31 May 2015

The Duchess of Cornwall's Worshipful Company of Plaisterers Badge

The Duchess of Cornwall added another piece to her badge collection this week.
The Duchess of Cornwall's Worshipful Company of Plaisterers Badge
During an evening reception for the Worshipful Company of Plaisterers on May 27, she was presented with a special version of their livery badge. The Duchess was made an Honorary Liveryman of the guild in April 2014.
Seeing an opportunity to encourage the work of young craftspeople, the Company held a competition for the design of the brooch through the Goldsmiths' Centre and The Goldsmiths' Company. The winning design was created by 19-year-old Joshua Ganes and was crafted at the Centre in the studio of silversmith Clive Burr.
The badge has the Company's coat of arms, which includes depictions of plastering tools, at its center and a surround that was inspired by the plasterwork at Plaisterers' Hall. Made from silver and silver gilt, it also includes white and blue enamel together with diamonds and blue sapphires. It can be worn as a brooch or as a pendant, and will surely be used by The Duchess of Cornwall for all future events with the Worshipful Company of Plaisterers.

For more, see these pieces by Professional Jeweller and The Goldsmiths' Company.

21 March 2018: Literacy Trust Anniversary Reception

Photos: Plaisterers' Company/Goldsmiths' Company, and Twitter

29 May 2015

Visit to Lancaster

The Queen, Duke of Lancaster, visited Lancaster.
Time for everyone to bust out one of the favorite factoids about Her Maj, that she is Duke - yes, Duke - of Lancaster, and time for her to bust out a new-to-the-blog brooch! As you might expect, this is really a badge related to her Lancaster title, and you can read more at the link below.

Also...The Daily Mail's article on this visit has photos at the bottom of The Queen being driven through London last night - that would be a third outfit and brooch change for the day, though I can't tell which brooch it is precisely.

Photos:via Getty Images and ITNSource video

The Duchy of Lancaster Badge

The Queen wears the Duchy of Lancaster Badge, 2015
The Duchy of Lancaster is one of two royal duchies (the second being the Duchy of Cornwall) and is held in trust for the Sovereign as a source of income (as the Duchy of Cornwall provides income for The Prince of Wales). The Dukedom of Lancaster merged with the crown when Henry IV came to the throne in 1399, and the title has remained with the Sovereign ever since.
A sketch of The Queen's brooch (via the Chorley Historical Society), left; an example of the Duchy of Lancaster coat of arms, right
The Queen is the current Duke of Lancaster, and she has a brooch associated with the Duchy of Lancaster coat of arms. The brooch includes a silver feather and a gold lion (with likely diamond accents) standing on a blue banner that reads Sovereyne.
She uses the brooch as she uses all her badges (military or organizational), wearing it when visiting the Lancaster area and not incorporating it into her regular decorative brooch rotation.

25 May 2017: Visit to Manchester and the Duchy of Lancaster
29 May 2015: Visit to Lancaster

Photos: via Getty Images, Chorley Historical Society, and Wikimedia Commons

28 May 2015

Buckingham Palace Garden Party and Audiences

The Queen held audiences at Buckingham Palace, including with the President of Italy, Sergio Matterella.
It's a double brooch day! Firstly, dressing to blend in with her wall color, but I can't help but note this is the second appearance in a row where this Cambridge emerald brooch gets to keep its pendant. A promising trend, I hope.

Engagement and Wedding Rings 

The Queen, accompanied by members of the Royal Family, hosted a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.
And secondly, the Rose Gold Brooch,which really needs a strong background color like this to stand out (similar to last year's Maundy Service, though a different outfit).

As always, several other royal attendees were hanging about, including The Dapper Duke of Edinburgh and The Duchess of Gloucester (who can just be seen behind The Queen above), plus these characters:

Breaking out the outfit she sported for the Cambridge wedding back in 2011, The Princess Royal appears to have had a whale of a time. She's holding her own in the hardware department, too, with diamond flower earrings, a double strand of pearls, and a pretty big brooch.
It's always a bit jarring to see her in something with such added fuss (and in something crafted in recent years), isn't it? Takes a blink or two to realize who you're looking at.

