30 June 2014

Holyrood Week, Day 1: Arrival

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh arrived at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, at the start of their annual week of Scottish engagements. Her Majesty was presented with the Keys of the City which she returned in the traditional Ceremony of the Keys. The Guard of Honor from the 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland mounted in the Forecourt of the Palace was reviewed.
For more: Zimbio gallery.
I love the color of her coat, but I'm not sold on the overall combo, so I'll be interested to hear what you think. Anyway, on the brooch front, we've got a badge peeking out from behind those flowers.

Photos:Martin Fraser/Getty Images

28 June 2014

Solemn Drumhead Service

The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, attended a Solemn Drumhead Service at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. Also in attendance were the Earl of Wessex, Prince Michael of Kent, and Princess Alexandra of Kent.
This Year of Brooch Surprises means that favorites have been left by the wayside - case in point, the Kent Amethyst, which has been on the favorites list for the two years this blog has been in existence but is just making its 2014 debut today, in late June. (Perhaps the year of surprises would be a good year to add this brooch's triple drops back in, hmm? Pretty pretty please?)

Photos:ITNSource video

26 June 2014

Buckingham Palace Garden Party

The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of York, hosted a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace for the Not Forgotten Association.
We haven't seen this brooch in action since 2011, by my count - far too long for such a luscious group of diamonds to be neglected! Thank goodness Her Maj is in a mood to delight this year.

Updated to add: Also today, the Queen held audiences (click here), wearing the Greville Scroll Brooch. One of the people she received was the new High Commissioner for the Commonwealth of Australia, so maybe that inspired her wattle choice for the garden party.

Photo:ITNSource video

25 June 2014

Visit to Northern Ireland, Day 3

On the third and final day of their visit to Northern Ireland, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh met with experts from the television show Antiques Roadshow at Hillsborough Castle before visiting Coleraine to mark the centenary of the outbreak of World War I.
For more: Article from the Coleraine Times, gallery from Zimbio (includes whole trip).
And here are the palace's released details about today's outfit (quoting from the article linked above): "Her Majesty wore an Angela Kelly designed mint green crepe wool coat, a mint green silk dress with flowers of cream and mushroom and a matching hat with an intricate sinamay crown and origandi bow, crystals and feathers. Her brooch was made by Bronte Porcelain designed by Rob and Lucy Price." Did you catch that?! ANOTHER NEW BROOCH. And it's a big one! Have a closer look in the linked gallery and hit the brooch post below...


The Bronte Porcelain Brooch

The Bronte Porcelain Brooch
During her 2014 trip to Northern Ireland, the Queen debuted a new floral brooch, announced by the palace as having been made by Bronte Porcelain and designed by Bob and Lucy Price. Clearly, this is a modern piece, and probably a recent addition to the collection since we've been given details on its creators, though I have not yet found any other information on provenance. Hopefully a better look will be available later on.

12 November 2016: Festival of Remembrance
26 June 2015: State Visit to Germany, Final Day
25 June 2014: Visit to Northern Ireland, Day 3

Photo: WPA Pool/Getty Images (heavily cropped)

24 June 2014

Visit to Northern Ireland, Day 2

On the second day of their visit to Northern Ireland, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Crumlin Road Gaol, Belfast City Hall, St. George's Market, and the set of the television series Game of Thrones.

Click here for video.
There are far more significant things to report on during this particular visit to Belfast, sure, but still: Her Maj met the Lannisters & Co.! To the disappointment of the masses, she didn't sit on the Iron Throne. She did get a wee one to take home with her, though. (What I wouldn't give for her to nonchalantly tuck it amongst all those family photographs visible when she does her audiences...)
For more: BBC video (of the prison visit), ITNSource video (of her speech at lunch), Hello articles and pics (of the set visit), Daily Mail pics (of all)
And we got a look at a brooch we haven't seen in a few years, one that was a favorite with her mother. I do miss the pearl pendant and diamond chain, but obviously she was saving up for the next big surprise...

Later, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh attended a garden party at Hillsborough Castle.

