29 May 2014

Leonard Cheshire Disability Reception and Audiences

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh attended a reception for Leonard Cheshire Disability at St. James' Palace.
For more: an article from the Daily Mail.
One interesting brooch here, one we've seen only a couple times...

Three Strand Pearl Necklace

Earlier, the Queen held audiences at Buckingham Palace.

...and one we've seen many times. A well-rounded day in Brooch Land.

28 May 2014

Household Cavalry Standard Presentation and Garden Party

The Queen, with the Duke of Edinburgh, presented new standards to the Household Cavalry. The Princess Royal, Prince Harry, and the Duke of Kent were also present. Later, the royal party attended a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace for members of the regiments.

Video, above. For more: Express and Hello.
This calls for badges, of course, and two of them - the badges of the two regiments of the Household Cavalry, the Life Guards and the Blues and Royals. These were sported on both her blue coat at Horse Guards Parade (in the video above) and also the pink number she switched to for the garden party (below). All the members of the family were sporting items of significance for the day, including the gentlemen in their Household Division ties.

21 May 2014

Buckingham Palace Garden Party and Audience

The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Beatrice of York, hosted a garden party at Buckingham Palace.
A double sapphire brooch day - this one is basically on amethyst duty, using the purple tones of the stone to full effect.

Three Strand Pearl Necklace

Also today, the Queen received the Governor-General of the Solomon Islands, Sir Frank Utu Ofagioro Kabui, at Buckingham Palace for an audience.

I'm glad to see this sapphire brooch again, but possibly more glad she resisted bow overkill and didn't go for the bow brooch too.
Empress Marie Feodorovna's Sapphire Brooch

Photos: ITNSource/Getty Images/WPA Pool

20 May 2014

HMS Lancaster Visit

The Queen, Duke of Lancaster and Sponsor of the ship, visited the HMS Lancaster at Portsmouth Naval Base.
By my count we haven't seen Queen Victoria's Bow since Christmas, an unusual break for one that's typically a favorite. To be honest, though, I've been enjoying the variety this year so much I didn't really notice its absence! Did you?

Photos: ITNSource/@RoyalNavy

19 May 2014

Chelsea Flower Show and Royal Windsor Horse Show

Today, the Queen and other members of the royal family visited the Chelsea Flower Show.
Click here for more from the Daily Mail.
Looks like the appearance of the Chelsea Iris Brooch - a gift from the Royal Horticultural Society - is going to become an annual thing, no surprises there. This is the second year in a row we've seen it.

The Queen has been in attendance for multiple days of the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
There are so many days and events, many of which get little coverage, it's always a bit hard to track the Queen at the show. But it's worth a try, behold the linkage:
May 14: She was a spectator, in her single strand of pearls, pearl stud earrings, black strap watch, and of course her engagement and wedding rings. (I've mentioned this one before.)
May 16: Spectator again, in everything as above but without the pearl necklace.
May 17: Spectator during the day (in the same accessories). Then, watching the Services Team Jumping Event with the King of Bahrain...
...wearing Prince Albert's Sapphire Brooch with a double strand of pearls and her pearl studs. Later that day, she apparently put in an appearance at the evening event...
...which was a Musical Ride of The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment. For this, she sported a larger and fancier double strand of pearls, Queen Victoria's 11 Pearl Brooch, and the Ladies of Devonshire Earrings. I'm exhausted just reading about all these outfit changes.
May 18: More prizes to present! This time, back to her regular day set of Queen Mary's Button Earrings and her triple strand of pearls, plus the top part (without pendant) of the Round Cambridge Emerald Brooch. And phew, that's all for this year's Royal Windsor Horse Show.

