30 November 2015

Audience at Windsor Castle

The Queen received the Governor-General of Antigua and Barbuda, Sir Rodney Williams, at Windsor Castle for a private audience.
Another look inside The Queen's private sitting room at Windsor, fresh for your analysis! You'll remember this is where she had her cozy audience with the New Zealand Prime Minister last month, and now we have a little different angle. That red carpet just takes a room right over, no?

Photo: WPA Pool via Getty Images

28 November 2015

Malta Visit: Day 3, Departure

On the third and final day of their State Visit to Malta, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh visited Heritage Malta and Marsa Racecourse before their official farewell ceremony and departure from Malta International airport. The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall ended their Malta trip with an engagement in Mdina before departing.
One more rare-ish brooch for the road! This is the third time we've seen this turquoise brooch following its debut last year. Turquoise can be a bit polarizing when it comes to fine jewelry, but this is a perfect example of how well it can work when it's done right. And, of course, this is the perfect end to a trip full of sparkly delights.

The Duchess of Cornwall ended her trip with an impressive dedication to her chosen flying bug theme: first dragonfly brooches, then a moth brooch, and now a sapphire and diamond butterfly brooch (yet a another piece we have not covered here).
Longtime readers will know that I generally CANNOT with the bug jewelry. But, go figure, Camilla has managed to wear three in a row that I find quite lovely. One of many reasons we had to add her to our little blog scope.

Recap Time!

Day 1: Prince Albert's Sapphire
Day 2: Mysterious aquamarine debut
Day 2, Dinner: Emeralds for days
Day 3: Turquoise fun

Favorite jewel moment for you? For me, well, nothing beats emeralds with my beloved pink topaz set for Camilla.

27 November 2015

Malta Visit: Day 2, CHOGM Dinner

The Queen attended the official gala dinner for the 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) at the Corinthia Palace Hotel in Attard, Malta. She was joined by The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, and The Duchess of Cornwall.
Day two and the jumpy claps just keep coming! On top of her interesting brooches during the day, The Queen continued to bring the jewel delight with another appearance in her glorious Cambridge Emerald and Delhi Durbar Parure!
British Monarchy Twitter
Queen Mary's impressive green stones had slept in the vault for several years before The Queen brought them back at last year's Irish state banquet. I thought we'd have a long wait to see them again, but I am delighted to be proven wrong. They look spectacular against her standard evening white ensemble.

The jumpy claps came from all directions, I might add. From her toast at the dinner, maybe my new favorite HM quote: "Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister of Canada, for making me feel so old!" (Here's the text of his toast, to which she was responding.)
Times of Malta video screencap. See the toasts on video (and some diamond sparkle) here.
Queen Mary's Emerald Art Deco Bracelet (not yet covered)
Diamond Evening Watch

The Duchess of Cornwall was also looking fab and she too brought out some favorite pieces. As expected, she stuck with her standard diadem, the Greville Tiara, plus one of my very favorite sets from her collection: her pearl choker with pink topaz and diamond clasp and the matching pink topaz and diamond earrings. These are gorgeous and they make a lovely and unexpected pair for her gray gown. She also wore The Queen's Royal Family Order.
Clarence House Twitter

Malta Visit: Day 2, CHOGM Opening Ceremony

The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, and The Duchess of Cornwall attended the opening ceremony of the 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) on the second day of their visit to Malta. Afterward, The Queen and The Prince of Wales hosted a reception for the new Commonwealth Heads of Government at San Anton Palace.
CHOGM Malta screencap
 For more: Vimeo opening ceremony recap, Zimbio gallery.
Day two brings us some brooch intrigue! {Insert jumpy claps here} This one looks like an aquamarine brooch with a diamond surround, and I think it is new to me...

What do you think? Ringing any bells for anyone? (And what should we name it here, huh? Update: I'm going with the Malta Aquamarine Brooch.) Let me know your thoughts!  Whatever it is, it is pretty. Oh my, I'd take this one off Her Maj's hands in no time.
CHOGM Malta Flickr/DOI-Omar Camilleri, click here for galleries
Anyway, she also wore this brooch and outfit, sans hat, for the reception after the opening ceremony.