For more: Zimbio gallery (of the whole trip so far)
...Queen Alexandra's Wedding Brooch! The Queen has only worn the brooch from Queen Alexandra's Wedding Parure once that I can think of in public, during the entire span of her reign. Until now, that is. I've never understood why she doesn't wear this one much - it's like three times the Cambridge Pearl Pendant goodness, and we know she loves that one - but I'm so happy to see it again!

Queen Alexandra's Wedding Brooch

Photos:ITN, BBC, and ITNSource video/WPA Pool via Getty

23 June 2014

Heathrow Terminal 2 Opening and Visit to Northern Ireland: Arrival and Audiences

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh departed for Northern Ireland from Heathrow Airport. Before leaving, the Queen officially opened the new Terminal 2, named The Queen's Terminal.
I was hoping this week's visit to Northern Ireland would give us another glimpse of the Shamrock Brooch, debuted during their Diamond Jubilee visit and also seen during this year's Irish state visit. And look at that, my wish granted on the first go! Delightful. (Oh, and that terminal the Queen opened today? Yeah, she also opened the last Terminal 2, in 1955. She's now officially more durable than 90% of all building materials.)

The Queen arrived in Northern Ireland and then held audiences at Hillsborough Castle.
She was wearing the same outfit and brooch. Click here for an article and photos. 

Photos:BBC Video

21 June 2014

Royal Ascot, Day Five

The Queen honored Ascot Races with her presence today.
This has been an Ascot week for the brooch record books: two debuts, two second appearances, and for the finale, a brooch new to us since 2012. Needless to say, I'm in heaven.

(Little nod to the Duke there - he's my best dressed gent of the week. His outfits have been subtly coordinated with the Queen's, not overtly matchy, but just enough to make it look like someone's paying attention. Well done.)
Three Strand Pearl Necklace

For more: Daily Mail, Zimbio gallery

On this very last day of Ascot, I have no awards to hand out, just one important notice for you: PRINCESS EUGENIE WORE RED.

And I shall rejoice that her closet hasn't gone permanently beige, and leave it at that.

Photos: Stuart C. Wilson and Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

20 June 2014

Royal Ascot, Day Four

The Queen honored Ascot Races with her presence today.
Well, it's not a new brooch, but it is another that we've only seen on one previous occasion, so our rare brooch streak still stands! Many of you thought the Saskatchewan Tourmaline Flower would be at its best on a pink coat, and this lovely cerise outfit proves you right. Even on this bright - BRIGHT - color, the brooch holds its own.

Ascot is winding down, and so are the number of royals in attendance. I wasn't very taken with the outfits on display today, but my magpie senses did find some sparkle that was downright award-worthy.
For more: Daily Mail, Zimbio gallery 1, gallery 2, gallery 3

Best in Sparkle, Jewel Division 
Lady Sarah Chatto

You really have to give Lady Sarah a round of applause for busting out her jewels whenever she can. Here we have a trio of items inherited from her mother: pearl and diamond earrings (that Lady Sarah wore on her wedding day), a pearl and diamond necklace from Queen Mary, and a diamond star brooch (a Jardine Star-lookalike, one of many out there for this common design).

Best in Sparkle, Non-Jewel Division 
Princess Haya

Well, there's certainly no danger here that yesterday's black and white masterpiece will be unseated as my Ascot favorite for the year, but you know I love the spirit of wearing a sparkling gold skirt in the day even if this outfit is not her finest. I'm all for more fancy, always.

Photos:Stuart C. Wilson, Mark Cuthbert/UK Press, and Chris Jackson all via Getty Images

19 June 2014

Royal Ascot, Day Three

The Queen honored Ascot Races with her presence today.
For video, see the Daily Mail link below.
Another brooch debut! One of you is going to have to come over here and pick me up off the floor if this continues. (And please please, let it continue!)

To the rest of the family! Just a couple notables from the fabulous division today.

Most Fabulous, Most Colorful Division
The Princess Royal and Princess Beatrice
Look at this pair! Not who I thought would end up in their own little rainbow of a carriage ride, but I like it. Anyone else seeing orange peels on the top of Beatrice's hat, or do I just need a snack?

