30 July 2016

Flashback: The Wedding of The Duke and Duchess of York, 1986

As I mentioned on the other blog yesterday, we'll be spending some of our Vault time this Balmoral break taking in-depth looks at a few of the outfits included in Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style from The Queen's Wardrobe, the exhibit currently on at Buckingham Palace (and, in separate versions, currently at the Palace of Holyroodhouse and soon to come at Windsor Castle). What better way to start than with a wedding thirty years ago, and a tiara freshly featured.

Sarah Ferguson turned to Lindka Cierach for her wedding gown and Garrard for a tiara when she married Prince Andrew on July 23, 1986. Meanwhile, her new mother-in-law turned to Ian Thomas for an ensemble in cornflower blue silk and a matching saucer hat with silk chiffon flower trim. The outfit featured a long top with a wrap detail and buttons fastening it on one shoulder, over a silk dress with a knife-pleated skirt. It was an ensemble with a lot of movement and flow - something that came in quite handy as The Queen famously chased after a young Prince William, who went running after the carriage as the newlyweds departed for their honeymoon.

It was also, however, an ensemble that didn't lend itself well to a brooch, which is how The Queen came to attend a huge family event without her signature jeweled accessory. She compensated by wearing a serious double strand of pearls, the historical Hanoverian pearls (as is almost always the case with pearl necklaces, however, they're very difficult to pin down). She wore the diamond-set clasp to the side, adding a little sparkle in the absence of a brooch.

The Queen wore the earrings from Queen Alexandra's Wedding Parure, another upgrade from her daily choices. The Queen Mother upgraded as well, using the Greville Peardrop Earrings during the day, as she liked to do for special events. The grandmother of the groom also wore a triple strand of pearls and a favorite sapphire and diamond brooch that she received from Queen Mary as a wedding gift.

The Queen's outfit is dated by now, of course (though there are some similarities between the pleated bottom of this outfit and more current outfits, such as the peach number worn to the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics). The hat, on the other hand, I could easily see fitting right in with the style of many of The Queen's younger family members today. When you transcend fashion, as she does, you never really go out of style.

This outfit is on display at Buckingham Palace's summer exhibition, Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style from The Queen's Wardrobe, open now through October 2, 2016. 

20 July 2016

Audiences at Buckingham Palace

The Queen held audiences at Buckingham Palace.

Still taking care of business in London, and still bringing us the brooch treats. Another look at the Triple Diamond Bar Brooch here, though I must say this is not its best canvas. (Diamonds this big really shouldn't be allowed to blend into anything, no?)

19 July 2016

Audiences at Buckingham Palace, and Private Birthday Party

The Queen held audiences at Buckingham Palace.

This is a "quick, cram everyone in before I leave for my holiday" sort of day if I ever saw one: HM and Prince Philip hosted Governor-General designate of New Zealand Dame Patricia Reddy, The Queen held a private audience with the President of Latvia, and she invested three people with the Order of Merit (Sir James Dyson, Professor Dame Ann Dowling, and The Lord Darzi of Denham, if you're curious).

Engagement and Wedding Rings 

Later, The Queen hosted a private party at Draper's Hall with friends, family, and some members of her Household for her 90th birthday.
See photos at: BT and the Daily Mail.

One last birthday hurrah before she heads off to Balmoral! Some of you thought that the debut of the Diamond and Pearl Navette Brooch earlier this year indicated that it may have been a 90th birthday present. Is this reappearance at her birthday party confirmation, or is she leading you on? It's anybody's guess.

Engagement and Wedding Rings 

15 July 2016

Queen's Award for Enterprise Reception

July 14: The Queen gave a reception for the Queen's Award for Enterprise at Buckingham Palace.

The Cullinan V is making a serious run for top brooch of the year - it's already on appearance #7! (It was 2015's top brooch with just eight catalogued appearances for the whole year.) Her Maj also looks to be wearing her simple pearl stud earrings again; given that these are her "casual" earrings, I'm thinking she might already be in the Balmoral state of mind.

13 July 2016

East Anglian Air Ambulance Base Opening, and Audiences at Buckingham Palace

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh officially opened a new operational base for East Anglian Air Ambulance at Cambridge Airport, where The Duke of Cambridge is a helicopter pilot.
For more: Zimbio gallery.
This is a pretty perfect brooch for this outfit, picking up on a little of the floral dress beneath. (This photo's for those of you that were entertained by William dwarfing his grandparents at the Thistle service last week, by the way.)

A visit with her grandson was supposed to be the highlight of Her Maj's day. Instead, it was a quick trip back to Buckingham Palace as the revolving door of prime ministers spun once more:

David Cameron had an Audience of The Queen, and tendered his resignation as Prime Minister. The Queen the received in audience Theresa May and requested her to form a new Administration.

Welcoming your thirteenth British prime minister does call for something a little larger on the brooch front.

08 July 2016

Holyrood Week: Visit to Musselburgh Racecourse and Hamilton & Inches

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh visited Musselburgh Racecourse to mark its 200th anniversary. They also visited Hamilton & Inches, Edinburgh jewelers and silversmiths.

