31 May 2016

Aberdeen Airport, and New Annie Leibovitz Portraits

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh departed from Aberdeen Airport after a weekend at Balmoral.

Not jewel news today, but a few happenings of mild interest for Her Maj. First, she and Prince Philip were spotted leaving Scotland after a weekend getaway to Balmoral; second, we have two new portraits from her birthday photoshoot with Annie Leibovitz. Several pictures by Leibovitz - including that charming display of The Queen with the youngest members of the Royal Family - were already released on HM's birthday.

Vanity Fair
The new-to-us snaps come courtesy of Vanity Fair magazine, which has a feature on Her Maj in the new issue. The cover shows one, a cozy scene with The Queen's four dogs (Willow, Vulcan, Candy and Holly). In this gallery you'll find the second, where she is pictured with The DoE. The cover photo is particularly excellent, I think - the pink flowers really give it a little something extra.

26 May 2016

The Royal Artillery Badge, and the Royal Artillery's 300th Anniversary

The Queen wearing the badge of the Royal Artillery
The Queen has been Captain General of the Royal Regiment of Artillery since she took the throne in 1952. As with other regiments, she has a brooch version of their cap badge. This badge bears their mottos, Ubique (Everywhere) and Quo Fas et Gloria Ducunt (Where Right and Glory Lead), with diamonds and enamel details.
Badge example
The brooch is worn to regimental events, such as the one held today.

The Queen, Captain General, visited the Royal Artillery on the occasion of their 300th anniversary, Larkhill, Wiltshire.
And she wore the brooch while reviewing her troops like a boss from her custom Range Rover, as one who bears the title of Captain General should. A boss in pink summer tweed (a coat by Karl Ludwig and hat by Angela Kelly), with all the usual pearls included.

Royal Artillery Badge

25 May 2016

Audiences at Buckingham Palace

The Queen held audiences at Buckingham Palace. She also hosted the Governor-General of New Zealand, Sir Jerry Mateparae, and his wife, Lady Janine Mateparae, for lunch.

Even with this lovely shot the brooch is hard to pick out, which made me laugh. Still, I believe we have the Pearl Trefoil here. And I believe that's a gift for HM that Lady Janine is carrying...wonder what she got...

24 May 2016

The Diamond and Pearl Navette Brooch

The Queen wearing the Diamond and Pearl Navette Brooch
Debuted at a May 2016 Buckingham Palace garden party, this brooch is centered around a large diamond in a diamond setting with circular palmette-like motifs that show an Art Deco design influence. The outside of the brooch is uniquely lined in pearls, and the whole piece has an interesting marquise/oval ("moval") or navette shape (hence the name I have chosen to use here).
The Royal Family
It does not seem that any further details on the brooch's provenance are immediately available. It has a modern look to it, Deco design features and all. Since it debuted right after her 90th birthday, many have guessed it was a birthday present. The Queen may (or may not) have hinted at this herself, wearing it for her private 90th birthday party in its second appearance. We will have to wait and see if more information becomes available.

4 December 2019: Audiences at Buckingham Palace
29 September 2019: Church at Balmoral
24 July 2019: Audiences at Buckingham Palace
22 May 2019: Sainsbury's 150th Anniversary
1 May 2019: Audiences at Buckingham Palace
23 September 2018: Church at Balmoral
26 August 2018: Church at Balmoral
26 June 2018: Queen's Young Leaders Awards
15 May 2018: Buckingham Palace Garden Party
20 February 2018: Visit to the Royal College of Physicians
4 July 2017: Holyrood Week: Audiences
14 October 2016: British Red Cross Portrait Unveiling
19 July 2016: Private 90th Birthday Party
24 May 2016: Buckingham Palace Garden Party

Buckingham Palace Garden Party

The Queen and other members of the Royal Family held a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.