Most Fabulous, Least Colorful Division
Princess Haya
Haya's Ascot game is growing stronger every day, is it not? Black and white at Ascot is always My Fair Lady and always YES. I can't wait to see what she's got for us in the final stretch.

I'll leave you to discuss the rest (including the Countess of Wessex, who hilariously went to the opposite end of yesterday's white spectrum with an entirely black outfit) in the links provided. I'm off to get that snack, just to be safe.

Photos:Daily Mail video and Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

The Queen Mother's Aquamarine Art Deco Brooch

The Queen Mother's Aquamarine Art Deco Brooch
Worn by the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother mostly in her earlier years, this Art Deco brooch contains multiple cuts of aquamarine jewels with diamond accents. The brooch is very much in the style of Cartier jewels from the time, though the maker is unconfirmed. Queen Elizabeth did commission other pieces from Cartier. The design seems a double-clip style, though there is no evidence to suggest that it can be separated as such.
Queen Elizabeth
The Queen Mother wasn't known for a love of aquamarine jewels, and appearances of this brooch seem to have been mainly in her earlier years. She did have another set of aquamarine brooches (her Curved Aquamarine Clip Brooches; one can be seen on her hat in the above photo), which are likely the ones described by Leslie Field in The Queen's Jewels:
In the 1930s she had a pair of curved diamond and aquamarine clips. She was wearing these in 1935 when she brought her two daughters to Norman Hartnell's salon in Bruton Street to have a fitting for their bridesmaid's dresses for the marriage of Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester.
The brooch would have passed to The Queen on her mother's death in 2002, and she wore it for the first time publicly at Ascot in 2014, when she wore it placed horizontally; for its second outing, she wore it placed vertically. The Queen of course already has her set of Aquamarine Clip Brooches which are favorites in her collection.

12 June 2021: Trooping the Colour
13 March 2019: Audiences at Buckingham Palace
17 October 2018: RAF Club 100th Anniversary Portrait
14 November 2017: Investiture at Buckingham Palace
1 June 2017: Buckingham Palace Garden Party
7 March 2017: Investiture at Buckingham Palace
25 December 2015: Christmas Broadcast
20 December 2015: Church at Sandringham
8 May 2015: VE Day Beacon Lighting
6 November 2014: Recovery Pathway Reception
19 June 2014: Royal Ascot, Day Three

Photos: Getty Images, Central Press

18 June 2014

Royal Ascot, Day Two

The Queen honored Ascot Races with her presence today.
The second day of Ascot brings us a second outing for the floral brooch debuted in France earlier this month. I'm loving Her Maj's outfit today - she usually has a floral dress on under her coats, but we don't often get to see it showcased like this, and it's a really fresh look for her.

The Queen was my best dressed overall for the day, but the rest of the crowd wasn't slacking off either. Some links for your examination:
Daily Mail

 And now, my highlights:

Best in Earrings
The Duchess of Cornwall
Ooooooooooooh. That's two, count 'em, TWO appearances of my beloved pink topaz choker in one week! And this one is even better than the Trooping appearance, because Camilla's worn the matching earrings too, something she usually saves for evening. They're hard to see (Camilla is the absolute worst royal offender when it comes to hair obscuring earring bling, the absolute worst I tell you), but the British Monarchy Flickr has the best look.

Best in Brooch
The Countess of Wessex
I've never understood why Sophie doesn't stick these diamond clips (they're from the Queen Mother, and it's a set of two placed together here) on every single outfit she owns - I mean, that's what I'd do - but I'll take any appearance I can get.

Highest Vintage Potential
The Princess Royal
This is one of those Anne outfits where you just sit back and wait for someone to dig up a picture of her wearing the same thing back in 1983. (Updated: 5 years off! She wore it in 1988, with thanks to JamesB in the comments.) Actually, despite some bunching up, it suits her fairly well.

