10 April 2014

Northern Ireland Reception, New Zealand Portrait, and Organ Recital

Lots and lots going on. A triple event update:

As part of the ongoing State Visit from Ireland, the Queen hosted a Northern Ireland-themed reception at Windsor Castle which was attended by President and Mrs. Higgins.
Click here for an article from the Express.
This is unusual: Her Majesty normally participates in the welcome, state banquet, and farewell of a state visit these days, without extra events, so this certainly speaks to the importance placed on this particular visit. She's wearing the Jardine Star Brooch - usually a favorite, but hasn't been seen since last November!

Engagement and Wedding Rings 

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world... 
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge unveiled a new portrait of the Queen by New Zealand artist Nick Cuthell. The portrait was commissioned by the New Zealand Portrait Gallery to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee, and it will become a part of their permanent collection. The Queen sat for this portrait in October 2013.
A casual portrait in her standard day wear, but of course she is sporting the New Zealand brooch most recently loaned to the Duchess (and the Duchess echoed that fern motif with her Jenny Packham gown; click here for another article with photos). Prince William even made mention of the fern jewel in his speech, saying that "Her Majesty is portrayed wearing her silver fern brooch, which provides a simple but clear reminder of Her Majesty's deep affection for the people of New Zealand." So that's all kinds of aww.

Engagement and Wedding Rings 

And yesterday... 
On April 9, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh attended a recital to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Royal College of Organists at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.
Video, above; click here for a gallery.
She took a break from the Irish state visit for a regular engagement, and she took a break from the jewel intrigue, too, returning to her favorite Frosted Sunflower Brooch. But continuing in her trend of doing something a bit out of the ordinary, she opted for a double strand of pearls instead of her typical triple strand and a simple single pearl stud earring instead of her usual pearl and diamond combo. Oooh.