31 August 2015

Flashback: State Visit to Portugal, 1985

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh headed to Portugal in March 1985 for a state visit to President Eanes. With her daytime brooch favorites pretty well locked in by this time (the Frosted Sunflower, the Cambridge Pearl, etc.), we'll focus on two of the trip's evening events.

A greenish evening gown is an interesting match for a ruby suite of jewels, but here we are, knee deep in The Queen's 1980s fashions. Queen Mary's Ruby Cluster Earrings, the Baring Ruby Necklace (acquired some twenty years prior), and the Art Deco Diamond and Ruby Bracelet are all on display here.

That, however, is not the real reason that I jumped at the chance to cover this state visit here. The state banquet featured yet another appearance of her favorite tiara, the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, but she paired it with an exciting jewel selection:
Behold! A rare, rare sighting of the necklace and earrings from the Kent Amethyst Demi-Parure (which you can read about here). As a die-hard amethyst lover, it has always pained me that we don't get to see this set more often - this is one of only two outings that I'm aware of during her reign. (The brooch is seen often on its own, though it is rare to see it with pendants as displayed here. It's also worth noting that this is still only a partial display of the set, which is said to also include hair combs.) Thank goodness the purple Order of Saint James of the Sword from Portugal brought the purple gems out to play. One of my favorite examples of Her Majesty digging deep into her vault throughout these decades, and a must for a flashback as we approach her big milestone.

Photos: via Getty Images

29 August 2015

Flashback: State Visit from the Netherlands, 1972

We roll into the 1970s in our flashback countdown with another state visit exchange from Queen Juliana of the Netherlands. In April 1972, the Dutch sovereign and her husband, Prince Bernhard, arrived in the United Kingdom to visit The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh.

Embed from Getty Images
Jaunty hats still reigned at this time - I wouldn't mind seeing this one dug out and handed over to the granddaughters, actually - and those of you that despair the few pairs of shoes Her Maj wears today will note the change here. I'm primarily noting the daytime appearance of the Scroll Cambridge Emerald Brooch, the fancier of the Cambridge emerald brooches and the one usually used for on a sash for evening events.

A Windsor Castle state banquet headlined the trip. Naturally, Queen Juliana again emphasized her biggest jewel with a British connection, the Stuart Tiara, the massive size of the tiara dwarfed only by the massive size of her hair.
QEII also made a repeat of her appearance at the state banquet Juliana hosted for her when she visited the Netherlands in 1958, wearing the Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara, the Duchess of Gloucester's Pendant Earrings, Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee Necklace, her Royal Family Orders, and the Order of the Netherlands Lion. She did swap in the True Lover's Knot Brooch, which she also brought with her for that previous Dutch state visit. The Duke of Edinburgh is wearing the "Windsor uniform", which dates in some form all the way back to 1779 and includes a tailcoat with distinctive red collar and cuffs. He's wearing knee breeches here, which allow him to wear the actual Garter of the Order of the Garter at the knee, as men are intended to wear it.

Queen Juliana, highlighting her true blue Order of the Garter with the impressive Dutch Sapphire Parure (including the necklace which is now used as a tiara), hosted a return banquet at the Carpenter's Hall.
The Queen wore Queen Alexandra's Kokoshnik Tiara and the George VI Festoon Necklace, another combination she wore to her previous Dutch visit, but she's already knocking back the sparkle by using the smaller Antique Girandole Earrings and Dorset Bow Brooch this time around.

She led a large family contingent at the banquet, a sight far more common in those days, featuring The Duchess of Gloucester (Princess Alice) in her Teck Turquoise Parure and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother in the Greville Tiara. The Queen Mother also wore another impressive piece from the Greville Bequest, the emerald and diamond necklace (a piece we have yet to cover). And Princess Margaret wore the Lotus Flower Tiara and the diamond collet necklace she inherited from Queen Mary that was sold after her death.

