30 June 2015

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. A Guard of Honor mounted in the Forecourt of the Palace was reviewed.
For more: Gallery from Western Daily Press.
And we're back! Another packed week lies ahead, and she's started her Scottish trip with the annual Ceremony of the Keys. The British Monarchy shared a snap from of the same moment, in the first year of her reign:
This year, as she usually does, she wears a military badge on instead of a decorative brooch, since the review of a Guard of Honor is part of her ceremonial arrival.

Photos:via Twitter

27 June 2015

Event Roundup: State Visit to Germany, 2015

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh received an enthusiastic welcome from the German public for their fifth full state visit to the country. The Queen brought an interesting mix of jewels with her, repeating three of the five brooches she wore for Ascot the previous week, wearing jewels with a connection to Albert and Victoria, and also fitting in some pieces that have debuted in just the past year or two.

Arrival: June 23 

The German jewel connections kicked off with a brooch from Prince Albert 

Day 1: June 24 

A large brooch from the last outgoing state visit returns

The Queen thrills us with one of the finest sets of rubies in the world 

Day 2: June 25 

The third and final brooch from Ascot reappears 

A rare brooch from The Queen Mother makes an appearance 

Day 3: June 26 

The end of the trip brings two more recently debuted brooches 

A few last highlights:

Charmed by a waving robot that was taught to recognize Her Maj. I hope someone gives her one for the top of the piano at home. (Video of this moment here.)

An old hand at bouquet management, Prince Philip picks up a thrown bouquet for HM. Still cute. 

Video: True state banquet sparkle, even in this bright lighting. Those rubies will not be forgotten anytime soon.

Your turn: What was your favorite moment (jewel-related or not)? 

Next up: Holyrood Week!

Photos: via Getty Images

26 June 2015

State Visit to Germany, Final Day

On the last day of their state visit to Germany, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh visited Brandenburg Gate with the Mayor of Berlin and met members of the public in Pariser Platz. Before departing for the United Kingdom, they visited the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp memorial site and laid a wreath at the inscription wall.
And the state visit closes with two more new/new-ish brooches! Continuing her "flowers around the United Kingdom" theme, she accessorized her yellow and gray Angela Kelly outfit with the Daffodil Spray Brooch. This is likely to have been another part of the set of pins from the Sultan of Oman that we know included the Three Thistle Brooch. 
It was a cheery combo for the last cheery event of the trip (and an easily visible one, for her only real walkabout with the crowds).

Underneath the happy yellow coat, a more somber gray dress - with another matching coat - was waiting for the visit to Bergen-Belsen.
The Bronte Porcelain Brooch is a large piece, but one that is not as sparkly, which seems a good choice here. It's also another new/rare item, having debuted just last year, and so we close the trip with a solid theme for the brooch line up.

Photos:via Getty Images

25 June 2015

State Visit to Germany, Garden Party

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh attended a Garden Party hosted by the British Ambassador in Berlin during their state visit to Germany.
Now we're talking! This isn't a brooch debut, but The Queen has worn this ruby and diamond brooch from The Queen Mother's collection only a few times previously, so we're still in the rare department of the brooch stash. (Interestingly, much like the Multi-Color French Flower Brooch from the official welcome ceremony of this trip, this brooch also made an appearance during last year's French state visit.)
I think it's had more impact on colored coats in the past as opposed to this white background (her outfit here is described as a "Stewart Parvin shift dress of white cotton tweed flecked with coral ribbon with a matching coat edged in bias fringed braid and a hat by Rachel Trevor-Morgan"), but you still can't miss that this is a seriously sizable jewel.

State Visit to Germany, Visit to Frankfurt

On the second full day of their state visit to Germany, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh visited Frankfurt, where they toured St. Paul's Church and attended a lunch hosted by the Minister-President of Hesse at the Römer.
Okay, I guess we really are reusing our Ascot brooches. I can't lie, I would have preferred something other than the Shamrock Brooch on this peacock-inspired Angela Kelly outfit.
But brooches aside, it was a good day in Frankfurt, with huge crowds turning out to greet the royals. Prince Philip even got to reunite with a couple of his relatives, the Margrave of Baden and the Landgrave of Hesse.

Photos:via Getty Images and Telegraph video

24 June 2015

State Visit to Germany, State Banquet

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh attended a state banquet given in their honor by President Gauck at Bellevue Palace during their state visit to Germany.
For more: Sky news article and video, Zimbio gallery.
Looks like those of you guessing that Ascot might have been a trial run for the state visit were correct!

The Victoria and Albert theme continued at the state banquet, as The Queen accented the red of her German sash by reunited Queen Victoria's Crown Ruby Brooch with Queen Victoria's Crown Ruby Necklace and Earrings.
 She was in a very sparkly mood - which we love - even sporting the Teck Corsage Brooch on her back to keep her sash in place.

