30 June 2017

Audiences at Buckingham Palace

The Queen held an audience at Buckingham Palace.

The Queen should casually wield a sword in all her photo ops, don't you agree? (She is, of course, about to knight the Governor General of Papua New Guinea, Sir Robert Dadae, at this moment.)

Anyway, brooch stuff: thankfully, the sapphire of Queen Mary's Russian Brooch makes its presence known even on a floral background.

Engagement and Wedding Rings 

June 29: The Queen held audiences at Buckingham Palace.

She was at it yesterday too, but there's no brooch glimpse at all. Womp womp.

29 June 2017

Queen's Young Leaders Awards

The Queen presented awards and hosted a reception for the Queen's Young Leaders at Buckingham Palace. Prince Harry and The Duke of York were also present.

Royal Family

A...pair of brooches from when she was a young leader to honor today's young leaders? Sure, we'll go with that. With two appearances in June, she's giving the Aqua Clips a solid start for the year, but they have a long way to go if they want to crawl onto the 2017 brooch favorites list.

For your bonus entertainment, HM has left you with a prime Caption This! opportunity:

27 June 2017

Funeral of Countess Mountbatten of Burma and Audiences at Buckingham Palace

The Queen, joined by other members of the Royal Family, attended the funeral of Countess Mountbatten of Burma at St. Paul's Church, Knightsbridge.

Several members of the Royal Family gathered to say goodbye to Patricia Knatchbull, who was Prince Philip's first cousin, The Queen's third cousin, and The Prince of Wales' godmother. The group included Her Majesty (who rarely attends funerals herself) plus The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of York, The Countess of Wessex, The Princess Royal, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, The Duchess of Gloucester, The Duke of Kent, Prince Michael of Kent, Princess Alexandra of Kent, Lady Sarah Chatto, and Lady Helen Taylor.

Also today, The Queen held audiences at Buckingham Palace.

That makes two brooches for the day, and they're both pretty big ones. For those of you that wanted some Cambridge emerald action at Ascot, here it is, just a few days late.

25 June 2017

Royal Windsor Cup

The Queen presented prizes for the Bentley Motors Royal Windsor Cup Final, at Guards Polo Club.
With Prince Philip back by her side on his first outing since his recent hospital stay, a smiley Queen participated in one of her quieter annual engagements. (The couple were also supporting Lady Louise Windsor, who was driving her carriage at the Guards club today.) Her Maj is apparently very fond of a rose brooch for polo events, I am just noticing; she wore this brooch for the same event last year and for the Cartier Queen's Cup Polo in 2015, and she wore her lesser known rose brooch for the Cartier Queen's Cup last weekend.

24 June 2017

Royal Ascot, Day 5, Plus a Wrap Up of the Remaining Royal Fashions

The Queen honored Ascot Races with her presence today.

A somewhat rare brooch closes out Ascot for us this year; the Irish Blossom hasn't been seen since 2014. It accompanied The Queen's fourth Stewart Parvin/Rachel Trevor-Morgan outfit combo of the week, a magenta hat and coat with a pistachio and rose dress underneath.

Three Strand Pearl Necklace

With no winners among this year's runners, The Queen wasn't a lucky owner this year. How did you do in the Ascot Brooch Stakes? Did you have any winners?

Day 1: Singapore Peranakan Diamond Jubilee Brooch on a lime green outfit
Day 2: The Flame Lily Brooch on yellow
Day 3: The Small Pink and Diamond Brooch on (what else?) pink
Day 4: Jardine Star Brooch on a muted jade background
Day 5: The Irish Blossom Brooch on another pink coat

There weren't any surprises this year, which is always what I hope for. But I suppose our streak of Ascot brooch debuts had to come to an end at some point. The Flame Lily was the best brooch of the week in my book.

We've been cataloging the rest of the royal fashions from Ascot over at the other blog (Day 1 here, Days 2 & 3 here). Royal attendance really tapered off on Days 4 & 5, so let's wrap up the rest right now:

Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie usually bring along their mother for one Ascot day. That day was Day 4, and orange accessories stole the show for both Eugenie (wearing a floral L.K. Bennett dress with a fab pop of orange on her shoes and a hat that I really wish was worn at a different angle) and for Beatrice (in her second Claire Mischevani outfit of the week with a Vivien Sheriff hat and a lovely orange clutch to tie it all together).