Literally just the other day, I was thinking to myself that it has been ever so long since we've had something NEW on the scene - and poof! Here we go. (Guess we can add mind reading to Her Maj's list of powers.) This is a brooch debut today, so break out your jumpy claps! She's ending her Buckingham Palace garden party season with a bang. (More in the brooch entry linked below.)
Three Strand Pearl Necklace

Plenty of members of the Royal Family were on hand for garden party backup: The Duke of Edinburgh, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie of York, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, and The Duke of Kent.
Well, the lovely simplicity of the York sisters at yesterday's Chelsea Flower Show has flown the coop. But somebody had to bring a little color and print to the party, and I'm glad they did.

23 May 2016

Chelsea Flower Show

The Queen and other members of the Royal Family visited the Chelsea Flower Show.

Breathe easy, troops: we've made it another year without The Hairnet. We did, however, get our mandatory yearly appearance of the Chelsea Iris Brooch, Her Maj's Diamond Jubilee gift from the Royal Horticultural Society. The brooch includes a yellow diamond, tourmalines, amethysts, sapphires, and diamonds in white gold.

Photo: The Royal Family
(How cool is that display?!)

Three Strand Pearl Necklace

As always, The Queen was joined by several of her family members at the show. A few of my faves tomorrow on the other blog.

21 May 2016

Audience at Buckingham Palace

May 20: The Queen presented composer Oliver Knussen with The Queen's Medal for Music during an audience at Buckingham Palace.

I think the angle may be playing some tricks here. Brooch thoughts, friends?

Unidentified Brooch

19 May 2016

Buckingham Palace Garden Party

The Queen and other members of the Royal Family held a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.

Doesn't The Duke look particularly dapper today? This is a sharp tie. The Queen's minty ensemble is...hmm, but the Cullinan V can be spotted from a mile away, so that's all as it should be.

Three Strand Pearl Necklace

Also in attendance...
This choker used to be more of a special occasion thing for The Duchess of Cornwall, and I'm extremely glad to see it becoming an everyday selection this year. The petite Prince of Wales feathers brooch she wore on her wedding day is a nice touch. (Though I must say I'm a little dubious on the rest of the outfit, which you can see here.)

Photos: The Royal Family
And last but not least: The Prince of Wales, The Princess Royal, The Duke of Kent, and Princess Alexandra of Kent! Princess Alexandra's looking fresh and nearly as sporty as one can in a massive garden party hat, with that striped scarf on.

18 May 2016

State Opening of Parliament

The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, traveled in State to the Palace of Westminster to open the Session of Parliament. The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall were also in attendance.

Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee Necklace took a break from the State Opening last year (after appearing in 2013 and 2014), but it's back on top this year, accompanied by Queen Victoria's enormous pearl drop earrings. She concealed any present bracelet under her gloves, though an evening watch was spotted on one wrist.

UK Parliament via CC BY-NC 2.0
As always, the Collar and Great George of the Order of the Garter adorned Her Majesty's robe once inside Parliament. The Duke of Edinburgh wore the same, layered over the dark green Riband of the Order of the Thistle and the many other decorations adorning his uniform.

SkyNews screencap

George IV State Diadem (worn arriving and leaving)
Imperial State Crown (worn during the speech)
Queen Victoria's Pearl Drop Earrings
Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee Necklace
Diamond Evening Watch
Collar and Great George of the Order of the Garter

UK Parliament via CC BY-NC 2.0
What was new this year for The Queen? She took the lift on arrival, avoiding the 26 stairs at the Sovereign's Entrance. Buckingham Palace said it was a "modest adjustment" for her comfort, but some are calling it the most public concession to her age yet. Well, she's not immortal (alas!).

UK Parliament via CC BY-NC 2.0
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall were once again in attendance; they've attended every year since 2013. Charles wears the same set up as his father, with the Garter Collar over the Thistle sash, and plenty of other uniform decorations to boot.

The Duchess of Cornwall repeated her look from last year's State Opening, right down to the details: same outfit, same jewels (see last year's post here). The outfit and the oblong brooch anchoring her sash were both new last year, but she's used this tiara/earring/choker combo every year since she started attending. I think this is both her trying to take a back seat to the proceedings, and just the most appropriate combination she has for a state event that is also a daytime event.

UK Parliament via CC BY-NC 2.0
 Oh, but this dress does look good on the steps, does it not? This top coat/skirt thing is fabulous.