Malta Aquamarine Brooch

I love The Duchess of Cornwall's outfit choice for the opening ceremony, which she paired with Everyday Pearl Pendant Earrings and the large version of her diamond-clasped four strand pearl chokers. And she must be in a bit of a buggy mood, because she followed up yesterday's diamond and sapphire dragonfly brooches with her diamond moth brooch (not yet covered here).

Also today, The Queen held a private audience with Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon at San Anton Palace.
Finally, this is another rare brooch for Her Majesty which happily reappeared last year: the Emerald and Diamond Celtic Knot Brooch.

We'll be back later with another post, for tonight is the fancy CHOGM dinner, and I'm ready for some sparkle...

26 November 2015

Malta Visit: Day 1, Arrival and Reception

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh arrived in Malta for a State Visit and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. They attended a ceremonial welcome with the President of Malta, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, followed by an evening reception hosted by the President at San Anton Palace.
Following an appearance while arriving for her earlier state visit to Germany, the Albert Sapphire is now 2015's official state visitin' brooch, I guess. Works for me. After wearing it on her arrival outfit, she switched it over to her evening outfit for the reception the President gave in her honor.
HM and the DoE were presented with a painting of the villa their old home on the island, and the memories continued (and will continue) to flow:

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall are also in Malta. The Duchess visited Mdina Glass as the couple followed their own programs for the first day.
Apparently it was a sapphire day all around! Camilla joined the party in her Sapphire and Diamond Dragonfly Clips from Van Cleef & Arpels.

They came along for the evening reception, and of course it's difficult to tell what jewels The Duchess may have been wearing (apart from one of her usual multi-stone bracelets, that is). I do like that green lace, though.

Photos:ITNSource video, via Getty Images

25 November 2015

Audience at Buckingham Palace

The Queen received the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, for a private audience at Buckingham Palace.
A brooch with special family history for a prime minister with special family history, I like it. (Plus, plenty of bonus shots including the photos sitting around the room, and I know some of you love to check those out.)

Photos:via Getty Images and CBC screencap

24 November 2015

General Synod Opening

The Queen, Supreme Governor of the Church of England, attended the inauguration of the Tenth General Synod. She was accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh.
I have to say, I think this Stewart Parvin coat/Rachel Trevor Morgan hat combo is one of Her Maj's best of late. There's a sophistication here, and I like her choice of taupe gloves (make a note, those of you that wonder why she only ever wears white and black).
It's easy to see why this favorite brooch got the nod today, though - anything else would have disappeared!

Photos: via Getty Images and Belfast Telegraph screencap

23 November 2015

Flashback: CHOGM Dinner, Uganda, 2007

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will accompany The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh later this week as they travel to Malta for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and a state visit. All four teamed up in Uganda for CHOGM 2007 as well, and when it came to The Queen's traditional banquet for Commonwealth heads, that meant double the tiara fun.

This was a big event for The Duchess of Cornwall two years after her marriage, and that was reflected in the jewels worn with her flattering blue gown: her standard Greville Tiara, the earrings from her Diamond Pear Drop Demi-Parure, and her public debut of the staggering Greville Festoon Necklace in its full five strand glory. She also had on her Royal Family Order, which she had worn for the first time the month before. This whole appearance belongs in the Camilla Tiara Appearance Hall of Fame, if you ask me.

The Queen wasn't too shabby herself: her usual Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara paired with the Antique Girandole Earrings and the Nizam of Hyderabad Necklace. (The Nizam necklace deserves a special honor for managing to be that sparkly despite being partially obstructed by the dress neckline, don't you think?) She also wore the Star of the Order of the Garter.

Needless to say, I am anxiously awaiting this year's dinner on Friday - especially since we missed Camilla at the last state banquet. Any jewel predictions or wishes?