Most Improved
Princess Haya
Improving on yesterday's converted eveningwear, Haya's sporting Van Gogh's sunflowers today, customized from the recent Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda collection. It's awfully literal, sticking a painting on a dress, but I do love the way she carries the color changes through to her hat and shoes.

Photos:Stuart C. Wilson, Chris Jackson, Kirstin Sinclair, and Alan Crowhurst all for Getty Images

17 June 2014

Royal Ascot, Day One

The Queen honored Ascot Races with her presence today.

I think Her Majesty is on a mission to set a record for the number of new brooches debuted in a single year, and I am ALL FOR IT. Go on, ma'am. This one's got swans on it! Adorable. More details in the brooch post linked below.

Three Strand Pearl Necklace

I typically do Ascot fashion roundups at the other blog, but since it is a particularly busy week on the international royal scene, all Ascot coverage will be taking place here at the Vault. Lots and lots of royals were present per usual, including Prince Harry making his Ascot debut.  
For your royal-spotting pleasure: Photos at the Daily Mail, gallery at Zimbio.

And now for a few awards for those that caught my eye:

Best in Blues
The Countess of Wessex

There was something of a blue kick running through the collective royal wardrobe today. Both the Countess of Wessex and the Duchess of Cornwall (who sported her pair of Van Cleef & Arpels dragonfly brooches) chose a soft blue just as the Queen did, but of the three, Sophie takes my prize. This Emilia Wickstead suit is really flattering on her, and you can't go wrong when you slap a big aquamarine brooch on there.

Best Use of Color
Viscountess Linley

A bright and colorful floral is just what we need today, I think. And three cheers to Serena here for avoiding the temptation to stick Just Another Nude Shoe with this - the coral is a nice tie-in without being too matchy. This wasn't my favorite shoe moment of the day, though...

Best in Shoe 
Princess Beatrice

Beatrice's Suzannah dress is lovely, and I always appreciate something different on the hat front. But did you see her shoes?
Jerome C. Rousseau shoes
 WANT. Ditto everything I said above about colorful florals and add in bonus points for making up for her sister's closet full of beige coats.

And...a Near Miss 
Princess Haya

This should have been a recipe for perfection, at least for me: I always look forward to the parade of Ascot couture brought by Princess Haya (wife of the ruler of Dubai and Prime Minister of the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed - he's standing next to her there - and daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan), and you  know I love me some Elie Saab. And yet...well, I'm still waiting for that perfection. You know it pains me greatly to say it. Must seek comfort and chocolate now, talk amongst yourselves.
The Elie Saab Couture style that was modified for Haya. (Some things are just meant to be gowns, methinks.)

Photos:Anadolu Agency via Getty; Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty; Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty; Chris Jackson via Getty; Polyvore; Chris Jackson via Getty; Style.com

The Double Swan Brooch

The Double Swan Brooch
For the first day of Ascot 2014, the Queen gave a public debut to a new-to-us brooch: two large white pearls forming the bodies of two swans, with diamond accents completing the depiction. According to the television commentary during the Ascot carriage procession, the brooch is by G. Collins & Sons, home of Harry Collins, the Queen's Personal Jeweler and the former Crown Jeweler.
A brooch sold at Christie's in December 2007* is a match for the Queen's (shown above; there could be very minor differences between the two, but owing to different angles, it is hard to tell). The brooch was sold as part of a group of jewels which together brought $8,750. It was described as a platinum and gold brooch featuring two freshwater cultured pearls with creamy white bodycolor and slight rosé overtones, plus approximately 117 circular-cut diamonds, weighing approximately 2.00-2.50 carats total, and black enamel accents.

Interestingly, it is not the only swan brooch in the Queen's collection; she has at least one other, a small Diamond Swan Brooch. And swan brooches are quite fitting for Her Majesty, as the Crown has the rights of ownership of all unmarked mute swans in open water, a right only exercised on certain parts of the Thames and its tributaries.

*Thank you Bella!

