the perfect accompaniment to the setting, or what?!

Photo: PA

18 November 2013

Flashback: CHOGM Dinners

I was delighted to see that the Duchess of Cornwall turned up for the formal dinner at the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka in full tiara gear - and looking fabulous to boot in the Greville Tiara along with a favorite pair of diamond earrings, a diamond bracelet, and the Queen's family order.
When in attendance at the biennial meeting for the heads of government of the Commonwealth nations, the Queen turns the black tie dinner into a tiara event for herself. I wondered if the Duchess, who accompanied the Prince of Wales as he opened the summit in his mother's place, would continue the tradition - after all, it has become rare to see royals in tiaras on solo trips without the monarch. It's nice to see the event continue to receive a bit of added pomp, given how important the Commonwealth has been to the Queen over the years.

The CHOGM summit officially began in 1971 and the Queen started to attend in 1973. The 2013 Sri Lanka meeting is the first she's missed, as the palace stated her long-haul travel amounts are under review. This flashback covers the tiara-filled CHOGM banquets over the years. (It does not include every year, nor every jewel from those years represented - only identifiable pieces are mentioned, and evening watches are not included - and it does not cover dinners held for Commonwealth leaders prior to the 1971 time frame. Most of these appearances include the Star of the Order of the Garter, if not also the Riband and Lesser George; some also include the Queen's two royal family orders. Other honors are noted below if they can be identified.)

1975: Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara
1977: Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara with pearls
1979: Modern Sapphire Tiara, George VI Sapphire Necklace and Earrings, Modern Sapphire Bracelet 
1983: Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, Dorset Bow Brooch
1985: Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara with pearls
1987: Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara with emeralds, Delhi Durbar Necklace
1989: Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee Necklace, Duchess of Gloucester's Pendant Earrings
1993: Queen Alexandra's Kokoshnik Tiara, Antique Girandole Earrings, King Khalid Diamond Necklace
1995: Modern Sapphire Tiara, George VI Sapphire Necklace and Earrings, Modern Sapphire Bracelet, and the Queen's Service Order for New Zealand

1997: On the Queen, the Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara with pearls, Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee Necklace, Queen Victoria's Pearl Drop Earrings. The Queen Mother's jewels include the Greville Tiara.
1999: Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara with pearls, Qatar Pearl and Diamond Demi-Parure, Queen Adelaide's Brooch, and a pearl bracelet we haven't covered yet
2002: Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara with no drops, Antique Girandole Earrings, King Khalid Diamond Necklace
2003: A pearl and diamond set we haven't covered yet. This year she opted for a less formal look and did not wear a tiara.
2005: Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, Antique Girandole Earrings, King Khalid Diamond Necklace

2007: Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, Antique Girandole Earrings, Nizam of Hyderabad Necklace. The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were also in attendance - Camilla made one of her most dazzling appearances to date in the Greville Tiara and the full five strands of the Greville Festoon Necklace (which can be worn as separate strands of two and three, as seen on the Queen Mother above).
2009: Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, a pair of diamond earrings we haven't covered yet, Nizam of Hyderabad Necklace 
2011: The Brazilian Aquamarine Parure (tiara, necklace, bracelet), and the Order of Australia
2013: The Duchess of Cornwall only, see top of post.
2015: See here.

Photos: PA/Getty Images/AFP/BBC/CHOGM

14 November 2013

Visit to Manchester

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Manchester for several engagements.
Click above for an article, photos, and video from the BBC.
I was wondering when we'd see the return of the Jardine Star, and here we are!


13 November 2013

Walking with the Wounded Reception

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh met with Prince Harry and the teams from the Walking with the Wounded South Pole Allied Challenge during a reception at Buckingham Palace. The Queen also held audiences today.
Video, above. Click here for an article and pictures from the Express.
Prince Harry and an amethyst? Is it my birthday?!

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

10 November 2013

Remembrance Sunday

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied by members of the Royal Family, attended the Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph, London. The service honors those that have died in armed conflicts.
It was once again the Dorset Bow Brooch glinting away in the sun at the solemn Remembrance service. Though the Queen was well bundled up, we can assume there's a pearl necklace, etc., in there somewhere. Her traditional cluster of poppies was also present once again, after taking a leave of absence from the previous evening's event.