Photos: via Getty Images

21 November 2015

Queen Mary’s Diamond Indian Bangle Bracelets

Queen Mary's Diamond Indian Bangle Bracelets
Among the jewels Queen Mary picked from her own collection to give to her granddaughter, Princess Elizabeth, as wedding presents in 1947 was this set of two bangle bracelets. Each features a solid row of diamonds set in gold and silver.
Queen Mary
According to the Royal Collection, the bracelets were one of Mary’s own wedding presents, a gift to her from the Bombay Presidency (earlier, they had been listed as a 1907 gift to Mary from the Maharajah of Bikaner, in Leslie Field's The Queen's Jewels). Other gifts given by Queen Mary in 1947 also came from her 1893 wedding: the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, the County of Cornwall Bracelet, the Devonshire earrings, the original jewels used to make Queen Mary's Stomacher, and the Dorset Bow Brooch.
The Queen, as Princess Elizabeth
The Queen has worn the Indian Bangle Bracelets, but more notably while she was still Princess Elizabeth. Her larger diamond bracelet options, such as Queen Mary’s Chain-Link Bracelet or Queen Victoria’s Diamond Bracelet, are more frequent pick for big events today.

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

19 November 2015

Visit to Birmingham

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh visited Birmingham, where they opened Birmingham New Street station and the Birmingham Dental Hospital and School of Dentistry.
The matching umbrellas are a staple of Her Maj's wardrobe, and yet they amuse me every.single.time. (I really should get out more.) All we needed here was a pink brooch to complete the Pretty in Pink ensemble, not that I object to the trusty Jardine Star.

Photo: WPA Pool via Getty Images

17 November 2015

Flashback: State Visit to Malta, State Banquet, 2005

Ten years ago, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh traveled to Malta to do just what they'll do again this month: attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), and combine that with a state visit. The trip had plenty of sparkly moments, but the crown jewel (heh) of the 2005 trip came at the state dinner hosted by President Eddie Fenech Adami.

Behold! The glorious Oriental Circlet. To date, this is the only time The Queen has worn this diadem in public, a fact which makes me both glad (that she wore it at all) and ever so sad (because I love this one, and doesn't it look perfect on her?).

Made originally for Queen Victoria and designed by Prince Albert, the ruby tiara was one of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother's signature jewels. But instead of wearing it just as her mother usually did, with Queen Victoria's Crown Ruby Necklace and Earrings, The Queen gave it her own spin.
She paired the tiara with Queen Mary's Ruby Cluster Earrings, the Baring Ruby Necklace, and a diamond and ruby bracelet and ring in Malta. We have yet to see her reunite the Crown Rubies and the Oriental Circlet, although my fingers remain crossed.

Photos: via Getty Images

13 November 2015

Luncheon for the Prime Minister of India, and Audiences

The Queen received the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, at Buckingham Palace during his visit to the United Kingdom. Her Majesty hosted a luncheon for the Prime Minister, after which they viewed a selection of items from the Royal Collection with ties to India.
It's been nearly a year since we saw the lovely Flame Lily, which is too long in my book! Gorgeous piece.

The Queen also held audiences at Buckingham Palace today.
For more: Zimbio gallery.
We're back to the brooch guessing game. My money's on the Women of Hampshire Brooch, do you concur? (Wonderfully interesting jewelry on our guest here, too. This is the Ambassador of Kyrgyzstan, Gulnara Iskakova, who was among those presenting their credentials to The Queen today.)

Photos:via WPA Pool/Getty Images

12 November 2015

Home Office Visit and Civil Service Awards Reception

The Queen visited the Home Office on the 10th anniversary of the Civil Service Awards, and later hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace for the Awards.
Civil Service/Crown Copyright
For more: Civil Service blog, Video on Youtube, Telegraph article.
A day of lovely blues and of old favorites for The Queen, starting with the Cullinan V on her blue Stewart Parvin coat during the day's visit and adding the Aquamarine Clips to her blue dress for the evening reception.

10 November 2015

Investiture and Audience at Buckingham Palace

The Queen held an Investiture at Buckingham Palace. She also received the Governor of Victoria for a private audience.
Why yes, that is Benedict Cumberbatch picking up his CBE from a Frosted Sunflower-bedecked Queen. Video of the ceremony below, and his remarks outside can be found in the link above for you interested parties:
The Queen wore the same thing for her audience today, click here for those pictures.