Ever the tease, Her Maj did refrain from going the full Queen Mother route this evening, selecting the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara instead of the Oriental Circlet. My wait to see the complete set reunited continues, but it's probably better this way. I need some time to get used to all these magnificent rubies in one place...

Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara
Queen Victoria's Crown Ruby Necklace and Earrings
Queen Victoria's Crown Ruby Brooch
Teck Corsage Brooch (on back, no pendants)
Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Riband and Star
Diamond Evening Watch

Photos:via Getty Images, SkyNews video

State Visit to Germany, Day 1

On Day 1 of their state visit to Germany, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh were ceremonially welcomed with military honors by President Gauck at Bellevue Palace. The Queen met with Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Chancellery and laid a wreath at Germany’s Central Memorial for the victims of war and dictatorship. In the afternoon, they attended the 50th anniversary of the Queen’s Lecture at Berlin's University of Technology.
The state visit is off to a busy start, a day full of engagements and dubious official gifts (The Queen's reaction to a painting of a photograph of herself as a child on her pony with her father: "That's a funny color for a horse," and "Is that supposed to be my father?").
She picked the Multi-Color French Flower Brooch today, on the coat she wore to the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant (though it has a different, more twee hat now). We first saw this brooch during last year's state visit to France, when it was worn on the dress that goes with this coat.
We still don't know anything about this brooch, but I must agree with Her Maj that its subtle changes in color are a great match for the metallics in this outfit.

Three Strand Pearl Necklace

Day 1 is not over! We'll be back later with coverage of the state banquet.

Photos:via Getty Images and BBC video

23 June 2015

State Visit to Germany, Arrival

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh arrived at Tegel airport, Berlin, Germany at the start of their state visit to the country.
Let the state visit fun begin! The fancy ceremonial welcome happens tomorrow, there was just a short welcome at the airport today.
This is a promising brooch start, though - or, at least, I hope it is, and that it isn't just a "well, we had to dig it out for Ascot anyway" sort of selection. Starting out your German state visit with a piece from Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha is probably no coincidence.
It's a treat to see Albert's Sapphire twice in just a few days no matter what, and I'm really liking her fresh combo of blues here too.

Photos:via Getty Images and Telegraph video

22 June 2015

Queen's Young Leaders Awards

The Queen presented awards and hosted a reception for the Queen's Young Leaders at Buckingham Palace. The Duke of York, Princess Beatrice of York, The Duke of Gloucester, and Princess Michael of Kent were also present.
The race to fit in just a few more engagements before leaving for the German state visit has brought us this pearl number on a pale pink background. Quite a pretty combo, I think.

Photos:WPA Pool via Getty Images, Comic Relief video

21 June 2015

Flashback: State Visit to Germany, 1992 (Plus Another Current Event)

Our last German state visit flashback before this year's trip takes us back to 1992, when The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh visited President von Weizsäcker in October. The Queen certainly did dig some interesting pieces out of her vault for the evening events of this trip (which is where we'll be focusing), including a few that we have not yet covered.

First, the state banquet.
Along with such standard state banquet fare as Queen Alexandra's Kokoshnik Tiara, the True Lover's Knot Brooch, and the Baguette and Brilliant Bracelet, Her Majesty selected the glittering Diamond Chandelier Drop Demi-Parure, a potential Saudi gift. As we've seen previously, she is also wearing the red, gold, and black Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

A second tiara event called for her favorite head ornament, the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara. She must have been very sparkling that night, with her Greville Chandelier Earrings swinging and a solid cuff of diamonds around her neck. This curious necklace, from the Diamond and Gold Cuff Demi-Parure, is not often seen and not very much like The Queen's standard style.

Finally, a rare sight: The Queen wearing turquoise jewels!
Picking up on the turquoise embellishments on her Ian Thomas dress, The Queen wore the Jordan Turquoise Demi-Parure, a necklace and earrings given to her by King Hussein of Jordan featuring turquoise and sapphire stones. It is one of the few turquoise jewels she has worn publicly in her reign, her recent debut of the Turquoise and Diamond Brooch being another. We hardly ever see Her Majesty in evening combinations so bold these days, but I can only imagine she was dressing to be seen - even more than she usually does, that is - as this was a military tattoo event held in a large venue (she's also wearing a military badge on her shoulder).

Needless to say, if the upcoming visit brings us any selections this interesting, I'll be a happy camper.

In current news... The Queen was out and about again on Sunday, attending the Royal Windsor Cup polo tournament at the Guards Polo Club. She wore the Round Cambridge Emerald Brooch with its pendant, and you can see pictures at the Daily Mail or Contact Music.