Just as an example of Royal Family Orders in use to their full extent, here's Margaret with the family orders of the grandfather, father, and sister, and the Order of the Crown of India, which is on a bow like a RFO (the top bow here), all in addition to her Dutch sash. Princess Alexandra, behind her in the Ogilvy Tiara, is also wearing the orders of The Queen and George VI. (And yes, this photo has clearly been mirrored, because all the orders are on the wrong side.)

1972 marked twenty years on the throne for The Queen. The countdown to the longest reigning monarch continues...

Photos: ANP Historical Archive, and via Getty Images as indicated

26 August 2015

Flashback: State Visit from Saudi Arabia, 1967

Continuing our flashback countdown (countup?) through the decades of The Queen's reign, we're now moving into the 1960s - May 1967, specifically - for a state visit at home from King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. This state visit comes with a special bonus, because the King arrived bearing sparkling gifts.

To welcome her guest to the United Kingdom, The Queen chose the Dorset Bow Brooch, a choice once more popular for day events but today usually confined to remembrance events and anchoring sashes at state banquets.
See the arrival on video here
We're definitely in the thick of Her Majesty's most interesting millinery period here, by the way, as you can see with this sort of upright-tam-o'-shanter number above and the flower-covered topper in the video below.
For this review of the King's Troop Horse Artillery, The Queen is wearing the regiment's badge and the larger Nizam of Hyderabad Rose Brooch.

King Faisal would have been treated to a sparkling state banquet hosted by The Queen, though I have no visual to share of that. He was also the guest of honor at a City of London banquet at the Guildhall - still a fixture of today's London state visits - and just as it is today, The Queen was represented by other members of her family.

Video: The Guildhall Banquet begins at 1:13.
The Duke and Duchess of Kent accompanied King Faisal, and The Duchess glittered away in the small diamond bandeau from Queen Mary that was later turned into her Pearl and Diamond Fringe Tiara.

The Queen donned her tiara for a return banquet hosted by King Faisal, another traditionally glittering part of a state visit that has been mostly discontinued in today's shorter visits. Return banquets were usually an opportunity for The Queen to wear any major pieces of jewelry she may have been given by her guest, and this banquet was the first time she wore the King Faisal Diamond Necklace.
The Harry Winston-designed necklace was King Faisal's gift to Her Majesty, and just one of many Saudi jewels she's been given over the years (the King Khalid Diamond Necklace, and likely the Diamond Chandelier Drop Demi-Parure and the Sapphire Tassel Demi-Parure, to name just a few already covered here). I'm guessing that she intended to wear a diamond and pearl necklace here until the gift was received, judging by her other jewels: the Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara, the Duchess of Gloucester's Pendant Earrings, and a diamond and pearl honeycomb bracelet (she inherited bracelets of this general design from both Queen Mary and Princess Marie Louise). She's also wearing the Order of the Garter insignia and her Royal Family Orders.

The King Faisal Necklace has since been worn by the late Diana, Princess of Wales, and The Countess of Wessex, and when it's worn today, it often conflicts with The Queen's necklines. Seen as it was originally worn when it was a brand new member of the collection really highlights this glorious piece, no?

Photos: British Pathe video screencap, and via Getty Images

24 August 2015

Flashback: State Visit to the Netherlands, 1958

On September 9, Queen Elizabeth II will overtake Queen Victoria as the longest reigning British monarch. From a jewel perspective, one of the things that I find interesting is exploring how Her Majesty's jewel use has changed over the years of her reign, from the changes in the events themselves to how her favorite pieces have rotated over the years. With that in mind, we're counting down to her milestone with one flashback from each decade of that lengthy reign. The 1950s, of course, will get us started:

