30 April 2015

Welsh Guards Badges

The Welsh Guards presented The Queen, their Colonel-in-Chief, with a platinum and diamond brooch in the shape of a leek, which is both the form of their cap badge and the national emblem of Wales. This is not the only brooch in her collection that represents the regiment, as it is also present in her larger Guards' Badge.

Example of the cap badge. The brooches use the central leek only.

And The Queen's version isn't the only leek badge in the royal family, either. While still married to Prince Charles, the late Diana, Princess of Wales wore a version that also appears to have been set in diamonds (you can see more views at the Princess Diana Remembered site).

And the same can be said for The Prince of Wales' current wife, The Duchess of Cornwall, who also has a leek badge. Hers is in gold and also looks to be diamond-set. The similarities make it difficult to tell the brooches apart, but I believe that the version worn by Diana is different from that worn by Camilla. They are both different from the larger brooch worn by The Queen, as witnessed when both The Queen and The Duchess wore theirs on the same day.

The Queen tends to wear her brooch strictly for events directly pertaining to the Welsh Guards, as she uses most of her badges. The Duchess of Cornwall, on the other hand, has worn hers at events for the regiment, but also for events in or pertaining to Wales in general, such as appearances on St. David's Day or the opening of the Welsh Assembly.

13 June 2020: The Queen's Official Birthday
7 July 2016: Visit to Wales (Duchess of Cornwall)
30 April 2015: Welsh Guards New Colours Presentation (Queen and Duchess of Cornwall)

Photos: via Getty Images and Wikimedia Commons/British Army

Welsh Guards New Colours Presentation

The Queen, Colonel-in-Chief, presented New Colours to the 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards and marked the regiment's centenary year at Windsor Castle. Also present were The Prince of Wales, Colonel of the Regiment, The Duke of Edinburgh, and The Duchess of Cornwall.
Ah! I love shooting two birds with one stone: these are new-to-the-blog badges for both The Queen and The Duchess, both representing the Welsh Guards. (And seeing them both worn at once settles the question of whether Her Maj was loaning her brooch to Camilla. I know it's been weighing heavily on your minds.)

With our new focus on Camilla's gems, let me tell you that she is also wearing her Four Strand Pearl Choker with Large Diamond Clasp, and her Everyday Pearl Pendant Earrings.

Photos: Pool via Getty Images

29 April 2015

Audience at Windsor Castle

The Queen presented American businessman John Mars with the insignia of an Honorary Knight Commander of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire during an audience at Windsor Castle.
A service and reception for the Royal Victorian Order was held yesterday but much to my dismay, it has remained private. Instead, we get a glimpse of Her Maj dressing to coordinate with her krazy karpet, in Windsor Castle mode with simple pearl stud earrings and her black strap watch. (And in case you were wondering, John Mars - our honorary knight here - is indeed Mars as in the candy.)

Photo: WPA Pool via Getty Images

28 April 2015

The Duchess of Cornwall's Everyday Bracelets

The Duchess of Cornwall can usually be seen wearing a selection of bracelets at her daytime engagements, often piling up more than one. In this post, we have just a few of her more frequently selected everyday bracelets:

Gold Charm Bracelet 
One of the more distinctive bracelets she wears is a charm bracelet of gold links with a variety of golden charms. In the picture above, you can see one of the charms is a gold disk engraved with 30.12.09, which is the date of birth for her twin grandsons Gus and Louis, so it's a good bet that the rest of the charms are similarly personal in nature. She doesn't wear this every day, but she's apparently a big fan of charm bracelets; The Duchess of Cambridge wears a similar gold bracelet with a gold disk charm that is thought to have been a gift from Camilla.

Cross and Eye Chain Bracelet
Also seen in the above photograph, a thin golden chain with an eye at one station and a sideways cross at another is also a current favorite. The Duchess has also added a small nazar, an amulet said to protect against the evil eye, to the chain. You can often spot it dangling beneath the rest of her bracelets (seen below).