A few more scenes from around the Cenotaph:
The Queen was backed on the ground by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Duke of Cambridge, Prince Harry, the Earl of Wessex, the Princess Royal, and the Duke of Kent. Prince Harry laid a wreath on behalf of the Prince of Wales, who marked the day in India where he is on tour with the Duchess of Cornwall. The Duke of York visited Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, and participated in a service there.
Watching from the balconies above were the Duchess of Cambridge, the Countess of Wessex, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, and Princess Alexandra of Kent. The Countess of Wessex wore the badge of the 5th Battalion The Rifles, as she is their Royal Colonel, and the Duchess of Cambridge wore a crystal poppy brooch from Buckley London.

For more on the Remembrance Services:


09 November 2013

Festival of Remembrance

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied by other members of the Royal Family, attended the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Ahead of the Festival, they reviewed the South Steps of the venue, which were renamed the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Steps.
The Queen's pulled out one of the larger brooches I wish we saw more often, the Williamson Diamond Brooch with its spectacular pink diamond center. But interestingly, she wore no red poppies with it - unusual, as we've just seen in our flashback.
She also wore one of her longer triple strands of pearls (a few glimpses of the clasp, above). And she wore a few diamond rings, though it's hard to tell which ones, and what I think is her usual gold watch. 

Several other members of the family were in attendance along with HM and the DoE: The Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Duke of Kent, Princess Alexandra of Kent, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, the Princess Royal, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester (you can just see the Duchess peeking out from behind Tim Laurence, below).
I noticed the Princess Royal was wearing her own diamond star brooch - sometimes confused with the Jardine Star Brooch, but no, just another example of how popular that motif has been over the years. For a gallery from the event, click here.


08 November 2013

SSAFA Opening

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh opened the new headquarters of the SSAFA armed forces charity at Queen Elizabeth House, London. They were welcomed by Prince Michael of Kent, President, and Princess Michael of Kent.
Click above for a video report and article from the BBC.
I just had to update my entry for this brooch - it used to ponder the reasons why this brooch wasn't more of a favorite with the Queen, but this marks the fourth appearance since this time last year. Not in the shadows anymore! Three cheers from all the pearl fans out there, no doubt.

Click above for a longer video including the presentation of the Queen's badge, seen above, from ITNSource.
During the visit, Prince Michael presented the Queen with a badge to mark her 60 years of service. Perhaps we'll get a glimpse the next time she has an engagement with the charity.

Oh, and also: I have updated the post from our recent state banquet with delicious video showing the full level of Queen-y sparkle. Must not miss. (Plus, the Duchess of Gloucester's second tiara appearance of the visit!)

Photos: BBC & ITN screencaps

07 November 2013

State Visit from South Korea, Farewell

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh bid farewell to the President of the Republic of Korea, Park Geun-hye, at the conclusion of her State Visit to the United Kingdom.
Video, above
I didn't realize the Modern Ruby Brooch hadn't been seen since April 2012...guess I didn't miss it much.

06 November 2013

Audiences at Buckingham Palace

The Queen received the most recent recipient of Australia's Victoria Cross, Corporal Daniel Keighran, for an audience at Buckingham Palace. She also received the Governor of the Bank of England.
Click above for an article and video from ABC News.
The Cambridge Pearl Pendant Brooch looks so lonely without its pendant, doesn't it?

Photo: ABC screencap

05 November 2013

The Diamond Chandelier Drop Demi-Parure

The Diamond Chandelier Drop Demi-Parure (Necklace and Earrings, inset)

A matched set of a necklace and a pair of earrings, this demi-parure is made of diamonds in multiple intricate pendants, each tipped with a pear-shaped diamond drop. Its provenance has not been officially confirmed, but it certainly has the look of a gift from one of the Middle Eastern rulers, and The Queen did wear it during a 1987 state visit from King Fahd of Saudi Arabia. (I am using a name that refers to its complicated pendant structure, since the gift is not confirmed.)

The Queen

The Queen has used this set fairly often, even for some official portraits. It is a slightly more grand option than pieces such as the King Khalid Diamond Necklace (very similar, and a confirmed Saudi gift), the Diamond Pear-Shaped Pendant Fringe Necklace, or the King Faisal Diamond Necklace (another confirmed Saudi gift).

The Countess of Wessex

During the 2019 state visit from the United States, it appeared that the necklace and earrings had been loaned to The Countess of Wessex for use.