Sarah, Duchess of York wore a hat previously seen on Eugenie and continued the Amanda Wakeley theme started by Beatrice on Day 3, sporting not only a similar dress from the designer but using the same apparent shirt-under-dress strategy. Listen, I have a CRAZY idea, it's really complicated but see if you can follow me: if you want a dress with an elbow-length sleeve...buy a dress with an elbow-length sleeve.

Princess Beatrice turned up on Day 5 too, once again wearing Amanda Wakeley. And once again her accessories stole the show, adding interest with a colorful belt and carrying a purse that would make her granny proud.

Princess Marie-Chantal Instagram

One last royal sighting for Ascot week: Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece! Smallest hat I've liked this week, and several rounds of applause for pepping up a simple white outfit with some long necklaces.

23 June 2017

Royal Ascot, Day 4

The Queen honored Ascot Races with her presence today.

I have a theory that Her Maj plans at least one Ascot outfit each year that is specifically designed to confound the bookies taking bets on her hat. How many colors will they have to pay out on this time?, she deviously giggles to herself as her carriage rolls into the ring. Nobody was betting on "muted jade", as Rachel Trevor-Morgan hat and Stewart Parvin called their creations, that's for sure. So they paid out on turquoise, green, and blue. 

The brooch would've been an easier guess, because we're back to the Jardine Star and back to her old favorites. I detect a hint of pink in the dress beneath (this is a really lovely color combo, actually) and that's all I need to suggest that the  Williamson Diamond Brooch would have been a superb choice here. On this outfit, and on all the rest of the outfits. Yeah, I'm just gonna keep on suggesting it.

22 June 2017

Royal Ascot, Day 3

The Queen honored Ascot Races with her presence today. 

Some of us thought Day 1's lime green outfit would have been fun with a pink brooch. Clearly, The Queen had other plans, and saved her pink sapphire brooch for use with this vibrant fuchsia outfit. Note how closely the floral dress pattern matches the flowers on this Angela Kelly hat, even more precisely than usual.

Also getting in on the colorful fun: The Duke of York, stepping in with The Duke of Edinburgh at home recuperating from his infection and The Prince of Wales elsewhere, who saved up his best pink accessories to match her. 

Three Strand Pearl Necklace

Once again, highlights from more family members still to come at the other blog!

21 June 2017

State Opening of Parliament and Royal Ascot, Day 2

The Queen, accompanied by The Prince of Wales, traveled to the Palace of Westminster to open the Session of Parliament.

As promised, this year's State Opening of Parliament was a "dressed down" version, thanks to the speedy schedule. Business as usual meant that those of us hoping The Queen's jewels might reflect a more special occasion were disappointed - not that one could ever be too terribly disappointed with an 18.8 carat diamond, of course, but she stuck with her usual day pearls and earrings.

Cullinan V Brooch

What was not business as usual: The Prince of Wales stood in for The Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Philip was hospitalized Tuesday night for an infection, according to a Buckingham Palace spokesperson: "The Duke of Edinburgh was admitted to King Edward VII Hospital in London last night, as a precautionary measure, for treatment of an infection arising from a pre-existing condition. Prince Philip is in good spirits and is disappointed to be missing the State Opening of Parliament and Royal Ascot. The Prince of Wales will accompany The Queen to the State Opening. Her Majesty is being kept informed and will attend Royal Ascot as planned this afternoon."

And so The Queen carried on, sporting a delphinium blue coat with a blue and yellow floral silk dress and matching hat adorned with flowers by Angela Kelly. An outfit which, many have noted, sorta kinda dresses her up like...the European flag. Because if you're gonna make The Queen schlep down to London on an Ascot day, you're gonna get trolled.