14 May 2014

The Garter of the Order of the Garter (Plus Current Events)

A graphic of the Garter as it is often represented, and the Garter worn by the Queen
A representation of a blue garter adorned with the motto of the Order of the Garter (Honi soit qui mal y pense, "Shame on he who thinks ill of it") can be seen on various items worn by members of the Order, but a far more rare sight today is the actual Garter that comes along with the rest of the insignia. The Garter is made of a blue fabric embellished with the Order's motto and closed with a buckle. The materials and design can vary (blue velvet and diamonds or blue silk and gold, for example).
Video: A rare look at the investiture of a new Knight, in this case Sir Edward Heath, which shows the Page placing the Garter.
The Garter is worn by gentlemen just below the left knee and by ladies just above the left elbow. It can be worn on occasions when the Riband is used, such as some of the most formal white tie events, but it does not have to be worn and usage has become fairly rare, especially for ladies.
The Garter on (left to right) Queen Mary, the Queen, and the Duke of Edinburgh
The Queen doesn't seem to favor it, and largely avoids using the Garter - two notable exceptions being her visits to Vatican City in 1961 and 1980. Others continue to wear it; Princess Alexandra of Kent can be seen wearing hers for the annual Diplomatic Reception in the documentary Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work, and the men still occasionally wear theirs when they opt for knee breeches instead of full-length trousers. The Diplomatic Reception again is the best example of this.

Other Featured Garter Insignia:
The Mantle and Bonnet
The Collar and Great George
The Star, Riband, and Lesser George

8 December 2016: Diplomatic Reception (on the gentlemen) 
8 December 2015: Diplomatic Reception (on the gentlemen)
1986: State Visit from Spain (on the gentlemen) 
1980: State Visit to Vatican City

In current news...

On Tuesday, May 13, the Queen held audiences at Buckingham Palace, click here. She wore the Frosted Sunflower Brooch with her other standard day items.

Today (Wednesday, May 14), the Queen paid a casual visit to the Royal Windsor Horse Show, as she does every year, click here. She wore a single strand of pearls, pearl stud earrings, and her black strap watch, together with her engagement and wedding rings. The Daily Mail has an interesting pictorial on the Queen at the show throughout the years.

Photos: Wikimedia Commons/AP/British Monarchy

09 May 2014

The Order of the Bath Service

The Queen attended the Service of the Order of the Bath at Westminster Abbey.
Video, above. For more: Article from the BBC, video and article from the Telegraph, pictures in the link in the tweet below from the Daily Mail, gallery from Zimbio.
Daytime tiara, as promised! And as expected, the Queen stuck with her favorite tiara, a Queen Mary piece accompanied by earrings from Queen Mary's collection as well. Unusually, I see no diamond bracelet on her right wrist.

This appearance made news today because the Queen ended up pulling out of one part of the service, a task that would have required her to go up and down a set of steep stairs while juggling her Angela Kelly evening gown, her mantle and other insignia, and the weight of the tiara. (The Prince of Wales, who is Great Master of the Order, stepped in instead.) Palace aides said it was purely for her comfort, but it is of course making headlines. To me, this is neither surprising nor particularly concerning - she's 88, and she's human. She was still able to attend and be active in the rest of the service, which is a good sign.

The Collar, Badge, and Mantle of the Order of the Bath

The Order of the Bath is a chivalric order founded by King George I in 1725 and named after the ritual washing included in the medieval conferment of knighthood. The Collar of the Order - the large chain - is made of gold with alternating imperial crowns and flower clusters, separated by white knots. The flower clusters include roses for England, thistles for Scotland, and shamrocks for Ireland. The Badge is suspended from the front center of the collar; it includes the Order's motto of Tria Juncta in uno ("Three joined in one") as well as Ich Dien ("I Serve") on a white enameled Maltese cross.
The Queen in her Mantle, with Collar and Badge
The collar and badge are worn over the Mantle, the robes worn for certain ceremonial occasions. The Mantle is made of crimson satin with a white taffeta lining, cord and tassels at the closure, and large white bows on the shoulders. The Mantle's left side includes a large representation of the Order's star. The Queen, as Sovereign of the Order, has a Mantle with a long train. She uses the Collar, Badge, and Mantle when she attends the Order's service at Westminster Abbey; the service is held every four years, and she attends only alternate services.

