30 October 2015

Audience at Windsor Castle

The Queen received the Prime Minister of New Zealand, John Key, at Windsor Castle for a private audience.
Oh, I like this style of audience photo! It's a nice change, right? Dogs milling about (you can see the full set in the gallery link above), Her Maj with her more "casual" set of pearls. So cozy! She's also wearing the Gold Trellis Brooch, which we've only seen for October appearances for three years running.

Photo: via Getty Images

29 October 2015

Audiences at Buckingham Palace

The Queen held audiences at Buckingham Palace.
More pink and more pearls, coming right up...

Photo: WPA Pool via Getty Images

28 October 2015

Commonwealth Organizations Reception

October 27: The Queen and The Prince of Wales hosted a reception at St. James' Palace for representatives of the Commonwealth Organizations ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in November.
For more: Zimbio gallery.
I was just thinking about the brooch from Queen Victoria the other day, so this made me laugh. Is Her Maj a mind reader? (Surely not, or she wouldn't keep me waiting for the full set of Kent Amethysts this long...)

Photo: Clarence House video screencap

27 October 2015

The Queen Mother's Sapphire and Diamond Fringe Earrings

Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother wearing her Sapphire and Diamond Fringe Earrings 
(as well as the Russian Sapphire Cluster Brooch, and the ring that would ultimately become The Duchess of Cornwall's engagement ring)
Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother regularly wore sapphire brooches during the day - and George VI certainly had an eye for the stone, having gifted it to both his wife and eldest daughter at various occasions - but she wore the blue gem much less frequently in the evenings. And when it came to earrings, she had her favorites and didn't do much branching out. She did, however, have these earrings, which were rarely worn. They include sapphires surrounded by diamonds with a fringe of diamonds and small sapphires suspended below. Like many pieces in her collection, their history is unknown.

The Duchess of Cambridge
Along with the rest of The Queen Mother's jewels, we can assume these earrings were inherited by The Queen in 2002. The Queen, who has plenty of sapphire options in her own vault, has never worn them publicly. Though much of The Queen Mother's jewel collection is on loan to The Duchess of Cornwall, these went a different route: The Duchess of Cambridge wore them for the first time to a gala event at the Victoria & Albert Museum in 2015.

Whether based on her personal preference or on a desire to match her heirloom engagement ring, blue seems to be a favorite color for Catherine, and I hope we'll see these earrings often in the future. I also can't help but hope that she too has been loaned a larger portion of The Queen Mother's gems (we've already seen her debut a diamond bracelet from that stash). There's certainly enough to go around!

27 October 2015: V&A 100 Women in Hedge Funds Gala

P.S.: The dress? (And last night's?) Stay tuned to the other blog tomorrow. 

P.P.S.: You may have noticed that we have a new tab on the blog above, dedicated to The Duchess of Cambridge! This is specifically for the pieces that The Queen has loaned her, and does not include her private collection, which we don't cover here. It is not yet comprehensive, since we haven't covered every piece she's been loaned on this blog (we'll get there...). 

26 October 2015

Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering

The Queen, accompanied by other members of the Royal Family, presented the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering and hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace.
Here's where I admit that even though I am not fond of this brooch (it's not you, little gold brooch; it's me), it's a wonderful choice for this dress. Sometimes you just need a chunk of gold and diamonds, I guess.

Bonus family member alert! Is Eugenie pairing a dress with a blazer that probably doesn't need a blazer? The odds are high.

Photos:via Getty Images

24 October 2015

The Duchess of Cornwall's Magic Alhambra Diamond Earrings

Van Cleef & Arpels Magic Alhambra Diamond Earrings
The Alhambra motif has been a signature design of Van Cleef & Arpels since 1968, symbolizing luck, health, fortune, and love. The Duchess of Cornwall's earrings are from the Magic Alhambra collection, the maison's modern interpretation of this iconic quatrefoil motif. The handmade pieces feature three graduated Alhambra motifs in 18k white gold and pavé-set diamonds (around 158 diamonds with a total weight of approximately 4.25 to 4.5 carats) with chain link connections. Their current retail value is listed at $48,000.
The Magic Alhambra collection itself dates from 2006; these earrings have been seen on The Duchess since 2012, and they join many other modern pieces from Van Cleef & Arpels in her collection. They're one of the longer pairs of earrings she wears (which is great, in her case, because they are long enough to actually be seen under her signature hairstyle), and have been worn to several evening events.