Speaking of added fuss...I'm just not sure about this combination of pattern and embellishment, Princess Beatrice. But I can't lie, I covet those shoes and their saucy metallic toes. Like tap shoes with attitude.

It's not a fashion accessory, but I am certain that Princess Michael chose an outfit with black trim to coordinate with her new pirate life and you have to love her for making the best of things. (Apparently she had eye surgery last week.) The always well-tailored Prince Michael rounded out the black and white theme with a gray scheme of his own.

Photos:via Getty Images and ITNSource video

27 May 2015

State Opening of Parliament

The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, traveled in State to the Palace of Westminster to open the Session of Parliament. The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall were also in attendance, as was The Princess Royal. 
After two years of pearls, The Queen returned to diamonds and one of her most frequently worn combinations for today's State Opening of Parliament. The Coronation Necklace and Earrings are among the most historical and important pieces she wears regularly, and they're always a nice choice for an occasion with as much pomp and circumstance as the State Opening. 

George IV State Diadem (worn arriving and leaving)
Imperial State Crown (worn during the speech)
Coronation Necklace and Earrings
Modern Three Row Diamond Bracelet
Diamond Evening Watch
Collar and Great George of the Order of the Garter

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall were in attendance for the third year running.
Camilla is settling into her own routine of favorite jewels for the occasion: the Greville Tiara, together with her Everyday Pearl Pendant Earrings and her Four Strand Pearl Choker with Large Diamond Clasp, the same combination she's worn for the past two years. She is also wearing the Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II and the Star, Riband, and Badge of the Royal Victorian Order.
There were a couple new things this year, though. She usually anchors her sash with a diamond rosette brooch on her shoulder, but she's gone for a rather geometric diamond number this time around, which is a first. She also has a new court dress (well, coat and dress). The white court dresses worn to the State Opening always walk the bridal line and this might be stepping a wee bit close to that line, but she looks fab nevertheless. 

Also present: The Princess Royal! 
In her position as Gold Stick-in-Waiting (which she fulfills as Colonel of the Blues and Royals), she accompanied The Queen. Looking spiffy in her uniform, as though it could be any other way. Anne, Charles, and Philip are all wearing the Collar of the Order of the Garter, and the dark green Riband of the Order of the Thistle.

And finally, because this is a jewel blog and we do the jewels, some peering around for other tiaras in attendance: 
The Queen's Ladies-in-Waiting wear their tiaras. Standing to the right of Her Maj above are The Lady Susan Hussey and The Hon. Annabel Whitehead. (Lady Susan, like The Duchess of Cornwall, wears the Riband of the Royal Victorian Order.)
And for those with eagle eyes, there's always some tiara spotting to be done among the assorted peeresses in attendance in the audience.

Links & More:

Photos: via Getty Images and UK Parliament screencap

22 May 2015

The Duchess of Cornwall's Irish Claddagh Brooch

While on a trip to Ireland and Northern Ireland with The Prince of Wales this week, The Duchess of Cornwall picked up a new addition to her brooch collection.
The Duchess of Cornwall's Irish Claddagh Brooch
During a visit to the Claddagh National School in Galway, Ireland, The Duchess of Cornwall was presented with the gift of a Claddagh brooch. Known best in the iconic ring design, these traditional Irish jewels include two hands (representing friendship) on either side of a heart (representing love) which is topped by a crown (representing loyalty).
These brooches are available on the Dillon's website in Gold (€345) and Silver (€75).
The gold brooch is from Jonathan Margetts of Thomas Dillon, the Irish jewelers that hold the oldest license to make original Claddagh rings. The company presented Queen Victoria with one of their rings on her visit to Ireland in 1849. It's a classic design associated with Ireland and which has a history tied to the Galway area, making it a very appropriate gift for this royal visit.
It was also apparently a gift very much appreciated by this royal visitor. "She told me she had always wanted a piece of Claddagh jewellery, and I told her to wear it in good health," Mr. Margetts told the Irish Independent afterwards. And Her Royal Highness was quick to demonstrate it: The Duchess wore the brooch the day after it was presented and for the next two days as well, as their tour moved on to Northern Ireland. A lovely gesture for an historic trip, I think.

