08 April 2014

State Visit from Ireland, Welcome Ceremony and State Banquet

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh welcomed the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, and his wife Sabina Higgins, at the beginning of his State Visit to the United Kingdom.
Video, above; click here for an article from The Telegraph or here for pictures from RTÉ. 
History all over the place here - this is the first state visit to the U.K. by an Irish head of state. And the Queen picked a fitting brooch to go with her Stewart Parvin outfit and Angela Kelly hat, something new (!) and with an Irish connection to boot. See the link below for more details.

Engagement and Wedding Rings 

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 Ireland at Windsor Castle.
Click here for photos from the Daily Mail. Also click here for another gallery for the whole day, and click here for a video from the BBC.
More gem excitement! It has been a long time since the Queen trotted out her emeralds for a banquet (there was a portrait a couple years ago, but nothing compares to these in action). I hoped we would see emeralds for the Emerald Isle when she traveled to Ireland in 2011, but at that time we got the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, so it's nice to see she was holding back for the return state visit. And we even have some extra sparkly interest here: there's a smaller brooch on the front, and her bracelet appears to be one from Queen Mary with a large square or rectangular emerald and a diamond band (see the photos from Franck and Beth at the RJWMB here).

Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara with Emeralds
Delhi Durbar Earrings
Delhi Durbar Necklace
Scroll Cambridge Emerald Brooch
Emerald and Diamond Celtic Knot Brooch
Order of the Garter Star, Riband, and Lesser George
Diamond Bar Brooch (on her back)
Emerald and Diamond Bracelet from Queen Mary
Diamond Evening Watch

More family members were in attendance as well (though as always, it is hard to see), including the Duchess of Cornwall in the Greville Tiara. The Princess Royal wore her Aquamarine Pineflower Tiara, the Duchess of Gloucester possibly wore the Gloucester Honeysuckle Tiara, and Princess Michael of Kent wore the Kent Festoon Tiara.