21 April 2018: The Queen's Birthday Party
10 November 2016: Visit to Bahrain
28 May 2016: Wedding of Lady Charlotte Wellesley and Alejandro Santo Domingo
13 October 2015: Presentation of the Man Booker Prize

Photos: Van Cleef & Arpels / WPA Pool via Getty Images

22 October 2015

State Visit from China, Farewell

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh bid farewell to President Xi and Madame Peng as they departed from Buckingham Palace after the London leg of their State Visit to the United Kingdom.
New brooch alert! Well, new-to-Her Maj alert. This is another piece from The Queen Mother's collection, given new life by The Queen. See the link below for more.
(And check out Madame Peng in her cape! Lady knows how to close out a state visit with a bang.)

Photos:via Getty Image sand ITNSource video

The Queen Mother's Triple Emerald and Gold Brooch

The Queen Mother wearing her Triple Emerald and Gold Brooch
(Image has been mirrored)
This intriguing jewel features three large green stones, which I am assuming are emeralds but could beanother variety. They're surrounded by gold designs hinting at petal shapes, turning them into floral motifs, with stems and leaves featuring diamonds. This brooch was a scarcely-worn member of the collection of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, and it would have been inherited by The Queen when her mother passed away in 2002.
The brooch on The Queen
I continue to be interested in the way The Queen has divided up the large collection of The Queen Mother's jewels. Many obviously went to The Duchess of Cornwall, while The Queen kept some of the more historic items. She also kept this green brooch, which makes me wonder if there's a story behind it, or if she just likes it. She wore it for the first time in public during the Chinese state visit in 2015.

22 October 2015: State Visit from China, Farewell

Images: via Getty Images and ITNSource video screencap

21 October 2015

Audience at Buckingham Palace and Brooke Demonstration

The Queen received His Excellency General the Hon. Sir Peter Cosgrove, Governor-General of the Commonwealth Of Australia, and his wife Lady Cosgrove for a private audience at Buckingham Palace. She also joined The Duchess of Cornwall to view a horse whispering demonstration for the Brooke horse charity at the Royal Mews.
I love when these two team up for horsey business. (And when they coordinate their purples, it's EVEN BETTER.) The buttons on this outfit often mean The Queen goes brooch-less, as she did today. The Duchess has a small pin from the charity in addition to a selection of her everyday jewels, such as her favorite Pearl Pendant Earrings.

No Brooch

Photos:via Getty Images and ITNSource screencap

20 October 2015

State Visit from China, State Banquet

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, with other members of the Royal Family present, gave a State Banquet in honor of the President of The People’s Republic of China at Buckingham Palace. 

Many guessed The Queen would wear rubies this evening as a nod to her Chinese guests, but she went for a different colored stone surprise: sapphires! All the better to coordinate with her Order of the Garter sash.

It's been quite a while since she wore her Modern Sapphire Tiara, and I'm glad to see her in any colored stone tiara at all. She paired it with the suite of sapphires given to her by her father. She was also wearing a bracelet and presumably a diamond watch as usual, but these items were worn under her gloves.

Video: Don't miss a chance to see other guests in tiaras milling around before the banquet!

And now for the other members of the family:

The Duchess of Cambridge made her State Banquet debut wearing a tomato red Jenny Packham gown with a gorgeous flowing skirt and a sequined top, plus the Lotus Flower Tiara (from The Queen Mother, via Princess Margaret). This is the second time she's worn this pearl and diamond tiara. She also wore diamond pendant earrings on loan from The Queen, which she has worn in the past, and a sparkly bracelet on each wrist.
One of her bracelets appears to be The Queen's Wedding Gift Bracelet - this would be quite a surprising loan, as The Queen still uses it, but the shape is distinctive.The other looks to me like a bracelet worn by The Queen Mother, which started out as a choker for Queen Mary, Queen Mary's Diamond Bar Choker Bracelet (see here for more). To my knowledge, we haven't seen this piece since The Queen Mother's passing.
What she didn't wear was The Queen's Royal Family Order. It may have been widely reported that she was given the honor, but personally, I didn't think we'd see her in it yet for one very simple reason: the other royal women that currently have the order are all full-time working royals, and The Duchess is not (yet). She'll have plenty of time for order-wearing later on.