Gold Chain Bracelets with Multi-Color Stones
The Duchess has two identical bracelets featuring thick gold chain links connecting a series of gold-set oval semi-precious stones in a variety of colors and types. She wears one or both at a time, and they have become favorites in recent years.

Twisted Metal Bangle
This bangle bracelet with a twist of mixed color metals was listed in a Hello! magazine feature as a favorite for everything from evening events to tennis playing, and she continues to wear it for day events today.

And these are just a few of the options most often spotted. Bracelets are part of her everyday "uniform", and she wears her favorites often enough that we won't catalog individual appearances here.

Photos: via Getty Images

25 April 2015

Gallipoli Centenary Commemorations

The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh and The Duke of Cambridge, attended services to commemorate the centenary of the World War I Gallipoli Campaign and the sacrifices of Commonwealth troops, particularly those of the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) forces.
Commemorations are happening around the world today, and in London, The Queen attended first a ceremony at the Cenotaph where she laid a wreath, followed by a service at Westminster Abbey. In addition to The Duke of Edinburgh, The Duke of Cambridge, and her Lady-in Waiting, Her Majesty was accompanied by her Australian private secretary Samantha Cohen.

She wore the Palm Leaf, a.k.a. Paisley, Brooch from her mother's jewel collection today, always an appropriate selection for events like this.
Hat switch! A smaller brimmed black hat was a more practical choice for the outdoor Cenotaph ceremony, before she switched into the wider brim white and black hat that belongs with this outfit.
Three Strand Pearl Necklace (Mostly covered by jacket)

Other royals joining in other commemoration ceremonies around the world:

The Prince of Wales and Prince Harry have been in Turkey on the Gallipoli peninsula yesterday and today, where several events have been held.

Joined by world leaders including the Prime Minister of Australia, they've met relatives of veterans, attended a dawn service, and even received some gifts from widows of Australian Gallipoli veterans.

The Duke of Kent traveled to Australia, where he joined commemorations at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

The Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence attended a dawn service in London at Wellington Arch.

And finally, beyond the British royal family, Denmark's Crown Princess Mary joined a service in Copenhagen today. Mary, of course, is from Australia. Click here for a video, or here for an article and picture (in Danish).

Photos:BBC screencap, via Getty Images as indicated, BilledBladet screencap

22 April 2015

The Duke of Edinburgh's Knight of the Order of Australia Presentation

The Queen presented The Duke of Edinburgh with the Insignia of a Knight of the Order of Australia at Windsor Castle. Australian High Commissioner Alexander Downer was also present.
It was a controversial decision from Australian PM Tony Abbott to appoint Prince Philip a Knight of the Order of Australia, but the insignia is here and it is fancy.
 Even Her Maj couldn't resist a peek at the bling. The golden disks are decorated with citrines, and the blue enameled centers bear the coat of arms of Australia. They're topped by St. Edward's Crown, and the blue ribbons are decorated with golden wattle flower designs.

Alas, though HM was sporting some brooch bling of her own, I haven't been able to make it out. Something involving pearls. She's also still in "week off" mode, with her simple pearl studs instead of her usual pearl and diamond earrings and her black strap watch.

 Unidentified Brooch

Photos:WPA Pool via Getty Images

21 April 2015

The Greville Ivy Leaf Brooches

The Greville Ivy Leaf Brooches
Princess Elizabeth celebrated her 21st birthday in the midst of her 1947 tour of Africa with her parents and sister. It was a prosperous birthday for her jewel collection, with presents including the Flame Lily Brooch from Rhodesia and her "best diamonds" from South Africa (and a prosperous year for the collection overall, as she would add her many wedding presents to the vault later on!). Her parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, contributed to the birthday jewel haul with this set of diamond clips in the form of leaves of ivy. Each leaf includes a central brilliant diamond and pavé-set leaves in platinum.
Like several of the gifts she received from her parents in her early years, these brooches came from Queen Elizabeth's existing jewel collection. The Queen's Diamonds by Hugh Roberts revealed that they were part of the large Greville bequest, the collection of jewels belonging to the Hon. Mrs. Ronald Greville which were bequeathed to the future Queen Mother in 1942. The ivy leaf brooches were made by Cartier, the first before 1930 and the second in 1937.
The Queen could occasionally be seen in those early years having a bit of fun with these brooches, perching one on her hat (as seen above, with President Truman) or placing them on opposite sides of her neckline. Today, you'd be most likely to see them both on one side in traditional brooch position, though sadly they have become a rather rare sight. They are quite elegant little jewels, and I would love to see them enter the regular brooch rotation again!