The Queen's first years on the throne included several state visits to other monarchies, as she made her way around Europe to greet other sovereigns. In March 1958, she and The Duke of Edinburgh sailed on the royal yacht Britannia to the Netherlands for a state visit to her fellow queen regnant, Queen Juliana.
Lots of events equals lots of brooches, and the Aquamarine Clip Brooches, Empress Marie Feodorovna's Sapphire Brooch, and the Williamson Diamond Brooch are just a taste of what this trip included. The Williamson is a pretty big gun brooch as far as diamonds go, but on this particular trip, it wasn't even the biggest diamond in attendance.
Yes, as you can see in the video above, the elusive Granny's Chips, a.k.a. the Cullinan III and IV Brooch, came out to play - and during a daytime visit, at that. But this was a very special visit: The Queen went to Asscher's in Amsterdam, the firm that cut the original Cullinan Diamond. It was there that she met Louis Asscher, who had witnessed the stone's cutting, and is said to have removed her brooch so that he could take a better look, a kindness that brought him to tears. This trip may also have been the origin of the "Granny's Chips" public nickname, as she was supposedly overheard referring to the mega diamonds with that casual moniker (those stories and more in my original entry on the brooch, click here for that).

If you watched to the end of the above video, you also saw the only thing that could possibly out-sparkle Granny's Chips: Tiara Time, the first of about three tiara events for the trip. For this occasion, The Queen chose her favorite suite of diamonds and pearls, including the Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara, the Duchess of Gloucester's Pendant Earrings, Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee Necklace, and the Kensington Bow Brooch. She also wore her Royal Family Orders and the Order of the Netherlands Lion.
Not to be outdone, Queen Juliana brought her own mega-diamond out to play in the form of the Stuart Tiara and its accompanying jewels, a fitting choice given the British ties of the Stuart Diamond (see more in my entry on that tiara, here). Juliana's two eldest daughters sported more modest, yet still historic, sparkle: the Dutch Laurel Wreath Tiara for Princess Beatrix (left) and the Dutch Ears of Wheat Tiara for Princess Irene (right).

That was just a tiara starter. Even more diamonds, in the video below:
This may be The Queen's most sparkling combination: Queen Alexandra's Kokoshnik Tiara (which dances in the light like no other), the George VI Festoon Necklace, the swinging Greville Chandelier Earrings, and Queen Mary's enormous True Lover's Knot Brooch.
Queen Juliana kept the theme of giant diamonds going with the impressive Dutch Diamond Bandeau and a necklace and large brooch, in addition to covering her shoulder front and back with diamond star brooches (as one does).

A third tiara event can just barely be spotted in the middle of the video below, which also happens to be quite a showcase for the Williamson Diamond Brooch at other moments:
This appears to be an appearance of her favorite now and then, the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara.

The trip was an impressive display from The Queen's jewel vault, but not an unusual one for the time (save, of course, for the cameo appearance of Granny's Chips). She may just have been emptying the vault because she had to for the amount of events these state visits entailed, but I always feel like there's a certain amount of fun to be found as well in the jewel selections from these early years. The jewels her mother turned over from the crown heirlooms and the jewels she inherited from Queen Mary earlier that decade were still fairly new to her, and perhaps she was still exploring and enjoying the bounty of her collection. That somewhat tapers off as the years go on and favorites became solidified...as we'll see in the flashbacks to come.

Photos: British Pathe and King Cole video screencaps / ANP-ANP Foundation / ANP-ANP Foundation

20 August 2015

The Delhi Durbar Tiara

The Delhi Durbar Tiara
Made for Queen Mary to use at the Delhi Durbar and crafted from other dismantled jewels in her collection, primarily her Boucheron Loop Tiara, the Delhi Durbar Tiara is perhaps the largest tiara in the Windsor collection in terms of overall size. Originally topped by the Cambridge emeralds, it's been altered several times in the course of its life, but has only been worn a couple times since Queen Mary's days. Mary loaned it to her daughter-in-law Queen Elizabeth for a tour of South Africa in 1947 and it remained with The Queen Mother until she passed away in 2002. The Duchess of Cornwall gave the tiara its first appearance since 1947 when The Queen loaned it to her to wear for a banquet for the visiting Norwegian royal family in 2005. That was Camilla's first tiara appearance following her wedding. It hasn't been worn again since that single outing.