Ah, so that's why she didn't just go ahead and wear the Albert Sapphire to church on Sunday. WELL PLAYED.

The royal couple picked up a few more gifts (a Post-it note holder - apparently HM's a fan of sticky notes, but then who isn't - and a silver bowl from Hamilton & Inches, with a kilt pin for The DoE) and spent some time at the races, where her horse Elementary finished third. Not a bad day for Her Maj, I should think. And she got to say hello to Cruachan IV, the Shetland pony mascot of the Royal Regiment of Scotland! (See video here.)

Racing UK screencap

07 July 2016

Holyrood Week: Order of the Thistle Service and Archers' Hall Portrait

The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, The Duke of Cambridge (The Earl of Strathearn, in Scotland), and The Princess Royal, attended a Service for the Order of the Thistle at St. Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh.

The last Thistle service - in 2014; this one is held every other year - brought us a most unusual selection of ruby earrings with this elaborate green velvet getup. But this year, HM was back to playing it safe with diamonds and pearls.

To go with the full costume of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, it appears we have Queen Mary's Cluster Earrings (surprisingly easy to confuse with other earrings when in use, those are), plus The Queen's favorite pearl evening watch.

Queen Mary's Cluster Earrings
Pearl Evening Watch

Later, The Queen viewed a new portrait of herself commissioned to mark her 90th birthday, at Archers' Hall, Edinburgh.

Appropriate to unveil a portrait featuring the Thistle gear on Thistle day, I'd say. The new portrait is by artist Nicky Philipps and was commissioned by the Royal Company of Archers, The Queen's Bodyguard for Scotland. The Queen sat for the portrait at Windsor Castle, wearing her Thistle robes and Queen Victoria's Pearl Drop Earrings.

06 July 2016

Holyrood Week: Visit to Dundee

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh visited Dundee for a day of engagements at Slessor Gardens, the Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science at the University of Dundee, the Michelin tire factory, and the City Chambers.

Another classic, as Holyrood Week rolls on. Tomorrow comes the event I've been most looking forward to: the Order of the Thistle service! Cross your fingers for emeralds.

05 July 2016

Holyrood Week: Garden Party, Audience, and Investiture

The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, The Earl of Wessex, and The Princess Royal, attended a Garden Party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
ITN screencaps
For more: Video here, photos here and here.

Here's the Jardine Star making its third appearance of the year (on an outfit that would look smashing with the Australian Wattle Brooch, I can't help but note), and here's HM adding another item to the list of 90th birthday presents:

The Queen also held an audience and an investiture today at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

I have not even a guess to wager here.

04 July 2016

Holyrood Week: Audiences and Reception

The Queen received the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, for an audience at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

This brooch is really hard to make out (there's a video here, tell me what you think), but I daresay I'm more interested in that portrait of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother with the Order of the Thistle and the scrumptious Greville Emerald Necklace anyway. 

Update: Having seen the day's Court Circular, I feel quite certain that the brooch is the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Badge. The Queen also had an audience with members of the regiment.

Also today, The Queen hosted a reception to recognize public service in Scotland.

This brooch is much easier to make out, because there isn't one. Alas!

03 July 2016

Holyrood Week: Church at Canongate Kirk

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh attended church at Canongate Kirk, Edinburgh.

I never quite understand the point of wearing this one without its pearl pendant (when one has Albert's Sapphire to fulfill one's needs for a sapphire framed in diamonds), but this works very well here. Just keeping us on our toes, I suppose.

02 July 2016

Holyrood Week: Opening of the Scottish Parliament

The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, officially opened the Fifth Session of the Scottish Parliament, and delivered an address to the Parliament.
Scottish Parliament screencap
For more: BBC article.

How to step around a sticky political situation without getting sticky, the queenly way: "We all live and work in an increasingly complex and demanding world, where events and developments can, and do, take place at remarkable speed; and retaining the ability to stay calm and collected can at times be hard. As this Parliament has successfully demonstrated over the years, one hallmark of leadership in such a fast-moving world is allowing sufficient room for quiet thinking and contemplation, which can enable deeper, cooler consideration of how challenges and opportunities can be best addressed."

Video: The Queen's speech

Add to that an outfit in a truly tranquil shade and a brooch from the original Keep Calm and Carry On era, and you've got a mission accomplished. It's odd that her lapel so clearly covers the brooch, but it isn't the first time that's happened to this jewel.

Queen Mother's Palm Leaf Brooch

01 July 2016

Holyrood Week: Arrival and Ceremony of the Keys

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh arrived at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, at the start of their annual week of Scottish engagements. Her Majesty was presented with the Keys of the City which she returned in the traditional Ceremony of the Keys. A Guard of Honor mounted in the Forecourt of the Palace was reviewed.

Once again, the Royal Regiment of Scotland Badge is the pick for HM's official arrival in Edinburgh, where she will undertake a week of engagements in Scotland while based at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. That's all very appropriate, since she reviews troops during the ceremony. But just as I was ready to say this lavender outfit would be perfection with an amethyst brooch...

I saw that she already had me covered when she stepped off the train. Bless.

Royal Regiment of Scotland Badge