Greville Tiara
Everyday Pearl Pendant Earrings
Four Strand Pearl Choker with Large Diamond Clasp
Art Deco Diamond Brooch on her shoulder
Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II
Star, Riband, and Badge of the Royal Victorian Order

Video: The Queen's Speech

Announcement of New Order of the Garter Appointments

This is not an appearance by The Queen, but is worthy of note here anyway: Buckingham Palace announced that Her Majesty has appointed two new Garter Knights.

The Queen has been graciously pleased to appoint Lord Shuttleworth, KCVO and Sir David Brewer, CMG, CVO, JP to be Knights Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter.

Lord Shuttleworth is Chairman of the Council of the Duchy of Lancaster; Sir David Brewer is a former Lord Mayor of London and former Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London.

This honor is in The Queen's gift (without Prime Ministerial advice). The Order of the Garter can have a maximum of 24 Knight and/or Lady Companions at any one time; today's announcement brings the total to 23, with one available spot remaining. Appointed members of the Royal Family and international monarchs do not count toward this 24 Companion limit.

Announcements to the Garter are typically made on St. George's Day, so this was a bit of a surprise. No reason was given for the change in date, but the announcement is effective from April 23 (St. George's Day). We'll see these new Knights installed on Garter Day, which will be June 13th this year.

17 May 2016

The Duke of Lancaster's Regimental Memorial Dedication

The Queen, Colonel-in-Chief, attended the dedication of The Duke of Lancaster's Regimental Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire.

The story many articles are picking up here is that The Queen wiped a tear from her eye during this ceremony. While I think headlines are often a little too overenthusiastic in picking up on any such gesture, it would be totally understandable if emotion did get the best of her today.

Anyway, with regards to what we do here, of course this occasion called for the appropriate regimental brooch. Not only is The Queen Colonel-in-Chief of the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, she holds the actual title of The Duke of Lancaster, so of course she had just the right badge on hand. Details in the brooch post linked below.

Photo: Sgt Jamie Peters RLC, Crown Copyright

The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment Badge

Cap Badge of the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment
The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, formed in 2006 with the amalgamation of three different regiments, is represented by a badge featuring a red Lancaster rose and a Fontenoy laurel with a crown on top and a scroll on the bottom reading the regiment's motto, Nec Aspera Terrent (Difficulties be Damned).
The Queen is The Duke of Lancaster and is the Colonel-in-Chief of the regiment. She has a brooch version of the badge, which appears to be adorned with white and red stones, to wear on regimental occasions.

17 May 2016: The Duke of Lancaster's Regimental Memorial Dedication

Photos: Wikimedia Commons, Getty Images

15 May 2016

The Queen's 90th Birthday Celebrations at Windsor

The Queen, accompanied by other members of the Royal Family, attended the final night of her birthday celebrations at Windsor.

HM is wearing her Turquoise and Diamond Brooch tonight! It looks lovely with her Angela Kelly outfit in sea green with a lace overlay. She stuck to her usual day pearls and earrings, which is somewhat surprising given that this was a black tie event.

Many members of the Royal Family are present tonight, including The Duchess of Cambridge, who is wearing diamond chandelier earrings loaned to her by The Queen and seen several times before. Princes William and Harry are wearing the red-trimmed dinner jackets that are known as the Windsor uniform, worn only at Windsor Castle. (Read more about its history here.)

It looks like The Duchess of Cornwall is again wearing her Five Strand Pearl Choker with Pink Topaz Clasp, and I'm feeling ever so lucky to have two appearances in one week.
It isn't only the British royal family in attendance tonight. Royal Windsor Horse Show regular The King of Bahrain is seated next to The Queen, and The Landgrave of Hesse is seated next to Kate, and his wife seated between William and Harry. Seated right behind The Duke of Edinburgh was his nephew, Prince Ludwig of Baden.

The show closed with some VIP riders on a few of The Queen's horses: The Earl of Wessex, Lady Louise, The Princess Royal, and Zara Tindall! A lovely birthday surprise, and a wonderful end to an entertaining evening.

The Queen also met the performers at an earlier reception, which was shown on the broadcast. She wore the Flower Basket Brooch:

The birthday celebration is available to watch for a limited time 
on ITV's player, if you have access.