9 May 2014: Order of the Bath Service
2006: Order of the Bath Service

Photos: Getty Images/Westminster Abbey

08 May 2014

Another New Portrait Released

The GREAT Britain Campaign and Harper's Bazaar shared another portrait of the Queen by David Bailey.
This is from the same shoot as the portrait released just before Her Maj's birthday, as you can tell, but this one includes the Queen's glorious set of sapphires (one of the best necklace/earrings sets in her collection, if you ask me). And I still like the informal way in which Mr. Bailey handled these portraits, making the Queen look so relaxed and approachable.

According to the link in the tweet, another photo from the shoot will be included in Harper's Bazaar magazine print edition.

07 May 2014

Journalists' Charity Reception

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh attended a reception celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Journalists' Charity at the Stationers' Hall, London.
Very elegant, this outfit, right down to the lilies on the hat.

Photos:ITNSource video

The Daffodil Spray Brooch

The Daffodil Spray Brooch
This brooch, a spray of three yellow daffodils in diamonds, was first seen in a painting by Dan Llywelyn Hall which was commissioned by the Welsh Rugby Union in honor of the 60th anniversary of the coronation. The portrait was released in May 2013 and The Queen sat for it in late 2012. The brooch was selected for the painting because daffodils are a national emblem of Wales.

It is likely the brooch was a Diamond Jubilee gift to The Queen, though exact details are unknown (to me) at this time. A similar brooch in diamonds with gold details, the Three Thistle Brooch, was confirmed to have been part of a set of four pins given to The Queen by The Sultan of Oman; it is possible but unconfirmed that this brooch could share that provenance. (See the Three Thistle Brooch entry for more speculation on that set.)

20 June 2019: Royal Ascot, Day 3
11 April 2017: Visit to Bedfordshire
26 June 2015: State Visit to Germany, Final Day
6 May 2014: Visit to Essex
3 May 2013: Recent Portrait Releases

Photos: Getty/PA/Dan Llywelyn Hall/Welsh Rugby Union

06 May 2014

Visit to Essex

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Chelmsford Cathedral, to celebrate the centenary of the Diocese, and Felsted School, to celebrate its 450th anniversary, in Essex.
Forget all your "only way is Essex" jokes, we've got brooch news on our hands! This is not new, but a new-ish bauble for our examination. We previously saw it rendered in a portrait (click here for that entry), at which time I wondered if it was an artistic rendition of something we knew well, or something new.  Unless an earlier outing turns up, my guess is we might have another Diamond Jubilee gift here.
I will give this brooch a name and its own entry later - but I wonder what your thoughts are on the type of flower we're seeing here? (I'm absolutely awful with that kind of identification, alas.) UPDATE: Thanks to all who confirmed my suspicions that it is daffodils.

Photos:ITV News/Getty Images/PA/Dan Llywelyn Hall/Welsh Rugby Union

05 May 2014

Flashback: Order of the Bath Service

The Queen is Sovereign of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, an order of chivalry whose members are typically senior military or civil servants and whose title comes from the ritual washing involved in the medieval conferment of knighthood. But because it ranks lower than others such as the Order of the Garter, we do not typically see the Queen use the insignia of the Order of the Bath. One exception is the Order's service, held at Westminster Abbey. The service is held every four years; the Sovereign attends every other service.
The service is one of the rare occasions at which we see the Queen wear a tiara during the daytime. She may pair different earrings and bracelets with it (here, the Diamond Cluster Earrings and Queen Mary's Chain-Link Bracelet), but she consistently selects the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara for the job. Her favorite tiara must be a great fit for these types of services, as she's used it for other instances as well.

Click here for 2014's service.

Photo: Westminster Abbey