11 October 2016: Royal Academy of Arts Reception 

Photos: Royal Collection/Queen Elizabeth II/Field, and via Getty Images

19 April 2015

Canadian Regiment Reception

The Queen, along with The Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Alexandra of Kent, attended a reception honoring the bravery of Canadian service people in the First World War at Canada House, Trafalgar Square, London.
Busy weekend for Her Maj, no? A couple days at the races, a brooch debut, and now a reception with another new-to-the-blog brooch! It's a badge, actually, the badge of the Calgary Highlanders. You can read more about it here.
 This reception honored three specific Canadian regiments and gathered their respective royal colonels-in-chief for the occasion: the Calgary Highlanders (The Queen), the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry (The Duke of Edinburgh), and the Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Alexandra).
The lovely Princess Alexandra wore a badge of her own, representing the Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary's). And some lovely pearls and diamonds too, as an added bonus!

Photos:via Getty Images

The Calgary Highlanders Badge

Calgary Highlanders Badge (Example Illustration)
The badge of the Calgary Highlanders is topped by St. Edward's Crown and features a beaver and maple leaves representing Canada, with a St. Andrew's Cross and thistles representing Scotland. The Queen, Colonel-in-Chief of the regiment, has a brooch version of the cap badge.
According to a Press Association report, it is a white gold and diamond sweetheart brooch, created especially for her by the regiment.

19 April 2015: Canadian Regiment Reception

Photos: Wikimedia Commons, ITNSource video

18 April 2015

The Queen's Diamond Art Deco Double Clip Brooch

The Queen's Diamond Art Deco Double Clip Brooch

Set with diamonds including round and baguette cuts in two triangular shapes, this brooch looks like an example of the popular Art Deco double clip style - probably two separate brooches that can be worn together, as The Queen did when she first wore this piece at the Newbury Races, or separately. A similar example of the classic style was owned by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and is now worn by The Countess of Wessex.

11 March 2020: Audience at Buckingham Palace
19 February 2019: Audiences at Buckingham Palace
19 October 2018: Visit to Bracknell
20 May 2018: Church at Windsor
5 August 2017: Aboyne Highland Games
16 June 2017: Audience at Buckingham Palace
27 June 2016: Visit to Northern Ireland, Day 1
18 April 2015: Newbury Races

Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty Images

Newbury Races

The Queen attended Newbury Races at Newbury Racecourse.
Oh la la! A little brooch intrigue for our weekend - I think this one is new to me! Diamonds, and I'd say it's a double clip style, perhaps even can be separated into two...any thoughts?

Pearl Necklace (Can't see how many strands)

Photos:Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

17 April 2015

Newbury Races

The Queen attended Newbury Races at Newbury Racecourse.

For more: Daily Mail pictures.
No brooch today, but a gorgeous rich color for Her Maj. I'm trying to like that hat, but something about those bit flat brims just aren't my cup of tea.

Photo: Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

15 April 2015

Order of Merit Luncheon

The Queen hosted a luncheon for members of the Order of Merit at Windsor Castle.
This is quite a gathering: (front row left to right) Sir Michael Howard, Lord May of Oxford, Sir Roger Penrose, Sir Michael Atiyah, The Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Elizabeth II, Lord Foster of Thames Bank, Sir Tom Stoppard, Lord Rothschild, Baroness Boothroyd, Sir David Attenborough; (back row left to right), Martin Litchfield West, John Howard, Jean Chrétien, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Lord Eames, Lord Rees of Ludlow, Neil MacGregor, Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Magdi Yacoub, and Lord Fellowes.
For more: ITNSource video.