I watched The Queen's Speech on 2x speed, which is exactly how I imagine it went in Her Maj's head. She had to get to Ascot, and she had to make it in time for an outfit and brooch change (people bet on those hats, you know, it just won't do to be tipping them off early!), so speed.it.up.

The Queen honored Ascot Races with her presence today.

Recruiting The Duchess of Cornwall to help continue the day's yellow and blue theme, The Queen wore another ensemble designed by Stewart Parvin and Rachel Trevor-Morgan. She swapped in the Flame Lily Brooch for an extra bit of diamond sparkle.

Flame Lily Brooch

The Duchess of Cornwall repeated her outfit from Princess Charlotte's christening as she continued to display her resplendent collection of pearl chokers. The Duchess of Gloucester wasn't slouching on the jewel front either; check out her sneaky use of diamond and ruby clip brooches at the neckline. Elegantly piled on, just how I like it.

Four Strand Pearl Choker with Large Diamond Clasp
Everyday Pearl Pendant Earrings 

As always, review of the rest of the family's fashions is still to come over at the other blog, so stay tuned.

20 June 2017

Royal Ascot, Day 1

The Queen honored Ascot Races with her presence today.

A color splash from Stewart Parvin and Rachel Trevor-Morgan kicks off this year's Ascot outfit parade. I confess, I was a little afraid at first peek that Her Maj might have repeated her bummer of an Ascot Day 1 brooch pick from last year - the Frosted Sunflower Brooch - but she went with a newer favorite in the golden family instead: the Singapore Peranakan Diamond Jubilee Brooch. Lime green, I suppose, isn't the easiest color to coordinate with.

While my vigil for the return of the Williamson Diamond Brooch continues, The Duchess of Cornwall kindly stepped in to fulfill my need for a pink jewel by wearing her pink topaz choker - a.k.a., one of my favorite Cams jewels. And Chaz even chipped in with a pink tie! A+ Ascot coordination.

Five Strand Pearl Choker with Pink Topaz Clasp
Everyday Pearl Pendant Earrings 

Stay tuned to the other blog for highlights from the other royal family members present, including some more jewels from Her Maj's vault on loan!

18 June 2017

The Diamond Rose of York Brooch

The Queen wears her Diamond Rose of York Brooch, 2017 
One of many diamond floral brooches in The Queen’s jewel vault, this diamond rosette brooch features a diamond center surrounded by two sets of petals, five petals to each layer. In shape and color it resembles the White Rose of York, the heraldic symbol that was combined with the Red Rose of Lancaster to create the Tudor rose emblem (hence the name I have used here for the brooch).

The Queen wears the brooch in 2004 
While the exact provenance of this brooch is unconfirmed, an heirloom from Queen Mary seems likely. The wedding gifts from Mary’s 1893 marriage to the future George V included two diamond brooches (as noted by Royal Magazin): one from the bridegroom, and one from the West Yorkshire Regiment. Since the bride's new title was The Duchess of York, these ties make sense. There are more than two possible rose brooches seen on later members of the royal family that could be Mary’s wedding gifts – or, of course, from other sources or from later in Mary’s life. With such possible symbolism and such a simple floral design to start, it’s no surprise that multiple examples exist.

Other diamond rose brooches: one in Princess Margaret's collection (left, sold in 2006), and one given from Queen Mary to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother (right)
In addition to the brooch worn by The Queen, a York rose brooch was among the jewels auctioned from the estate of the late Princess Margaret in 2006. A diamond rose brooch was also included among the jewels given from Queen Mary to the future Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother as a wedding gift in 1923; Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon was also titled The Duchess of York at the beginning of her marriage. The Queen Mother’s brooch is thought to match one worn today by The Duchess of Cornwall. There is also a five petal diamond flower used as a clasp on Queen Mary's Pearl and Diamond Floral Bracelet now worn by The Queen.

Whatever its provenance, this pretty brooch is a rare one to see on The Queen. She has others of similar theme and shape, such as the Nizam of Hyderabad Rose Brooches and the Cartier Diamond Rose Clip Brooch, as well as many other brooches to pick from in the diamond floral category.

With thanks to Franck for the 2004 appearance.