Photos: ITV Screencaps unless otherwise noted

14 May 2016

Royal Windsor Horse Show

The Queen attended the Royal Windsor Horse Show at Home Park, Windsor.

As usual, The Queen went casual for a few days to browse around the Royal Windsor Horse Show, where she looked just as entertained as we all are that her prize for a winning horse was a Tesco gift card. Just what she needed!

She was also spotted the following day (Friday), again in casual mode with her engagement and wedding Rings and one of her casual watches.

The RWHS usually brings a brooch or two as well.

A photo posted by Kent Farrington (@teamkpf) on

To present the King's Cup to American show jumper Kent Farrington, a brooch we haven't seen in three years came out of hiding: the Gold Lace Work Brooch, worn alongside her Pearl Stud Earrings and a double strand of pearls.

UPDATE: On the final day, The Queen presented prizes again, wearing the Aquamarine Clip Brooches. You can see photos at the Daily Mail. (With thanks to Jelena.)

12 May 2016

The Duchess of Cornwall at a Buckingham Palace Garden Party for Barnardo's

I am here for any and all appearances of my favorite pearl choker from The Duchess of Cornwall's collection, so let's talk about today's garden party.

The Duchess of Cornwall, President, hosted a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace to mark the 150th year of the Barnardo's charity, supporting vulnerable children and young people.
The Queen gave special permission in her birthday year for a few additional garden parties to be held, and this is one of them. By the way, in the photo above she's walking with designer Bruce Oldfield, who is the Vice President of Barnardo's. He's also the designer of this repeated pink suit, which is great because it brings out appearances of a) this necklace that I love, and b) one of her more fabulous Philip Treacy hats.

"C" Charm Necklace Underneath
Barnardo's Pin

Photos: The Royal Family
The Queen wasn't present for the garden party, but she was well supported by Princess Alexandra of Kent (wearing a pearl choker of her own) and The Duchess of Gloucester (skillfully using some ruby clips to tie the color of her hat into the rest of her outfit). 

(Oh, and The Queen herself? She was in casual mode at the Windsor Horse Show today. The show usually brings a few such sightings, so we'll round 'em up later on. Sunday will be the big birthday show, for which she and The Duke of Edinburgh will be accompanied by The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry.)

10 May 2016

Parliamentary Addresses and Buckingham Palace Garden Party

The Queen hosted a reception for representatives from Parliament on the occasion of her 90th birthday, where Humble Addresses from the House of Commons and the House of Lords were presented to Her Majesty.
 For more: Zimbio gallery.

So much talk of politicians - who said what, who wasn't there - but we're here to talk about Her Maj and her fabulous brooch selection. Two fabulous brooch selections for the day, in fact. Prince Albert's Sapphire was also her choice when she attended a cabinet meeting during the Diamond Jubilee year.

Engagement and Wedding Rings 

Later, The Queen and other members of the Royal Family hosted a garden party at Buckingham Palace.
For more: Zimbio gallery.

This is the first garden party of the year for The Queen (Princess Alexandra hosted the actual first one over the weekend), and this is the perfect garden party ensemble. I love this outfit, and it's a nice background for the Flame Lily Brooch.

(Funnily enough, this was apparently just a day to get caught on camera saying the truth of what's behind the diplomatic front. The Queen was heard to remark on the rudeness of the Chinese officials at last year's state visit.)

The Duke of Edinburgh, The Duke of York, The Countess of Wessex, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, and Princess Alexandra of Kent were also present. The Countess of Wessex wore Emilia Wickstead, The Duchess of Gloucester wore an intriguing set of jewels, and Princess Alexandra wore a favorite brooch not unlike The Queen's own Six Petal Diamond Flower Brooch.
Royal Family Twitter