25 May 2016: Visit to Ireland
20-22 May 2015: Visit to the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland

Photos: via Getty Images and Dillon's

20 May 2015

Buckingham Palace Garden Party

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh hosted a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.
One dapper duke and one favorite brooch, not a bad turn out for the second garden party of the season.

Photo: WPA Pool via Getty Images

19 May 2015

Audience at Buckingham Palace

The Queen, Colonel-in-Chief, received representatives from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada for an audience at Buckingham Palace.
I'm surprised not to see a regimental badge here (in a collection of badges this size, you know she has the right one for these guys - and it's one we've covered before), but you won't see me complaining about a big ol' sapphire any day. No indeed.

Photo: WPA Pool via Getty Images

18 May 2015

Chelsea Flower Show

The Queen and other members of the Royal Family visited the Chelsea Flower Show.
Such terrible suspense each year, wondering whether The Hairnet will be making another appearance on Her Maj. That's a big negative this year (thankfully!). No suspense on the brooch front now that she has a brooch from the Royal Horticultural Society (the Chelsea Iris, a gift for her Diamond Jubilee) to wear.

Other members of the family were also in attendance, because there's nothing the royals love more than a flower show. Just a sampling here, not everyone:
Okay, now The Duchess of Cornwall is wearing her Sapphire and Diamond Butterfly Brooch (not yet covered here), which I thought she was wearing last week but she wasn't because she was wearing a different winged insect bauble. (You follow that?) She is also wearing her Everyday Pearl Pendant Earrings. The Prince of Wales was there too, but he didn't wear a pretty brooch.

Prince Harry had some fun showing his granny around the Sentebale charity garden.

The Princess Royal sported a lovely brooch of her own. And is that a butterfly scarf? Must be spring, everyone's feeling all buggy.

Her kids, Peter and Zara, were there too, albeit in a more casual mode.

And The Countess of Wessex rocked up in a pretty Peter Pilotto dress and polished chignon, looking absolutely spectacular. She's having more hits than misses these days and I love it! The Earl of Wessex was also present, but he wasn't in a pretty dress. His loss.

Photos: via Getty Images as indicated

14 May 2015

The Duchess of Cornwall's Four Strand Pearl Chokers with Diamond Clasps

Since pearl chokers with bejeweled clasps are one of her signature jewels, it's no surprise that The Duchess of Cornwall has more than one version with an all diamond clasp. We have seen two such necklaces on her to date:

Small Diamond Clasp 
The first and most frequently seen of the two, this choker has a diamond clasp one central round diamond surrounded by three rows of diamonds. The design has a lot of dimension when viewed from the side, and the four rows of pearls have a loose fit, sometimes appearing a little jumbled up in use.
Photo: UK in France, via CC BY-ND 2.0
The Duchess has been wearing this necklace since early 2010 at least, and it has become a favorite over the years. It was her most worn pearl choker and a frequent pick for day-to-day events, although at the moment the larger clasp necklace below has taken over the top popularity spot.

Large Diamond Clasp 
The second option features a larger diamond clasp, with a more intricate design that radiates from the largest central diamond. The four rows of pearls fit more tightly to the neck than the smaller version does, and each row has a smaller pearl just before the clasp.
Photo: UK Parliament, via CC BY-NC 2.0
The Duchess debuted this necklace while visiting Norway in 2012, during a tour of Scandinavia with The Prince of Wales for the Diamond Jubilee. Since then, she's continued to use the necklace regularly for events with a higher profile, such as tiara events or day events like the Diamond Jubilee Thames pageant and the inauguration of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands. Recently, we've seen this necklace appear more often, which I always appreciate as it is definitely my favorite of the two.