Read more at Order of Splendor.

2005: Official Visit from Norway

Photo: Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother/Munn

17 August 2015

The Duchess of Cornwall's Sapphire and Diamond Dragonfly Clips

The Duchess of Cornwall with her Sapphire and Diamond Dragonfly Clips
The dragonfly is one of Van Cleef & Arpels' classic inspirations, paying "tribute to the lightness and femininity of nature." The Duchess of Cornwall has a pair of the jeweler's dragonfly "Libellule" clip brooches, one with all diamonds in 18 carat white gold, and the other with a diamond body and blue sapphire wings, again in white gold. A similar all-diamond clip for sale was listed with 2.55 total carats in pave-set diamonds. The brooches are also available with different colors of sapphires.

Diamond dragonfly clip (example)
The clips first appeared on The Duchess of Cornwall in public (to my knowledge) in July 2010, and they're often said to have been a gift from her husband. That's speculation, however, given the amount of Van Cleef & Arpels modern pieces in her collection, it does seem that Charles or Camilla or both are big fans of the famed maison.

The pair worn by The Duchess of Cornwall
We certainly know Camilla to be a fan of insect brooches on the whole. Her collection contains multiple adornments depicting butterflies, dragonflies, other insects, and other animals as well. This is one area where her taste departs from The Queen's, as Her Majesty largely leaves these categories out of her brooch selections.

The design is a light one, making them appear as though they are in flight. And as such, they have made a nice pair for formal events as well as some of The Duchess' more casual outfits. She wears them together, usually staggered on one side but occasionally split as lapel ornaments, and (as you might expect) often on a blue background.

22 February 2017: The Great Get Together Launch
18 July 2016: Visit to Cornwall
22 June 2016: Visit to Scotland
10 June 2016: The Queen's 90th Birthday Service
17 March 2016: Visit to Serbia
26 November 2015: Visit to Malta, Day 1
14 October 2015: Visits to Nelsons Manufacturing and Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centers

Photos: Tradesy / via Getty Images as indicated

15 August 2015

VJ Day 70th Anniversary Service

The Queen, accompanied by other members of the Royal Family, attended a Service of Remembrance at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London, commemorating the 70th anniversary of Victory over Japan Day, which marks the surrender of Japan and the end of World War II.

A rare trip back down to London during the Balmoral break for Her Majesty today, to attend another important World War II anniversary (despite alleged terror threats, I might add). She accessorized her repeated nubbly pink suit with the Cullinan V Brooch, which - coincidentally or not - we last saw at the commemorations of the VE Day 70th anniversary.

Also present at the service were The Earl and Countess of Wessex and The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.
The Duchess and Countess both chose to repeat outfits today. Sophie's Emilia Wickstead is from Ascot and Birgitte's coat and hat are from about a million other occasions. Sophie did mix up her hat pairing, and though I think I prefer her original Ascot hat, I'm always a sucker for a French twist.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, meanwhile, were present for the commemorations at Horse Guards Parade and a reception for veterans at Westminster Abbey Garden.
Camilla stuck with her usual jewel selections, including her Four Strand Pearl Choker with Small Diamond Clasp with her chain necklace and C charm underneath, and her Everyday Pearl Pendant Earrings. And since someone usually asks, I'll go ahead and tell you that in this picture, Charles has not been given a spirit stick by the local cheer squad - he's carrying his Field Marshal's Baton, which is part of his uniform.

Camilla is also repeating an outfit from Ascot, which she wore at that time with a matching coat on top. It was a little busy then, but the dress is nice on its own. Wearing it while dancing with a dashing veteran doesn't hurt, either. (If you need one more smile for the day, read the caption on this photo from Clarence House's Instagram.)