07 May 2016

Flashback: The Wedding of Princess Margaret and The Earl of Snowdon, 1960

The Queen’s outfit for the wedding of her sister, Princess Margaret, and Antony Armstrong-Jones on May 6, 1960 was in some ways a departure from her usual outfits – and, ultimately, would mark a departure from a certain style of royal dress codes.
Norman Hartnell dressed the bride in her sublime white gown (which you can read more about here) and dressed her reigning sister in an ensemble designed to complement. (He also, of course, dressed all of the rest of the principal women of the Royal Family, because he was indeed the royal couturier extraordinaire). Taking a step away from the elaborate embroidery that often adorned Hartnell’s full-length outfits for The Queen, the dress is simple turquoise blue silk taffeta and silk tulle with guipure lace on the top and down the back. Lace also adorns the matching bolero jacket. The hat was topped by roses as a nod to Princess Margaret Rose.
Royal Collection Trust/Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
The Queen’s jewelry marked the formality of the occasion. Two larger strands of pearls, the larger version of her pearl and diamond button earrings, and a bracelet and watch were worn, as well as the True Lover's Knot Brooch. Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother came decked out in some of her favorite pieces: the Greville Peardrop Earrings, Queen Alexandra’s Wedding Parure Necklace, and a brooch.
Princess Margaret’s wedding was the last such occasion for which the royal women would wear long day dresses. Even then, it was already slightly less formal than it had been for The Queen’s own wedding in 1947, where the women also wore their order sashes. This type of dress code, once rather common among royal houses for special day events, has continued to die out over the years. But it still lives on in some monarchies: the Danish, Spanish, Dutch, and Japanese houses are among those who keep this modern sort of court dress for certain occasions.

This outfit is currently on display as part of the exhibit Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. The exhibition is the largest display yet of The Queen's fashion, and runs at Holyroodhouse from April 21 - October 16, 2016, at Buckingham Palace from July 23 - October 2, and at Windsor Castle from September 17 - January 8, 2017.

06 May 2016

Berkhamsted School Visit and Audience at Buckingham Palace

The Queen, Patron, visited Berkhamsted School, Hertfordshire, to celebrate its 475th anniversary.

A perfect brooch selection, this is - in color, style, and size. Well done, Your Maj.

May 5: The Queen received the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, for a private audience at Buckingham Palace.

Another audience, another brooch staple.

04 May 2016

The Duchess of Cornwall's Magic Alhambra Malachite Necklace and Earrings

The Duchess of Cornwall, an avid Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry collector, unveiled a new addition to her collection in May 2016.
Embed from Getty Images
At a reception for British Oscar winners, The Duchess of Cornwall debuted a striking necklace and earring set in Van Cleef & Arpels' Alhambra motif. A staple of the famed Parisian jewelers since 1968, the clover-esque motif has been interpreted in many different designs and materials. The pieces worn by The Duchess use vibrant green malachite to fill in the quatrefoil shapes, which are framed with gold and connected by gold chains.
The Duchess' necklace has multiple strands and could be one of the longer models, wrapped around more than once. When the malachite version of the design was reintroduced in 2013, necklaces from both the Vintage Alhambra collections (which uses motifs of the same size) and the Magic Alhambra collections (using varying sizes) were released. Camilla's version is from the Magic Alhambra collection, with motifs of multiple sizes.
A long Magic Alhambra necklace (left), and a double strand Vintage Alhambra Necklace (right)
The Duchess has either a long necklace wrapped around twice, or a double strand necklace, which looks more likely. The retail version of the long Vintage Alhambra necklace, as an example, includes 20 motifs and is listed for $17,600 currently; 10 motif versions are also available.

Camilla's malachite earrings are also from the Magic Alhambra collection, featuring three motifs each. The earrings are listed for $9,350 currently. She also owns this earring design in the diamond and white gold version, which we first saw in 2012. I've always loved those earrings for being among the few long enough to be seen from underneath her hair, and the malachite is such a fun addition to her collection. With its bright color and plentiful striations, this is a stone with a lot of personality.

24 May 2016: Visit to Northern Ireland
4 May 2016: Reception for British Academy Award Winners

Photos: Getty Images/ITN screencaps/Van Cleef & Arpels

Audience at Buckingham Palace

The Queen received Baroness Scotland at Buckingham Palace, on her appointment as Commonwealth Secretary-General.

Back in London after Easter Court at Windsor, and back to a Cullinan. Not bad.