Appearances (Large Version):
5 December 2017: Diplomatic Reception
12 July 2017: State Visit from Spain, State Banquet
12 July 2017: State Visit from Spain, Welcome Ceremony
18 March 2017: Visit to RAF Leeming
13 March 2017: Commonwealth Day
9 March 2017: Iraq and Afghanistan Memorial Unveiling
8 March 2017: Women of the World Reception
8 February 2017: Bishop of London Retirement Dinner
24 January 2017: British Olympic Equestrian Reception
8 December 2016: Diplomatic Reception
28 November 2016: Duke of Westminster Memorial Service
13 November 2016: Remembrance Sunday
12 November 2016: Festival of Remembrance
1 November 2016: State Visit from Colombia, State Banquet
27 October 2016: Visit to Poundbury
25 October 2016: Presentation of the Man Booker Prize
1 July 2016: Battle of the Somme Commemorations
18 June 2016: Royal Ascot, Day 5 
17 June 2016: Royal Ascot, Day 4
11 June 2016: Trooping the Colour
28 May 2016: Wedding of Lady Charlotte Wellesley and Alejandro Santo Domingo
19 May 2016: Buckingham Palace Garden Party
18 May 2016: State Opening of Parliament
10 May 2016: Service for the VC & GC Association 
3 May 2016: Geoffrey Howe Memorial Service
23 April 2016: 400th Anniversary of the Death of William Shakespeare
18 March 2016: Visit to Montenegro
16 March 2016: Visit to Serbia
24 February 2016: Friends of the National Libraries Reception
23 February 2016: Queens Gate School Visit
28 January 2016: Wilton's Music Hall Opening
25 December 2015: Christmas Service
17 December 2015: London International Horse Show
27 November 2015: Visit to Malta, Day 2
11 November 2015: Visit to Australia, Remembrance Day
15 October 2015: British Equestrian Federation Reception

Appearances (Small Version):
17 July 2017: 70th Birthday Portrait
12 July 2017: State Visit from Spain, Clarence House Visit
23 May 2017: Buckingham Palace Garden Party
15 March 2017: Cheltenham Races
26 January 2017: Installation as Honorary Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Plumbers
20 December 2016: Queen's Christmas Lunch
6 September 2016: Battle of Britain Fighter Association Tea and 500th Anniversary of the Royal Mail
12 July 2016: National Osteoporosis Society Garden Party
15 June 2016: Royal Ascot, Day 2
13 June 2016: Garter Day
10 June 2016: The Queen's 90th Birthday Service
7 June 2016: Visit to Wales 
4 May 2016: Visit to Canada House, London
16 December 2015: Buckingham Palace Family Christmas Luncheon
8 November 2015: Visit to New Zealand
4 November 2015: Visit to New Zealand
15 July 2015: St. Peter's Eaton School Visit
16 June 2015: Royal Ascot, Day 1
21 May 2015: Visit to Northern Ireland
9 November 2014: Remembrance Sunday
10 December 2013: Barnardo's Headquarters Opening 

Photos: via Getty Images

13 May 2015

Royal Windsor Horse Show 2015

The Queen makes several informal visits to the Royal Windsor Horse Show on the private grounds at Windsor Castle during the show's duration (13-17 May this year). Appearances at this year's show will be compiled in this entry, which will be updated as the week goes on.

May 13

Opening day brought both The Queen and The Duchess of Cornwall out to play. Pearl stud earrings, a double strand of pearls, engagement and wedding rings, and a leather strap watch with a round face for HM; Everyday Pearl Pendant Earrings, Gold Chain Bracelet with Multi-Color Stones, Cross and Eye Chain Bracelet, a watch, and engagement and wedding rings on show for HRH.

May 15

Not much to show for jewels today, but a jolly day with extra appearances by The Countess of Wessex and Lady Louise, plus The Duke of York and The King of Bahrain.

May 16

Another standard appearance in the day. The Queen Mother's Palm Leaf Brooch came out later for award presentations, and a longer double strand of pearls for the evening event.

May 17
And finally, she presented more prizes wearing Queen Victoria's 11 Pearl Brooch

Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo and Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

12 May 2015

Buckingham Palace Garden Party and Wellington Memorial Service

The Queen, accompanied The Duke of Edinburgh and other members of the Royal Family, hosted a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.
Polish up those top hats, it's garden party season! And with cheery yellows and pinks and blues on the top ladies in attendance, it really does feel like a lovely spring day in the garden.

Hmm...I think she heard us wondering why she didn't wear a brooch from The Queen Mother at the VE Day service.

