13 January 2016

Jewelry Additions from the Royal Gift List, 2015

The royal family released the annual royal gift lists today, reporting those items given to them as official gifts throughout the previous year. (They do this every January: 2014, 2013, 2012.) Buckingham Palace's list includes 92 official gifts for The Queen, among them a marzipan model of the Brandenburg Gate and a black handbag from her trip to Malta.

There are just a few jewelry items of note:
The Queen wears her HMS Ocean Brooch
Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery, Joel Rouse/ Ministry of Defence

Buckingham Palace also released gifts from other family members, including a door plaque that says "Princess Sleeping" in Welsh for The Princess Royal. The Countess of Wessex cleaned up on a trip to the Czech Republic, where she was given a jeweled brooch, an evening dress, three pairs of earrings, two brooches, and a crystal pendant. You can see one of her brooches at the Countess of Wessex Blog, and she wore the evening dress to the wedding of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia of Sweden.

In contrast to Buckingham Palace, which releases all official gifts, Clarence House releases only those given on official overseas trips. There are not many jewelry items listed for The Duchess of Cornwall, most probably of a smaller, more personal nature:
  • During her trip to New Zealand and Australia with The Prince of Wales, she received a pair of white gold earrings from the Mayor of Nelson, a brooch from the National President of the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association, a bracelet from an individual, a brooch from a “member of the public”, and a pewter ANZAC brooch from the Mayor of the City of Albany.
  • While visiting Ireland, she was given a pair of pearl earrings from an individual and a set of silver jewelry (a pendant and chain, earrings, and a bangle) from another individual.
  • She was also given a gold brooch from the Principal of the Claddagh National School. She promptly wore her Irish Claddagh Brooch for the next few days of the trip.
  • Listed among The Prince of Wales' gifts from his solo trip to the Middle East is a brooch from the Crown Prince of Kuwait, and I wonder if that was intended for his wife. He also received a gentleman's wristwatch and other gifts from the Crown Prince.
The Duchess of Cornwall wears her Irish Claddagh Brooch
Northern Ireland Office, licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Since only gifts given on overseas trips are published for The Prince of Wales and his family, and there were no such trips for The Duchess of Cambridge last year, there are no jewelry additions to report for her. Prince William (and other members of the family) were given plenty of gifts for Prince George and Princess Charlotte, though.

About official gifts: Official gifts are those received during an official engagement or in connection with an official royal role. These gifts are not the private property of the royal recipient. Members of the royal family can use these gifts for their lifetime; on their death, they are passed to the monarch, who will decide if they should become part of the Royal collection or continue to be used by the deceased's successors. The official gift policy was created in 2003 following issues with distribution of gifts; it can be read here.