Appearances (both Necklace and Earrings, unless otherwise noted):
11 December 2019: Diplomatic Reception (earrings on The Duchess of Cambridge)
3 June 2019: State Visit from the United States, State Banquet (on The Countess of Wessex)
5 November 2013: State Visit from South Korea, State Banquet 
1992: State Visit to Germany 

Photos: Getty Images/Lichfield/Royal Household

The Diamond Cockade Brooch

The Diamond Cockade Brooch
The Diamond Cockade Brooch has been worn to three coronations and used in its present form by four queens. This is a brooch with a rich history – and at this time, we don’t even know its whole story. It is said to have belonged to Queen Victoria, but it was Queen Alexandra that had it altered to the form we’re familiar with today. It’s a large clasp for a cloak, which is used as a stomacher or very large brooch, all made in diamonds. It comes in three pieces, a central star with eight points and large diamond elements between each, and two side pieces with an intricate knotted design. Before Alexandra, the piece was in five sections and was originally used as a cockade – normally a hat ornament, possibly part of a military uniform. The exact provenance and age is not currently known.
Queen Alexandra using the full clasp at her coronation (with close up of her heavily jeweled bodice) and using only the center section
Queen Alexandra wore the full three pieces to her coronation alongside her husband, Edward VII, in 1902 underneath her swags of pearls. It was also used at the coronation of George V in 1911 by Queen Mary, who wore it with the two side pieces at an angle. Mary was also known to use the side pieces with different brooches in the center.
Queen Mary (with the full clasp, and using the two side sections around other pieces), Queen Elizabeth (using the center section on her bodice), and Queen Elizabeth II (using the center section as a shoulder brooch)
Queen Elizabeth wore just the center section to her 1937 coronation with her husband, George VI – and it’s entirely possible it wasn’t seen in public again until Queen Elizabeth II wore it in 2008, to a state banquet for the President of France. (That 71-year delay makes it seem likely it stayed with the Queen Mother after 1952, not being unearthed until the Queen inherited her jewelry in 2002 and began to debut different pieces.) We haven’t seen the side pieces since Queen Mary’s time, and I suppose they suffer the same fate as most stomachers, becoming harder to wear as fashions change. Regardless of the difficulties of wearing it, it is a staggering piece, and it would be such a treat to see the whole thing once again some day.

Appearances (of the Center Section only, unless otherwise noted):
5 November 2013: State Visit from South Korea, State Banquet 
2008: State Visit from France, State Banquet

Photos: Lord Twining/Royal Collection/Getty Images

State Visit from South Korea, State Banquet

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, together with other members of the Royal Family, gave a State Banquet in honor of the President of the Republic of Korea at Buckingham Palace.

Unless you count the State Opening of Parliament, this is the first tiara event of the year for Her Maj, and more than likely the only one we'll see. So you have to love that she's busted out one of her biggest brooches (and a rare sight, at that), plus a hefty necklace and earring set - none of which we've covered on the blog before. She's done her best to tide us over, because she's a gem. She upped the sparkle factor but kept it all in white, which allowed the red of her Korean order to really stand out.
I'm not sure just yet which bracelet she's worn, so if you have any thoughts, chime in!

There wasn't much in the way of other British tiaras on display, only a mere glimpse of the Princess Royal. Once again, bonus points are awarded to the President, who shined in her traditional dress. Click here for a gallery.

Diamond Bracelet (Unidentified)
Diamond Watch (same as here)

UPDATE: Video of the banquet! Loooook at the sparkle...
You can also see the Duchess of Gloucester, also in attendance, but alas we still can't really see the tiaras for her or for the Princess Royal.  

There is also a traditional banquet for the visiting head of state at the Guildhall, which was attended by the Gloucesters.
And here we actually can see the Duchess well enough to tell that she's worn her favorite Gloucester Honeysuckle Tiara, in its all-diamond format.


State Visit from South Korea, Welcome Ceremony

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh welcomed the President of the Republic of Korea, Her Excellency Park Geun-hye, at the beginning of her State Visit to the United Kingdom.
Video: The welcome ceremony. Click here for an article and pictures from the Daily Mail.
Glad to see the Centenary Rose Brooch out and about again - by my count this is the second outing this year - but...all these pink outfits and no debut of the new tourmaline brooch is just a tease, no?
(Bonus mention to the lovely President, though, for bringing her own elegant brooch bling!)

Photo: Getty Images