We got just a peek at The Duchess of Gloucester, in the Gloucester Honeysuckle Tiara in its diamond setting, and Princess Alexandra of Kent, in the pearl setting of the Ogilvy Tiara. (For everyone asking why Princess Alexandra wore her Royal Family Orders on the opposite side, no, we don't know why. She's worn them on top of her Garter sash in the past.)
The Princess Royal was also present (unpictured here, but wearing the Festoon Tiara), as was (I believe) Princess Michael of Kent; The Duchess of Cornwall was absent along with her husband, and The Countess of Wessex had an engagement elsewhere for the evening.

And last but not least, a couple gents, for good measure. Others such as The Duke of York were also present and are unpictured.

Photos: via Getty Images as indicated / Telegraph and BBC video screencaps

Queen Mary’s Diamond Bar Choker Bracelet

Queen Mary wearing Queen Mary's Diamond Bar Choker Bracelet
This necklace, featuring a series of diamond bars or links, was one of several diamond chokers in Queen Mary’s collection. It is included in The Queen’s Diamonds book where it is labeled as Queen Mary’s Chain-Link Bracelets, so there’s a bit of confusion between these two similar jewels. Also like the Chain-Link Bracelets, this choker later appears to have been used as a bracelet. Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother wore it in her charming 75th birthday portraits by Norman Parkinson (which are among my favorite royal portraits). It now appears to be worn once again by The Duchess of Cambridge, who has likely been loaned the piece by The Queen.

Appearances (on The Duchess of Cambridge):
17 March 2017: Visit to Paris
22 June 2016: Houghton Hall Gala Dinner
8 December 2015: Diplomatic Reception
20 October 2015: State Visit from China, State Banquet

Photos: Popperfoto via Getty Images

State Visit from China, Welcome Ceremony

The Queen and other members of the Royal Family welcomed the President of The People’s Republic of China, Mr. Xi Jinping, and Madame Peng Liyuan at the start of his State Visit to the United Kingdom.
Obviously, I find this lilac gray Stewart Parvin tweed coat and Rachel Trevor-Morgan hat would have been enhanced by a touch of amethysts, but that's how I always feel, so never mind me. Instead, we get the Modern Ruby Brooch to kick off this much-anticipated (and controversial) state visit.

Three Strand Pearl Necklace

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall met the Chinese first couple at their hotel and escorted them to the welcome ceremony today.

It was nice to see The Duchess in a suite of jewels we've covered here before, including regular favorites in the form of her Everyday Pearl Pendant Earrings, her Gold Chain Bracelet with Multi-Color Stones, and her Four Strand Pearl Choker with Small Diamond Clasp. She also wore her pair of Cosmos Brooches from Van Cleef & Arpels.

Back at Buckingham Palace, the traditional exchange of gifts occurred. The Queen gave the Chinese president a collection of Shakespeare's sonnets in a specially commissioned leather and gilt box and a pair of Royal Crown Derby candlesticks for Madame Peng, in addition to the standard gift of a silver-framed set of portraits of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh. From President Xi, The Queen received two of Madame Peng's albums (she's a famous folk singer in China) along with a 1.18 meter long work of embroidery, a stamp booklet, and a wood carving.

The President and Madame Peng joined The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall for tea at Clarence House, where Camilla changed into her pearl choker with an Art Deco sapphire clasp, the newest addition to her choker collection.

The Duke of Cambridge also met with the President today, at Buckingham Palace.

And The Queen inspected the scene for the state banquet, as she always does! Updated to add: In this Flickr behind-the-scenes gallery, we can identify The Queen's brooch as the Flower Basket Brooch.

Stay tuned for another post later for tonight's state banquet.