Photos: via Getty Images

20 June 2015

Royal Ascot, Day 5

The Queen honored Ascot Races with her presence today.
Another Stewart Parvin/Rachel Trevor Morgan ensemble and another curiously regional brooch selection today. The Three Thistle Brooch - which somehow manages to looks bigger every time we see it - is making its first appearance outside of specifically Scottish occasions. The Thistle brooch was a gift from the Sultan of Oman, one of a set of four pins. (We don't know what the other three were, but guesses are included in the brooch entry linked below. One possibility is the Shamrock Brooch we saw on Day 3).

Three Strand Pearl Necklace

Day 5 is the final day of Royal Ascot, and a wrap on our Ascot Brooch Watch 2015. It's time for some final thoughts:

The Queen wasted no time getting to the biggest treat of the year, busting out Queen Victoria's Crown Ruby Brooch on Day 1. That definitely set my expectations high - maybe a little too high - for the rest of the week, but all of these selections are something out of the ordinary in their own way, and that's always my #1 request. She shelved the Frosted Sunflowers and the Pearl Trefoils for the week, and oh, how I love her for that!

(A fashion wrap up for the last two days featuring other royals present is still to come at the other blog.)

More possibility for gem surprises await us before The Queen's Balmoral break starts. In the coming week, the couple heads to Germany for a state visit; when they return home, it will be time for Holyrood Week and Princess Charlotte's christening. Stay tuned...

Photos:via Getty Images

19 June 2015

Royal Ascot, Day 4

The Queen honored Ascot Races with her presence today.
We're still in the "delicate" range, but like yesterday's Shamrock Brooch, this is another we haven't seen often. This is only the second public appearance for the Botswana Flower Brooch, and unfortunately it's disappearing a bit on the background of her yellow Stewart Parvin outfit and Rachel Trevor Morgan hat. Only one day left, any final brooch hopes out there?

Photo: via Getty Images

18 June 2015

The Duchess of Cornwall at the Waterloo Banquet

Another tiara event that I wasn't expecting for The Duchess of Cornwall (her husband tagged along, too) and I am in seventh heaven! Another special Camilla event post is called for:

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall attended The Duke of Wellington's Waterloo Banquet at Apsley House, London, as part of the events marking the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo. 
Get a load of the diamond power on display here! This is only the second time that Camilla has worn the Greville Festoon Necklace (which is actually two necklaces, a two strand and a three strand) and it remains as spectacular as ever. A favorite of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, this necklace is my very favorite selection to see paired with the Greville Tiara. The fact that she can pull this much off is basically every reason I decided to cover Camilla on this blog in a nutshell, in case you were wondering.

Diamond Bracelet (said to have belonged to The Queen Mother)
Engagement and Wedding Rings

Charles is in his mess dress uniform, so he also has worn his orders and medals (including the Order of the Garter sash). His wife is sans orders for the evening, which fits in with the rest of the dress code.

Let's have one last moment of appreciation for The Duchess of Wellington, shall we? In addition to her wonderful necklace and earrings, she's wearing a hefty circlet tiara that is an heirloom of the Wellington family. Antonia, who was born a Princess of Prussia, also wore the diadem on her wedding day.

Click here for a gallery of their arrival.

Photos: John Phillips via Getty Images

Royal Ascot, Day 3

The Queen honored Ascot Races with her presence today.
From lavish and historical to petite and probably modern - we've changed direction so fast, I got whiplash. All other outings for this Shamrock Brooch so far have been at events in Northern Ireland or for the Irish community, so this is still an interesting choice for her, and one that works nicely on this pistachio Angela Kelly ensemble. (As always, click the brooch name below for full brooch details.)

Three Strand Pearl Necklace

Photo: via Getty Images

17 June 2015

Royal Ascot, Day 2

The Queen honored Ascot Races with her presence today.

Oh, we are doing the heavy hitters this week, aren't we? Another treasure from the gems left to the Crown by Queen Victoria, we haven't seen Prince Albert's Sapphire in over a year, and I've missed it so. It's beautifully showcased today by her royal blue silk crêpe outfit from Karl-Ludwig Rehse and her matching Angela Kelly hat.

Here's a little comparison, Day 1 to Day 2:
If the Many-Brooched God is taking requests for the rest of the week...the Kent Amethyst Brooch (WITH its pendants, please oh please!) would fit in with both the "Queen Victoria" theme and the "big colored stone and its diamond friends" theme...ahem. I'll be begging for that one until the end of time.

P.S.: Stay tuned to the other blog for fashion roundups from the rest of the Ascot guests.