Photos:5 News screencap

08 November 2015

Remembrance Sunday

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied by The King and Queen of the Netherlands and other members of the Royal Family, attended the Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph, London. The service honors those that have died in armed conflicts.
As she does each year, The Queen selected one of her of diamond bow brooches to fasten her poppies for today's service at the Cenotaph. Queen Victoria's Brooch is actually not a regular selection here, because she often goes for one of the larger bow options. She wore the larger set of Queen Mary's diamond and pearl earrings, which is also not a usual selection for this event.
Ministry of Defence/Crown Copyright
Three Strand Pearl Necklace

Also unusual: The Queen invited another monarch to the ceremony. King Willem-Alexander was invited to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands.

Het Koninklijk Huis Facebook / BBC screencap
 The note, signed by both King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima, says: "In remembrance of the British men and women who gave their lives for our freedom. The Kingdom of the Netherlands will be forever grateful for the British role in its liberation."

Queen Máxima cut a striking figure in her large black hat as she joined Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, The Duchess of Cambridge, and The Countess of Wessex to watch the ceremony from the balcony above. (We'll talk more about this coat business tomorrow on the other blog.)

On another balcony, Princess Michael of Kent, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, and Princess Alexandra of Kent looked on. The Duchess and Princess Alexandra both wore military badges.

Ministry of Defence/Crown Copyright
In another first for the day, Prince Harry laid his own wreath. Though Harry has laid a wreath on behalf of his father in the past, this was the first time he has done so in his own right. He joined The Duke of York and The Duke of Cambridge, above.

Ministry of Defence/Crown Copyright
Apart from The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, other members of the Royal Family laid wreaths in groups this year to help shorten the ceremony, after discussions about cutting down the amount of time veterans are required to stand during the event. Above, The Duke of Kent, The Princess Royal, and The Earl of Wessex give their salutes together after placing their wreaths.

And finally, after the Cenotaph ceremony, Prince William took the veterans' salute at Horse Guards Parade (another first, I believe).

For more on Remembrance Sunday: BBC article and video, Zimbio gallery.

Photos:BBC video screencaps, unless otherwise noted

07 November 2015

Festival of Remembrance

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied by other members of the Royal Family, attended the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall, London.
I love when The Queen uses the Festival of Remembrance as a chance to wear a rare jewel, because it feels like an extra special tribute. She delivered this year with Queen Alexandra's Wedding Brooch, which reappeared in 2014 after not being seen for over forty years. She also wore the Bahrain Pearl Drop Earrings for the first time in a long time; they were last seen loaned to The Countess of Wessex. Adding to her pearl look were a double strand of large pearls, and her Pearl Evening Watch (which looks like it has shorter fringes around the face this time, but that could just be the angle). Her Majesty also wore a few additional diamond rings, as she often does in the evening.
BBC screencap

Engagement and Wedding Rings 
Diamond Rings

BBC screencap
This was the first appearance at the Festival of Remembrance for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, a welcome addition to the royal party with The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall currently in New Zealand.

Your requisite fashion notes: The Duchess of Cambridge wore black Dolce & Gabbana lace with a crystal poppy pin. The Countess of Wessex wore Roksanda Ilincic with a poppy clutch from Lulu Guinness and the badge of Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps, of which she is Colonel-in-Chief, and her own crystal poppy pin. The Buckley London poppy brooches worn by both royal ladies help support the Royal British Legion, so I'm always happy to see them given a little extra royal publicity.

BBC screencap
In addition to The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and The Earl and Countess of Wessex, a long roster of family members were present: The Duke of York, The Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, The Duke of Kent, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, and Princess Alexandra of Kent.

Royal British Legion Facebook
For a gallery with more of the Royal Family, see Zimbio here. For a gallery with more from the festival itself, see the Royal British Legion Facebook here.