Photos: via Getty Images

17 October 2015

British Champions Day at Royal Ascot and Investiture at Windsor Castle

October 16: The Queen held an Investiture at Windsor Castle.
October 17: The Queen visited Ascot Racecourse for the QIPCO British Champions Day.
She made a classic pairing with a purple dress and the Kent Amethyst Brooch for the Investiture, and then another old favorite combo in this sherbet suit and hat and gold brooch.We haven't seen ye old Frosted Sunflower very much this year, and I must say, I've been enjoying its break. (Which is pretty much the same thing I said last time - and yep, still true!)

Photo: via Getty Images

15 October 2015

University of Surrey Visit

The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, visited the University of Surrey to open the new School of Veterinary Medicine.
Real horses and fictional horses, all in one day! This is some A+ royal engagement game right here. Number of animals to meet ought to bump your request for a visit up several notches on the royal priority list.

Photos:via Getty Images and ITN video screencap

14 October 2015

Audiences at Buckingham Palace

The Queen held audiences at Buckingham Palace.
It's the return of an old friend on the brooch front, while this particular audience (one of a few held today) points toward what's to come...

The Queen poses above with Great Britain's Ambassador to China, Barbara Woodward. The Chinese state visit is next week, and some new details are out today:

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will participate in the welcome ceremony on October 20th and host the Chinese president and wife for tea at Clarence House, The Duke of Cambridge will visit the President at Buckingham Palace on the 20th, and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will join the President and his wife at an event at Lancaster House on the 21st. 

The state banquet will be held on the 20th. Buckingham Palace didn't confirm whether The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be in attendance; they usually don't confirm who will be there in advance, but it apparently has been confirmed that Prince Charles will not be at the banquet. Of course, the Cambridge's assumed attendance continues to be widely reported. Here's a good rundown of the announced events.

Photo: WPA Pool via Getty Images

13 October 2015

Audiences at Buckingham Palace

The Queen held audiences at Buckingham Palace.
Are you telling me that we not only get to see a brooch at an audience for a change, but it happens to be the Cullinan V on a pink background?? My, my. This is shaping up to be a very swoony week.

Photo: WPA Pool via Getty Images

12 October 2015

Rugby World Cup Reception and Investiture at Buckingham Palace

Friday, October 9: The Queen held an Investiture at Buckingham Palace.
Our first glimpse of The Queen back at work in London came on Friday, but since it was an investiture, no brooch looks were forthcoming. {Sad face.}

Today: The Queen, joined by other members of the Royal Family, hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace for the Rugby World Cup 2015.
So I choose to consider this her official return to business instead, and there's no better way to make a comeback than in the richest of purples with amethysts to boot (says me). Scrumptious.

Amethyst Bouquet Brooch

Photos: via Twitter, Getty Images, and ITNSource video

08 October 2015

Flashback: State Visit from China, 2005

The Queen has now returned to Buckingham Palace and is getting ready for a busy fall schedule. One of the highlights will be a state visit from the Chinese president from October 20-23. The last incoming state visit from the People's Republic of China was ten years ago, when Hu Jintao visited in November 2005. A quick flashback:

As The Queen was, by this time, quite firmly set with her favorite brooches, the appearance of the City of London Lily Brooch for the welcome ceremony (above) was as exciting as the brooch schedule got. Given to then-Princess Elizabeth when she received the Freedom of the City of London in 1947, the diamond pin is the most flattering part of this outfit (that hat...well, it's not a favorite of mine).

Also by this time, The Queen had settled into her white-on-white state banquet dress code, this gold number being one of the occasional "exceptions".  Without a Chinese order to wear, she stuck to her Garter regalia and her Royal Family Orders.
Her Majesty did make one of my absolute favorite jewel pairings, though: the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara and the King Khalid Diamond Necklace, a match made in heaven. She added the Antique Girandole Earrings and what looks like Queen Mary's Chain-Link Bracelet.

The most interesting jewel selection was not from The Queen but from The Princess Royal, who wore a "mystery" tiara (of course, since we hardly get glimpses of other Royal Family members at state banquets, it was hard to see; click here for Anne and here for the piece she was probably wearing). Let's hope the upcoming Buckingham Palace state banquet brings something equally interesting...

Photos: via Getty Images