Photos:via Getty Images

16 June 2015

Queen Victoria's Crown Ruby Brooch

Surrounding a large colored gemstone with a row of diamonds is a classic showcase design, and it's used twice in this brooch: a large faceted oval ruby in a diamond surround above a pear-shaped ruby and diamond pendant. These rubies are exceptionally large examples of the stone; big rubies are rare, and recent auctions have seen them sell for millions. It is not surprising, then, that these stones have a long history in the royal family.
Queen Victoria's Crown Ruby Brooch
In July 1854, Queen Victoria purchased from Garrard a set of opal and diamond jewelry consisting of a necklace, a pair of earrings, and a brooch. These items were probably bought to create a set with her Oriental Circlet tiara, which was designed in opals and diamonds by her husband, Prince Albert, and had been completed by Garrard the previous year. The brooch shown here is most likely that 1854 brooch; the Oriental Circlet and Queen Victoria's Crown Ruby Earrings and Necklace have been covered previously.
Queen Victoria and Queen Mary, wearing what may be this brooch. Queen Victoria would have been wearing the opal version, though she was also painted in a ruby brooch of a similar design.
These pieces were left by Queen Victoria to the Crown when she died in 1901, and they have remained in the collection ever since, though they no longer look as they did when Queen Victoria wore them. Most of the opals were removed and replaced by rubies in 1901/2 by Queen Alexandra; according to Suzy Menkes' The Royal Jewels, the brooch was not altered to ruby stones until 1926. Despite the alternations, the parure was truly showcased until it passed to Queen Elizabeth (the future Queen Mother) after her husband, George VI, took the throne.
Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother
The Oriental Circlet and Crown Ruby Necklace and Earrings were among her favorite jewels. She liked the ruby parure so much, she kept it after her daughter took the throne in 1952, and wore it throughout her widowhood. She also used other ruby brooches with the parure; in fact, when listing the set as used by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, The Queen's Jewels by Leslie Field states that it includes four brooches. 
The Crown ruby set returned to The Queen after her mother's death in 2002. The pendant brooch was the last of the three main parts of the set (tiara, necklace/earrings, brooch) to get its public debut, making a big splash at the first day of Royal Ascot in 2015. Unlike her mother, The Queen has chosen to wear all the pieces separately, and has yet to combine them. As large, impressive, and priceless as Queen Victoria's Crown Ruby Brooch is on its own, I'm still looking forward to the day when we see it reunited with the Oriental Circlet and the Crown Ruby Earrings and Necklace.

24 June 2015: State Visit to Germany 
16 June 2015: Royal Ascot, Day 1

Photos: via Reuters and Getty Images; Jagger/BBC; ANP; British Pathe

Royal Ascot, Day 1 and Audience at Windsor Castle

The Queen honored Ascot Races with her presence today.
Ooooh oooh OOOH - look! It's only Day 1 of the Ascot brooch parade, and my brooch wishes have already been fulfilled! This is a brooch we haven't seen since it was worn by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, and it is likely part of the set of Crown rubies that date back to Queen Victoria (although there are multiple ruby brooches and some dispute over which belong specifically to the set and which come from other sources). See the link below for more.

It's enormous and luscious, and looks a treat on this vibrant pink. I'm already on pins and needles waiting for Day 2...

We'll be doing a full rundown of the Ascot fashion stakes on the other blog tomorrow, so I'll save my comments on The Duchess of Cornwall's outfit for then. But as far as the jewels go...
...pffft. They're nothing to sneeze at on their own, don't get me wrong, but they are a bit of a let down after The Queen's surprise. Her Four Strand Pearl Choker with Small Diamond Clasp (with her chain necklace and C charm underneath) and her Everyday Pearl Pendant Earrings make for a thoroughly everyday combination.

The Queen also received the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea for a private audience at Windsor Castle.

Bonus brooch for a busy day!

Photos:via Getty Images

15 June 2015

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.
After a busy morning getting her Magna Carta party on (ain't no party like a Magna Carta party, people), Her Maj got all fancied up in her feathery best for the annual service of the Order of the Garter.

By my own flashback count, Queen Victoria's big pearl earrings haven't been worn for Garter Day since 2000, so that's a welcome return (even though I can't help but hope for some colored stones every year, since we already get plenty of white stones at every other event). Usually there is a bracelet for us to drool over too, but I can't spot any this year.

Queen Victoria's Pearl Drop Earrings
Mantle and Bonnet of the Order of the Garter
Collar and Great George of the Order of the Garter

The Duchess of Cornwall was among the Garter spouses present:

She's wearing a triple strand of pearls that belonged to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, and unfortunately here we can't see that it has a clasp containing a rather large diamond (something for us to cover in the future!). The rest of her jewels are all part of her daily uniform, including her Everyday Pearl Pendant Earrings and her Everyday Bracelets.

Tune in to the other blog tomorrow for more on the Order of the Garter Service, including more family members!

Photos:Top photo kindly shared by @Gabeyslave, and others via Getty Images