Also in attendance at the garden party was The Duchess of Cornwall, wearing one heck of a hat. She's worn shapes like that in creams and beiges and pulled them off spectacularly, but my my, they look soooo much bigger in a strong color, no? Anyway, her jewel roundup: A diamond butterfly brooch which I believe is having its public debut today, her Four Strand Pearl Choker with Small Diamond Clasp, and her Everyday Pearl Pendant Earrings.

Earlier in the day, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh were among members of the Royal Family in attendance at a memorial service for the late Duke of Wellington.

It's rare that Her Majesty attends memorials or funerals, but she made an exception for a Knight of the Garter and holder of one very famous title. She wore the Kent Amethyst Brooch, as you can see in the comments. The Duchess of Cornwall was wearing the same butterfly brooch and earrings she wore to the garden party, with her Four Strand Pearl Choker with Large Diamond Clasp. She also had a watch, some of her everyday bracelets, and her engagement/wedding rings in view.

Photos:John Stillwell/AFP via Getty Images

10 May 2015

VE Day 70th Anniversary Service

The Queen attended a Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey commemorating the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, which marks the end of World War II in Europe following the surrender of Germany. Also present were The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke of York, The Earl of Wessex, and The Duke of Kent.
I confess I am surprised not to see another of The Queen Mother's brooches, or something a little larger, today. But one can never go wrong with a Cullinan chip, anyway.

 Plenty of other family members were in attendance, though we did have a few notable absentees like The Countess of Wessex, who visited the Channel Islands yesterday to mark the anniversary of their liberation. (And wore another piece borrowed from The Queen's jewel vault while she was at it, by the way: the Ruby Floret Earrings.) Also present but not pictured here: The Duke of Kent.
The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh met some of their fellow World War II veterans after the service. Prince Philip now wears so many medals on his jacket they threaten to tip him right over, so naturally he had some comments on the other hardware on display. One of my favorite moments from the day.
And my other favorite moment: The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall reviewed the parade of veterans after the service, including one intrepid vet who spontaneously left his wheelchair behind to pop over and greet the royal couple.

The Duchess of Cornwall's brooch for the day paid tribute to a World War II veteran near and dear to her own heart: her father, Major Bruce Shand, a member of the 12th Lancers who fought in France and North Africa and was held as a prisoner of war. Her brooch belonged to The Queen Mother but has extra special significance to Camilla as it is the badge of the 9/12th Lancers. She also wore her Everyday Pearl Pendant Earrings and her Four Strand Pearl Choker with Small Diamond Clasp. Underneath her choker, she wore a thin gold chain with a "C" charm pendant.

Photos:via Getty Images as indicated and BBC video

08 May 2015

VE Day Beacon Lighting and The Queen's VE Day Memories

At Windsor Castle, The Queen lit the first of 200 beacons marking the 70th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day. She was accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, The Duke of York, and Princess Beatrice of York.
She has developed a fondness for her mother's brooches for war commemoration purposes, hasn't she? Feels entirely appropriate here, as always. (And I'm so happy to see another aquamarine brooch make it into the regular rounds, too!)
This is the start of the weekend's commemorations for Her Majesty; she'll also lead the royal party at a Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey on Sunday.

Three Strand Pearl Necklace

To mark this special 70th anniversary, the palace posted this audio of The Queen's memories of that memorable day - and, or course, that memorable night, when she and Princess Margaret were allowed to leave Buckingham Palace and go out into the crowds.

Video: A BBC recording from 1985
It's quite a lovely listen, isn't it? You will note that VE Day qualified as a tiara occasion, which is perfect. A fictionalized account of that night is now a movie, by the way, called A Royal Night Out (here's the trailer).

Photos:via Getty Images

07 May 2015

Jockey Club Visit

On May 4th, The Queen made a private visit to the National Stud and the Jockey Club Rooms, Newmarket.
For more: Press Association article.
Add this one to the list of truly excellent portraits of Her Maj, I'd say. Agreed?

Photo: @JockeyClubRooms

05 May 2015

Visit to Kensington Palace

The Queen visited The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at their home at Kensington Palace, where she met her newest great-grandchild, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, for the first time.

Aww, I do like seeing Casual Queen in great-granny mode.

Pearl Necklace

Photos: Danny E. Martindale via Getty Images