Photos:Ministry of Defence Facebook, via Getty Images

13 August 2015

The Jordan Turquoise Demi-Parure

The Queen has been given plenty of interesting jewelry during her reign. This particular interesting set came from King Hussein of Jordan, who visited the United Kingdom on a state visit in 1966 and brought a gift of a modern demi-parure with a necklace and matching earrings made of turquoise, sapphires, and diamonds. The necklace has a cluster design of all three stones above a row of turquoise pendants, and the earrings echo that design with clusters of turquoise, sapphire, and diamond above turquoise pendants.
The Jordan Turquoise Demi-Parure
The mixing of stones is what makes this set unique. Most of the royal turquoise jewelry we see limits the stones to only turquoise and diamonds, such as the Teck Turquoise Parure owned by the Gloucesters or Princess Margaret's Persian Turquoise Parure, to name just two British examples. The amethyst and turquoise Cartier bib necklace made for the late Duchess of Windsor is the most prominent royal example of turquoise mixed with other colored stones that comes to mind. (In fact, depending on the picture, the stones in this Jordan set can look purple in color. Leslie Field's The Queen's Jewels identifies them as sapphire.)
The Queen doesn't wear turquoise very often in any format (which was why her debut of the Turquoise and Diamond Brooch in 2014 came as such a surprise), and she has certainly used these pieces sparingly. They weren't publicly seen until she visited King Hussein on a state visit to Jordan in 1984, and we've only seen them a couple times since.

1992: State Visit to Germany

Photos: via Getty Images/Scanpix

12 August 2015

The Teck Crescent Tiara

The Teck Crescent Tiara
The Teck Crescent Tiara came from Queen Mary's mother, The Duchess of Teck, who in turn created it from jewels inherited from her aunt, Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester. It ended up in the possession of Queen Elizabeth (the future Queen Mother), likely given to her by Queen Mary. It includes three wild roses and twenty crescent shapes in diamonds, with each element able to be removed for use in a brooch style. The tiara was inherited by The Queen when The Queen Mother passed away, in 2002. According to The Queen's Diamonds by Hugh Roberts, this tiara has been loaned to The Duchess of Cornwall, though we have yet to see her wear it. It hasn't been worn in public for decades, perhaps not since the 1940s.

Read more at Order of Splendor.

Photo: Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother/Munn

10 August 2015

Balmoral Holiday, 2015

The Queen has been at Balmoral for about two weeks, staying at another property on the estate while the castle was still open for visitors. Today, August 10, was her official arrival at the Balmoral Castle, and with that, we'll start our official Balmoral Holiday post for the year.

As we did last year, sightings of Her Maj while on her Scottish estate will be collected here throughout her break. You can find a link for this post on the sidebar under Recently Updated Events. The link will tell you the last time the post was updated.

(We have some jewels to cover while she's away, so stay tuned!)

Photo: Mark Owens / Crown Copyright via British Army

  • August 19: The Sons of Scotland Pipe Band played at Balmoral for The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Countess of Wessex, and Lady Louise Windsor. Her Majesty was in casual mode for the private performance (read: no jewels on display), but you can read all about it at The Countess of Wessex Blog.
  • September 5: As always, The Queen attended the annual Braemar Gathering.
  • September 6: Attending Sunday service at Crathie Church, Her Maj played to her Scottish location with the Three Thistle Brooch:
  • September 13: The Queen accepted an invitation to the FEI European Eventing Championship at Blair Castle, where she presented medals. No brooch, not unusual for this houndstooth coat:

09 August 2015

The Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II

Royal Family Orders in Britain date back to George IV and are still in existence today, given to female members of the royal family. They take the form of a portrait of the sovereign set in a jeweled frame and mounted on a bow. I've written about the practice in general (and in other countries) at Order of Splendor; I've also written about the Orders worn by The Queen specifically (from her father and grandfather) on this blog. The Queen obviously has a Royal Family Order of her own to bestow upon the women of the royal family, and it is the one currently worn by The Duchess of Cornwall.

The Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II, front and back
The Queen's Order features a portrait of herself wearing the George IV State Diadem, the Order of the Garter Riband and Star, the Bahrain Pearl Drop Earrings, and the Nizam of Hyderabad Necklace. The image is taken from the famous portrait series by Dorothy Wilding in 1952 and  is painted on ivory and framed by diamonds; the diamond surround changes from reign to reign, and the version here has three brilliant diamonds between diamond baguettes all the way around, topped by a diamond Tudor crown over a red enamel cap of maintenance. Her cypher adorns the gold back side, and the medal is mounted on a pale yellow square moire silk bow with a fringe.

In Canada, 2009
The Order is The Queen's personal gift, and since the actual date of award usually remains private, the only way to know when someone has received it is to see her wear it in public. It's often given after a period of steady service to the monarchy. Current members of the royal family known to have the award are:
  • The Duchess of Cornwall  
  • The Duchess of Cambridge
  • The Countess of Wessex 
  • The Princess Royal 
  • The Duchess of Gloucester
  • The Duchess of Kent
  • Princess Alexandra of Kent
The Duchess of Cornwall was first seen wearing the Royal Family Order for the Saudi Arabian state banquet on October 30, 2007. The Duchess of Cambridge first wore her Royal Family Order, which is made using glass instead of ivory, to the 2017 Diplomatic Reception; it was first seen at the 2018 Dutch state banquet.

The Order worn by The Duchess of Cornwall
These are usually worn at tiara occasions, but - as shown above - there are some other occasions at which they may be worn. The Duchess of Cornwall can most frequently be seen wearing hers for state events, such as state banquets and the State Opening of Parliament, and also occasionally for other events.

Appearances (for The Duchess of Cornwall only):
14 October 2019: State Opening of Parliament
23 October 2018: State Visit from The Netherlands, State Banquet 
12 July 2017: State Visit from Spain, State Banquet
8 December 2016: Diplomatic Reception 
1 November 2016: State Visit from Colombia, State Banquet
18 May 2016: State Opening of Parliament
27 November 2015: Visit to Malta, Day 2, CHOGM Dinner
27 May 2015: State Opening of Parliament 
3 March 2015: State Visit from Mexico, State Banquet 
4 June 2014: State Opening of Parliament
8 April 2014: State Visit from Ireland
15 November 2013: Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting Dinner
8 May 2013: State Opening of Parliament
27 November 2012: State Visit from Kuwait (at Order of Splendor)
24 May 2011: State Visit from the United States (at Order of Splendor)
2010: State Visit from Qatar  
2010: State Visit from South Africa
2009: State Visit from India
2008: State Visit from France
2007: CHOGM Dinner 

Photos: Royal Household / via Getty Images

05 August 2015

The Greville Festoon Necklace

The Greville Festoon Necklace
(In the center, one of The Queen Mother's Ruby and Diamond Floral Clips)
The Greville Festoon Necklace is one of the most impressive pieces from the Greville bequest, the collection of jewelry left to Queen Elizabeth (the future Queen Mother) in 1942 by the Hon. Mrs. Ronald Greville. The Cartier design has five rows of diamonds set in platinum, each row containing plaques of diamonds centered by large brilliants and separated by groups of two brilliants.

Queen Elizabeth in 1950, wearing all five strands for a Dutch state visit  
(she also wears the Greville Tiara in its previous design)
The necklace is really two pieces that can be worn separately or as one. The longer necklace has two strands and was made first; the shorter necklace has three strands and came later. Hugh Roberts notes in The Queen's Diamonds that the first version of the necklace with two strands had a slightly different design and was made for Mrs. Greville in 1929 using her own stones. Cartier later altered their initial creation to its current design and added the shorter necklace of three strands to sit inside, again using stones already in the Greville collection.

The Queen Mother wearing the three strand necklace on her 100th birthday
All five strands worn together make a staggeringly opulent impression. Whether acknowledging that over the top effect or simply bowing to personal preference and the practical difficulties of using such a large piece, Queen Elizabeth did not often wear all five strands, usually saving it for special occasions. She did wear the three strand version alone, especially in her later years. She used the necklace until she passed away in 2002, at which time it passed to The Queen.