Photo: WPA Pool via Getty Images, ITN Source video

14 April 2015

13 April 2015

Flashback: State Visit from Germany, 1958

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh are headed to Germany in June this year for a state visit. Their trip is the next chapter in a long line of visits between the two countries during The Queen's reign, from early journeys in the reconciliation process after two world wars to those today that focus on trade. We'll be flashing back to some of those previous visits between now and then, starting with the first: President Heuss of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) arrived in the United Kingdom for a state visit in October 1958. It was the first such visit for a German leader since 1907, and (relevant to our particular interests here) a deliciously sparkly one.
For the arrival ceremony, The Queen wore Empress Marie Feodorovna's Sapphire Brooch with its pearl pendant. A large royal welcome party tagged along (see a video here), and that party was also present for a couple tiara events during the visit.
Two evening events are shown in the above video, both of them tiara occasions. (Not shown here is the state banquet given by The Queen, which would have been in addition.) The first is a dinner at Lancaster House. The Queen wore several pieces that were gifts from her family before her reign began: the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, the George VI Festoon Necklace, and the Greville Chandelier Earrings. Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother wore the Greville Tiara and the Greville Emerald Necklace, a magnificent piece which is similar in basic design to Queen Victoria's Crown Ruby Necklace.
From the extended family, The Duchess of Kent wore the Kent Festoon Tiara, the Duchess of Gloucester wore the Gloucester Honeysuckle Tiara, and Princess Alexandra of Kent wore a pearl and diamond necklace as a tiara, a piece which is no longer in the family. It looks like The Princess Royal (Princess Mary, daughter of George V) was also in the group, though hard to see.

The second event from the video was a return banquet hosted by President Heuss at the German Embassy.
Now wearing Queen Victoria's Crown Rubies, The Queen Mother also wore the Oriental Circlet Tiara. Princess Margaret gave us a beautiful view of Empress Marie Feodorovna's Sapphire Bandeau, which she paired with a diamond rivière. And The Duchess of Kent completed the visible tiara group with her Kent City of London Fringe Tiara. (Princess Alexandra, also present, had a brooch or something in her hair.)

But try as they might, no one could out-sparkle The Queen at the return dinner. Behold:
A rare sighting of the Dagmar Necklace in the wild! Loads of gem power on display here, with Queen Alexandra's Kokoshnik Tiara, Queen Victoria's Pearl Drop Earrings, the Dorset Bow Brooch, and her royal family orders. The Queen is also wearing the riband, star, and badge of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Grand Cross Special Class, which she was given on this trip. The sash is red with gold and black stripes on the outside.

Satisfyingly sparkly, no? I can't decide whether the best part is the Dagmar Necklace or that sapphire bandeau...

Photos: via Getty Images as indicate, British Pathe video

11 April 2015

The Duchess of Teck's Flower Brooch

The Duchess of Teck's Flower Brooch
This brooch is best known for its association with Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, but its history goes back to the mid-19th century. According to Hugh Roberts in The Queen's Diamonds, it belonged to Queen Mary's mother, Mary Adelaide, Duchess of Teck (1833-1897), and may have been among the jewels she inherited from her aunt Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester. There is a central brooch with fairly large individual diamonds set in a floral design and a series of four pendants that hang below, the longest one hanging from a diamond chain.
Queen Elizabeth wearing the brooch, as Duchess of York and later as Queen Mother
The Duchess of Teck's will left the brooch to her eldest son, Adolphus (according to Roberts), but it ended up with Queen Mary. Mary gave it to her son, The Duke of York, to give as part of his wedding gift to his bride, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, in 1923. He also gave her a pearl and diamond necklace of a Greek key design which was later transformed into the Lotus Flower Tiara she is wearing in the left photo above.
During her early days, as Duchess of York, she was pictured wearing this brooch in a series of formal portraits with tiara on. In her later years, it became a favorite choice for her day engagements. Following The Queen Mother's death in 2002, it was inherited along with the rest of her property by The Queen.
It has not, however, become one of The Queen's favorites. I believe she has worn it just once so far, for a portrait by Lord Snowdon (pictured on the magazine cover above). That's probably not too surprising, since brooches with complicated pendants are among the things that she tends to avoid these days.