06 November 2015

The Queen Mother's Diamond Thistle Brooch

The Queen Mother's Diamond Thistle Brooch
Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother was fond of perching brooches on her hats, particularly in her earlier years. In the World War II era, she often did this with the diamond Maple Leaf Brooch that we know today from multiple royal Canadian tours. Another favorite from the same time period was this diamond brooch with two thistles, the emblem of Scotland.
Queen Elizabeth wearing the brooch on her hat, 1944
Photo: Malindine E G (Capt), War Office official photographer/Imperial War Museum/Crown Copyright
On The Queen, we usually see thistle brooches in Scotland and not frequently outside of Scottish engagements. But her mother seems to have taken a different view, at least in some cases; just as Queen Elizabeth did not restrict her use of the Maple Leaf Brooch to Canadian occasions, she did not restrict her use of the Diamond Thistle Brooch for Scottish occasions.
The Duchess of Cornwall
Photo: Governor-General of New Zealand Twitter/Crown Copyright
We can assume this brooch passed to The Queen when her mother died in 2002. The Queen already has a selection of thistle brooches at her disposal (this one, for example, or this one), so she passed on the thistle love by loaning it to The Duchess of Cornwall. The Duchess debuted the brooch on a trip to New Zealand in 2015, and I hope we'll see it at a broader range of engagements in the future. I can't help but think it is the prettiest thistle brooch I've seen from the royal vaults, and I would love to see it more frequently.

5 November 2015: Visit to New Zealand

05 November 2015

Imjin Barracks Visit

The Queen visited several organizations including the Defence Business Services, NATO's Allied Rapid Reaction Corps, the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre, and the Medal Office at Imjin Barracks, Gloucester.
Ministry of Defence / Crown Copyright
For more: MOD Blog report, BBC report, Express report.
Well, this is certainly a bold background for the Grima Ruby Brooch, which is already pretty bold on its own. Maybe a little too much?

Photos:via MOD and Getty Images

04 November 2015

Luncheon for The President of Kazakhstan

The Queen, with The Duke of Edinburgh and The Duke of York, welcomed The President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, to Buckingham Palace during his official visit to the United Kingdom. The President was accompanied by his daughter, Deputy Prime Minister Dariga Nazarbayeva.
This visit is not without its controversy, but sticking strictly to our wheelhouse, I was thrilled to see this brooch again. Thanks to some lovely readers, I've recently been able to update the entry for the Gold Filigree Brooch and rename it, because we've identified its provenance: a Diamond Jubilee present from Singapore! Click the brooch name below to read more.

Photos:via Getty Images and ITNSource video screencap

02 November 2015

Flashback: Visit to Malta, 1967

Malta is a place with special personal significance for The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, thanks to long periods spent on the island between 1949 and 1951, when The Duke was stationed there with the Royal Navy and their life was less "royal" and more "normal". They've visited the country several times since.

When she visited in November 1967, she was the Queen of Malta, Malta having maintained her as head of state after gaining independence from Britain in 1964. (This lasted until 1974, when they became a republic.)

Video: The Queen's visit highlights
Many of the jewels brought along for the trip were pretty standard state visit picks, such as the Dorset Bow Brooch and the Cullinan V Brooch (worn with a sparkling badge underneath), but there were also some interesting and relatively new pieces at play.

We don't know much about the Diamond and Gold Rose Brooch, but this 1967 trip is one of its early - if not the earliest - appearances on The Queen. It seems it was only scarcely used until a burst of outings around 2012.

The Queen wore her Brazilian Aquamarine Parure on this trip, at a time when it looked slightly different - she wouldn't have the tiara modified to its current format until 1971. (She was also wearing her Garter insignia and Royal Family Orders, of course.)

A theater performance also signaled where The Queen was at in terms of her personal jewelry acquisitions: the Baring Ruby Necklace, itself acquired only three years prior, is often paired with the Burmese Ruby Tiara, but The Queen would not commission that ruby diadem until 1973. She wore it here with the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, her Art Deco Diamond and Ruby Bracelet, and Queen Mary's Ruby Cluster Earrings.

She also selected one of her favorite sparkling suites of jewelry to open Malta's parliament in grand style: Queen Alexandra's Kokoshnik Tiara, the Greville Chandelier Earrings, the George VI Festoon Necklace, and Queen Mary's Chain-Link Bracelet.

The Kokoshnik also went for a spin on the dance floor during one of the trip's evening events, paired with the Antique Girandole Earrings, the Coronation Necklace, and Queen Victoria's Bracelet, completing this short but sparkly visit.

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh's next trip to Malta is fast approaching: they'll travel there in late November for the 2015 session of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will also be along for the ride.

Photos: via British Pathe video screencaps and Getty Images