The Duchess of Cornwall wearing the necklace for the first time, 2007
Along with a large portion of her late mother's collection, The Queen has loaned the Greville Festoon Necklace to The Duchess of Cornwall. She debuted it with all five strands blazing at The Queen's banquet for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2007. She has worn it only three times in public, on all occasions wearing all five strands. On two of those occasions, she paired it with the Greville Tiara. The Greville Tiara (from the same bequest, clearly) is a perfect match for this necklace, and I am hoping that we will see The Duchess begin to use the three strand version of the Festoon Necklace with it in the future.

Appearances (before 2002, on The Queen Mother; after 2007, on The Duchess of Cornwall):
25 October 2018: The Prince of Wales' 70th Birthday Concert
18 June 2015: The Duke of Wellington's Waterloo Banquet
2007: CHOGM Dinner
1960: State Visit from France   

Photos: Menkes/Royal Household, British Pathé video, via Getty Images

02 August 2015

New Quadruple Portrait Released

A new portrait of The Queen will feature in an upcoming exhibit of photographs by Hugo Rittson-Thomas. Inspired by 16th and 17th century paintings and reminiscent of the famous triple portrait of Charles I by Anthony van Dyck, the unique photos use mirrors to create "quadruple" portraits that show the subject from all sides.
Mr. Rittson-Thomas captured The Queen in 2013 at Windsor Castle. She's wearing a burgundy dress by Angela Kelly with her usual day jewels and the badge of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, because the picture was taken during an event to celebrate the 60th anniversary of her colonelcy of the regiment.

The exhibit is called The Queen's People, and features portraits of several other members of the Royal Household and key ceremonial figures as well.
The Duchess of Cornwall was photographed this year while dressed up to attend the Royal Academy of Arts Dinner, with the Cubitt-Shand Tiara in place (the press releases simply refer to her jewelry as "family jewelry").

The Duke of Cambridge cuts an imposing figure in the frock coat of the Irish Guards in his portrait. He is Colonel-in-Chief of the regiment and was photographed in 2012 while attending their St. Patrick's Day festivities with The Duchess of Cambridge.

The Queen's People will be at the Eleven Gallery, London, from August 19 to September 19. The Telegraph has a gallery with more of the portraits; ITV News and BBC News have articles with some tidbits from the photographer on his time with Her Majesty.

Photos: Hugo Rittson-Thomas

The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Badge

The Cap Badge of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Example)
The badge of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards features an eagle representing "the French Imperial Eagle that was captured by Sergeant Charles Ewart, the Royal Scots Greys at Waterloo, from the French 45th Regiment of Foot," with two crossed carbines behind.
The Queen is Colonel-in-Chief of the regiment, and she has a brooch version of the badge, which appears to be set with diamonds. As with the rest of her regimental badges, she wears it when attending events related to the regiment.

5 July 2018: Holyrood Week: Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Visit
28 September 2015: Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Visit
2015: Hugo Rittson-Thomas Portrait (taken in 2013)

Photos: British Army, AFP via Getty Images

01 August 2015

Flashback: The Wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Lt. Philip Mountbatten, on "New" Video

The Associated Press and British Movietone recently made public a "new" bit of old video from the wedding of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, held on November 20, 1947, at Westminster Abbey. There are a lot of crowd shots and such, but also some really nice shots of the royal family merrily waving away on the balcony.

Watch it here:

In addition to the gems of the bride, this is a great look at Queen Elizabeth (the future Queen Mother) and Queen Mary bedecked in their finest jewels. The necklace of Queen Alexandra's Wedding Parure (which I would love to see paired with the Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara some day), Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee Brooch, and "Granny's Chips" - a.k.a. the Cullinan III and IV Brooch - on Granny herself are just the highlights. Enjoy!