Photos: Illustrated London Times/DR/Allan Warren via Wikimedia Commons/via Getty Images/RadioTimes

09 April 2015

The Duchess of Cornwall's Pear Drop Diamond Demi-Parure

The Duchess of Cornwall's Pear Drop Diamond Demi-Parure
Among the signature pieces in the collection of The Duchess of Cornwall is this demi-parure (matched set) of a diamond necklace and earrings. Each earring has a cluster of pear shape diamonds dangling in a long row, with perhaps one round diamond at the stud (always difficult to see the details on her earrings, because of her hair), for a total of 11 large diamonds apiece. The necklace features oval/marquise diamonds in an orderly arrangement of stacks of two diamonds separated by single diamonds on the necklace base and a series of pear drop diamond pendants that alternate between small and large sizes.
2005, First Appearance
The set is usually reported as having been made from the stones of a tiara purchased by The Prince of Wales which was dismantled to create these jewels for Camilla (said to have been the individual tiara shown here). I do not believe this has been officially confirmed; the large center pendant on the necklace does have a small hook underneath, though, which could be the remains of a previous setting (among other possibilities). The demi-parure first appeared on The Duchess in November 2005, during the couple's first tour of United States together.
Both pieces have been worn several times, but the earrings in particular have become favorites. They are often worn with other necklaces or when no necklace is worn, and are often seen at tiara events. The diamonds are individually quite large and well-matched in these pieces, an unusual feature that sets this demi-parure apart. It's even more luxurious close up than it seems from afar, and a positively drool-worthy addition to a royal collection.

Appearances (Earrings only, unless otherwise noted):
11 December 2019: Diplomatic Reception
25 October 2018: The Prince of Wales' 70th Birthday Concert
8 March 2018: Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee Dinner (with necklace)
5 December 2017: Diplomatic Reception
3 April 2017: Visit to Italy (with necklace)
2 February 2017: British Asian Trust Gala
8 December 2016: Diplomatic Reception
6 December 2016: Royal Variety Performance (with necklace)
1 November 2016: State Visit from Colombia, State Banquet
2 February 2016: British Asian Trust Gala (with necklace)
18 June 2015: The Duke of Wellington's Waterloo Banquet
2010: State Visit from South Africa
2007: CHOGM Dinner

Photos: via Getty Images

07 April 2015

Flashback: The Wedding of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, 2005

In honor of their 10th wedding anniversary, we're looking at the guests at Charles and Camilla's wedding on the other blog (and we've looked at Camilla's wedding ensembles there in the past), but a jewel flashback is in order over here. We've been focusing on some of the main pieces from the couple's engagement and wedding since we added Camilla's jewels to the blog, and now we'll round them up as they were worn on that big day. And we won't forget about The Queen, either!
Video: The civil wedding
The long-awaited day finally came on April 9, 2005 - just one day later than planned, after things were postponed so that Prince Charles could attend the funeral of Pope John Paul II in Rome.
For their civil ceremony at the Windsor Guildhall in front of a close family group, Camilla donned an oyster Robinson Valentine dress and coat with a Philip Treacy hat. She pinned on her petite Pearl and Diamond Prince of Wales Feather Brooch, a perfect choice as it was both her husband's symbol and also a gift from him that she had been wearing for some time. To this, she added her Everyday Pearl Pendant Earrings.
After a change of dress (a Robinson Valentine coat dress for the bride), it was off to St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the larger blessing ceremony. Her Diamond Flower Pendant Earrings added a small touch of luxury without going over the top for a daytime affair, and the rest of the accessorizing was accomplished by her golden Philip Treacy headpiece. Of course, her heirloom diamond engagement ring and new gold wedding band were in place throughout the day.
Also in attendance at the blessing ceremony: Her Majesty, looking resplendent in a yellow and cream outfit that was a perfect showcase for the yellow and white diamonds of the Australian Wattle Brooch. The Queen does have a tendency to increase her diamond wattage for big royal weddings, and this was no exception. It's a testament to how much she enjoys her Australian gift, that she would wear it to such a prominent occasion, and I do love that she wore what is perhaps her most noted Commonwealth gift to the wedding of the future king. A gorgeous choice for a happy day, wouldn't you say?