30 May 2018: Audiences at Buckingham Palace
2 July 2015: Holyrood Week, Day 3: Scottish Veterans Garden City Association
17 June 2014: Royal Ascot, Day 1

Photo: Reuters/Christie's

Visit from the Chinese Premier

The Queen held an audience with Chinese Premier Li Kequiang, who is on an official visit to the United Kingdom, at Windsor Castle.
And the sapphire and pearl brooch continues its quest to make this year's favorites list...

Photo: Steve Parsons/AFP via Getty Images

16 June 2014

Garter Day

The Queen gave a Luncheon Party for the Companions for the Most Noble Order of the Garter. A Service was held in St. George's Chapel this afternoon.
I am always and forever hoping for some quality rubies or sapphires on Garter Day, but I'll take a nice look at the Antique Girandole Earrings and the Baguette and Brilliant Bracelet instead. There's probably a watch on her other hand, but I haven't spotted it in any photos so far. Always a hunt for diamond sightings, Garter Day.

Lots of other family members were in attendance too, and I'll have some favorites on the other blog tomorrow.

Photos:Telegraph video and Arthur Edwards/AFP via Getty Images

15 June 2014

Cartier Queen's Cup Polo

The Queen attended the Cartier Queen's Cup Final at Guards Polo Club, Windsor Great Park.
For more: Daily Mail photos
She's second fiddle to a toddling Prince George in the polo world today, but at least we get a nice look at a brooch that made its debut just two years ago.

Photos: David M. Benett via Getty Images

14 June 2014

Trooping the Colour

Her Majesty, accompanied by members of the Royal Family, was present at The Queen's Birthday Parade on Horse Guards Parade at which The Queen's Colour of the Nijmegen Company, Grenadier Guards was trooped.
For more: Article and gallery from the BBC.
The brooch selection for the birthday parade is never a surprise these days - the Guards' Badge, covers all your badge-needing bases - but the outfit thankfully still varies. This year's pick is a repeated Angela Kelly creation, and it's not my favorite. I have to say, I prefer a little more saturated color when in the midst of so many colorful uniforms.
We'll be covering the rest of the family on the other blog on Monday, so stay tuned!

In other news: the list of the Queen's Birthday Honours for 2014 has been released, and honors are being dished out to some delightful people including Dame Maggie Smith, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Angelina Jolie. Here's hoping the Queen's up for some more investiture fun...

Photos:BBC Video

13 June 2014

12 June 2014

Westminster School Visit

The Queen officially opened the new sports hall during a visit to Westminster School.
For more: ITNSource video, Zimbio gallery, Express article.
Mint is not a favorite of mine, so this ensemble (a Peter Enrione outfit and Angela Kelly hat) is one I'm not so sure about, but she did match the school, and even the curtain drawn to unveil the plaque was pink. Anyway, we haven't seen this brooch of the Queen Mother's in over a year according to my list, which is surprising as I still think of it as a favorite.

Photo: ITNSource video

10 June 2014

Order of Merit Presentation and Buckingham Palace Garden Party

The Queen received Sir Magdi Yacoub for an audience at Buckingham Palace and presented him with the Insignia of a member of the Order of Merit.
For more: Zimbio gallery
Back to favorites for today's double brooch action. First, some pearls...

Later, the Queen hosted a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. Other members of the royal family in attendance included the Duke of Edinburgh, the Duchess of Cambridge, the Duke of York, Princess Eugenie of York, the Princess Royal, and the Duchess of Gloucester.
For more: Zimbio gallery, Daily Mail
....and then some aquamarines. This outfit gets full marks - has to be one of my favorites in the current rota. I've probably said that before, but it deserves to be said again. That hat! Fab. More on other family members in attendance tomorrow on the other blog.

Photos:John Stillwell/WPA Pool via Getty

09 June 2014

Technology Sector Reception

The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Duke of Cambridge, and the Duke of York attended a reception at Buckingham Palace to celebrate British achievements in technology.
For more: Gallery from Zimbio, article from the Express.
I'm enjoying the little resurgence this brooch is having - this is its third appearance this year so far. Sapphires, pearls, and diamonds make a perfect trio.

