18 September 2014

Flashback: The Balmoral Ghillies Ball, 1991

Amongst all the news of Scotland's vote on independence this week was the tidbit that the annual Ghillies Ball at Balmoral has been postponed by a day this year, so that the estate staff can place their votes. Held each September, the ball is a private event, but the 1992 documentary Elizabeth R offered a small glimpse of the fun.
For this year (filmed, I imagine, in 1991), The Queen and her mother both sported tiaras (though the rest of the royal ladies went without): the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara and the Greville Tiara, respectively. The Queen completed her suite of diamonds with her Antique Girandole Earrings, the King Faisal Diamond Necklace, and the True Lover's Knot Brooch. A sparkling view, and a treat to peek inside an event we don't often see.

Photo: BBC video

14 September 2014

The Tutti Frutti Bouquet Brooch

Stopping to speak with well-wishers after church at Crathie Kirk during her Balmoral Scottish holiday, The Queen made mention of the upcoming vote on Scottish independence, saying that she hoped people would think "very carefully" about the matter. It was an unusual move, and has garnered quite a bit of press attention (as was undoubtedly the point). She happened to wear an unusual brooch while she was at it.

Her Majesty appears to have worn a little-known brooch from the pages of Angela Kelly's book, Dressing the Queen. The brooch is done in the Tutti Frutti style popularized by Cartier, a combination of emeralds, sapphires, rubies, and diamonds. (For more on Tutti Frutti and another example of the style, click here.) It has two sapphire flowers and three ruby flowers, each with colored stone petals and a diamond center, in a bouquet surrounded by carved emerald leaves. The arrangement includes additional diamonds between the leaves and diamond stems.

The piece is illustrated in the Kelly book, but no history or further detail is provided. Though The Queen has several Cartier brooches, whether this one is from that famous Tutti Frutti manufacturer or merely in that same style and from another jeweler is unknown.

14 September: Church at Balmoral (including more links to see the brooch in action)

06 September 2014

The Braemar Gathering

The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh and the Duke of Rothesay, attended the annual Braemar Gathering in Scotland.
For more: Article from the Herald Scotland, gallery from Zimbio.
It's been an unusually quiet Balmoral break (for HM, and unexpectedly around the blog too - c'est la vie! We'll probably stay on semi-hiatus until public engagements pick back up). I've been cataloging what I catch on our Balmoral holiday post, but we haven't had as many glimpses as we had in the past couple years.
But we can always depend on Her Maj to be in a jolly mood for the Braemar Highland Games, at least! No mystery to the jewel choice here - the feather brooch was a gift from the society for her Golden Jubilee, and she's made it her permanent choice ever since.

Photo:Chris Jackson via Getty Images