Photos: via Getty Images and Hugo Bernand/Clarence House

06 April 2015

The Duchess of Cornwall's Pearl and Diamond Prince of Wales Feathers Brooch

The Duchess of Cornwall's Pearl and Diamond Prince of Wales Feathers Brooch
The Duchess of Cornwall has a handful of jewels at her disposal that depict the triple feather heraldic badge of her husband, The Prince of Wales, and this brooch was an early addition to her collection. It's a small diamond rendition of the Prince of Wales' feathers stemming from a single gray pearl in a diamond surround. According to a feature in Hello! magazine, it was given to Camilla in the late 1990s and has been seen in public since at least 1999. The magazine wrote that the brooch was among a group of Prince of Wales feather pins Charles had made to give to close friends.
The brooch's most significant appearance came when it was pinned to her Robinson Valentine coat for the couple's civil wedding ceremony at the Windsor Guildhall on April 9, 2005 - a subtle touch, but perfectly fitting for the occasion. It is one of the smaller brooch options from the section of her jewel collection that relates specifically to the Prince of Wales title, and she continues to wear it regularly.

11 June 2016: Trooping the Colour
7 June 2016: Visit to Wales 
19 May 2016: Buckingham Palace Garden Party
16 December 2015: Buckingham Palace Family Christmas Luncheon
2005: The Wedding of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall  

Photos: via Getty Images

05 April 2015

Easter Service

The Queen, accompanied by members of the Royal Family, attended Easter Service in Windsor.
We'll be covering the royal Easter fashions on the other blog tomorrow, but for now, a brooch. The Sapphire Chrysanthemum Brooch, specifically, one of the earliest brooches given to Her Maj. I half expected the Aquamarine Clips when I saw this outfit from afar, so this was a nice surprise!

Photos:WPA Pool via Getty Images, ITNSource video

03 April 2015

The Duchess of Cornwall's Diamond Flower Pendant Earrings

The Duchess of Cornwall's Diamond Flower Pendant Earrings
The earrings worn by The Duchess of Cornwall for the blessing ceremony on the day she wed The Prince of Wales were a pair from her personal collection. Designed in diamonds, they have an arched pendant with a flower and stem inside hanging from a small flower stud. The hoop of the pendant has a line of single round stones on one side and a chevron or leaf pattern on the other. 
On her wedding day
The wedding was their highest profile outing, but they predate that important day in her collection; she has been seen wearing them since at least 2002. The Duchess also loaned them to her daughter, Laura Parker Bowles, who wore them for her 2006 wedding to Harry Lopes:
Laura Parker Bowles
Interestingly, another pair of these earrings also received a high profile wedding show. Lady Tamara Grosvenor, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Westminster, wore an identical pair for her 2004 wedding to Edward van Cutsem:
Lady Tamara Grosvenor
An obvious conclusion here would be that they were a retail piece from a jeweler at one point in time (if you have more information, please let me know).
As for Camilla, these earrings were a particular favorite to wear with her diamond serpent necklace early on (as seen above, at a 2005 White House dinner). She does continue to use them, though we naturally see them less often as the variety in her collection has grown.

2005: Official Visit from Norway
2005: The Wedding of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall 

Photos: via Getty Images