Photo: Getty as indicated

08 June 2014

Event Roundup: State Visit to France, 2014

From June 5-7, 2014, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh paid a State Visit to President Hollande of France.

We're coming up on the 2nd anniversary of this blog's launch, but this is the first outbound state visit for the Queen since we started. Those two years have been filled with people speculating that the Queen is slowing down, and her traveling days are over. Perhaps I'm creating my own narrative here, but it feels to me like this incredibly active French state visit contained an underlying message from the Queen to those speculative people: I'm not done yet.

And active certainly is the word for this trip. The Queen (and the Duke of Edinburgh, not to be forgotten) really turned it up for these three days in France. It was a meaningful trip, incorporating the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of D-Day, and that importance was reflected in the jewel selections. We got a new-to-us brooch plus some brooches we rarely see. There seemed to be an emphasis on the collection of the late Queen Mother, which you can certainly interpret as a tribute to the war efforts or to the landmark French visits of the Queen's parents. Any way you look at it, the trip was a treat all around from the jewel perspective.

Day 1: June 5

Setting the stage for the trip with a brooch from the Queen Mother

The first time the Botswana Flower Brooch was worn in public

The Williamson Diamond Brooch gets a showing

The debut of a new-to-us floral brooch

Day 2: June 6

Only the second outing of Queen Victoria's Fringe Brooch for the Queen, plus appearances from many fellow heads of state

Including a rarely worn ruby brooch from the Queen Mother

Day 3: June 7

Including another brooch not used often, the Irish Blossom

It's been a busy few days, but there's no rest for the weary; June is always one of the busiest months in the Queen's calendar and this year is no different. A few engagements are planned for the coming week, which ends with the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony. After that comes Garter Day and a week of Ascot appearances, and after that comes a trip to Northern Ireland. Then it'll be time for Holyrood Week in Scotland. That annual Balmoral break will be much needed this year!

07 June 2014

The Multi-Color French Flower Brooch

The Multi-Color French Flower Brooch
During a state visit to France* in 2014, the Queen debuted what appears to be a new brooch: a spray of two flowers with different colors of metals and different colors of stones. The top flower has a white center (a cluster of diamonds, likely) with eight yellow petals (possibly yellow stones, set in yellow gold). The lower flower has cluster of pink-toned stones at its center and seven white petals, set in a silver-toned metal. The two gem-set leaves are set in a colored metal such as rose gold. The brooch could be composed of different colors of diamonds, or there could be different stones in use here. Its history is unknown at this time, though the date of debut could indicate a recent gift, possibly from the Diamond Jubilee or another anniversary.

*"French" is included in the brooch name here because of this first appearance, and not because of any known association in the provenance.

24 June 2015: State Visit to Germany, Day 1
23 July 2014: Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games
18 June 2014: Royal Ascot, Day Two
5 June 2014: State Visit to France, Embassy Reception

Photo: WPA Pool/Getty

Epsom Derby

The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, attended Investec Derby Day at Epsom Downs Racecourse.
For more: Article and gallery from Get Surrey.
And she's back home! Just in time for a spot of racing and what I assume is an in-depth discussion with Princess Michael on the merits of various types of millinery feathers and their associated fluffiness. I have also just realized that this is only the second time this year we have seen the Jardine Star Brooch, and that means that it's got some work to do if it wants a spot on the favorites list this year.

Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty

State Visit to France, Flower Market Renaming and Departure

On the third day of their French State Visit, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were welcomed at City Hall by the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo. They then visited the Paris Flower Market for a ceremony renaming it in the Queen's honor prior to their ceremonial departure from France.
At first glance, I wondered if this was a repeated suit from day 1, but no - no! Don't be silly, this is just officially the visit of the pink textured suit. (I'm not so sure about the lace cut out details on this one...) Obviously a visit to the flower market requires a floral brooch, so the Queen selected one of her less frequently used modern pieces.

This has been such an active state visit, it requires a wrap up post for final thoughts, so stay tuned.

Irish Blossom Brooch

Photos:ITV News video and Getty Images/WPA Pool