18 June 2017: Cartier Queen's Cup Polo

Cartier Queen's Cup Polo

The Queen attended the Cartier Queen's Cup Final at Guards Polo Club, Windsor Great Park.

Well, well, well. I do believe we have a brooch debut on our hands - but since there are sooooo many diamond floral brooches floating around, I'll wanted to see what everyone thinks before I do a brooch post for it. (And, update: this brooch has indeed been worn in the past, with thanks to Franck.)

This one is a diamond rosette with five petals, which is not enough petals and not enough shape to be either the Cartier Diamond Rose Clip Brooch or one of the smaller Nizam of Hyderabad Rose Brooches. It most closely resembles a diamond rosette brooch worn by The Duchess of Cornwall, which was most likely one of The Queen Mother's wedding gifts that came from Queen Mary and may have been one of her wedding gifts; Queen Mary had at least two. It's also very close to a diamond rose brooch sold when Princess Margaret's jewels were auctioned (and that brooch was also likely from Queen Mary). It's one big tangled web of diamond floral brooches, y'all.

Any thoughts or leads, friends? The Daily Mail site does have a couple more pics, if you're so inclined.

17 June 2017

Trooping the Colour

{Check out the rest of the Trooping family fashions here at the other blog!}

Her Majesty, accompanied by members of the Royal Family, was present at The Queen's Birthday Parade on Horse Guards Parade at which The Queen's Colour of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards was trooped.
Sgt Rupert Frere/MOD Crown copyright 2017

One of my favorite QEII outfits, twice in one month! What a treat. Here, of course, it's styled with her usual choice for Trooping the Colour: the Brigade of Guards Badge, representing the five Household Regiments.

PO(Phot)Owen Cooban/Crown Copyright 2017

One change to this year's ceremony: both The Duke of Edinburgh and The Duke of Kent ditched their uniforms in favor of morning dress and top hats. On a day so hot several guardsmen fainted, I don't think anyone can blame a 96-year-old and an 81-year-old for opting out of bearskin hats and heavy uniforms.

ITN screencap

The Queen also issued a statement today and they observed a minute of silence for the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Hitting just the right note, as always.

16 June 2017

Grenfell Tower Relief Center Visit and Audiences at Buckingham Palace (Plus, a New Brooch!)

The Queen and The Duke of Cambridge visited a relief center for victims of this week's Grenfell Tower fire in London.

These two make a great team, and this brooch was a great choice. The City of London Lily Brooch was a gift to Princess Elizabeth in 1947 when she was granted the Freedom of the City. It's not a common selection for The Queen (we last saw it in 2012, the only time it has been worn since this blog started) so it feels like an intentional bit of London pride.

The Queen also held an audience at Buckingham Palace.

This is the dress that goes under her blue coat from the relief center visit, with a different brooch. My original thought here was the Diamond Art Deco Double Clip. The shape is also close to the Triple Diamond Bar Brooch, but I'm calling it for the Double Clip.

This audience was with the Czech president and his family, and - unless Google translate is doing me wrong here - I believe Her Majesty picked up another brooch for her collection.
A Bohemian garnet brooch and a silk scarf! The brooch has four rows of garnets and the comments on that tweet point out that a very similar model is available for purchase at this web shop.

15 June 2017

Upper North Street School Commemoration

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh attended a memorial service marking the 100th anniversary of the World War I bombing of Upper North Street School, which was the first daylight bombing raid by plane on London. They also visited the rebuilt school, now named Mayflower Primary School.
For more: Zimbio gallery.

A brooch that must be tied to The Queen's own memories of another world war seems somewhat fitting here, right? The return of the Aquamarine Clips continues our recent streak of favorites making late 2017 debuts; we haven't seen these popular twin baubles since November 2016. Maybe they've been gone so long she's forgotten that she usually wears them a little ore staggered than this. These are basically on top of each other.

Royal Family

(I liked this unusual top view of her Rachel Trevor-Morgan hat.) Anyway, I say good, let's get these faves out of the way now and *fingers crossed* make way for something new for Ascot...

So, yes, SPEAKING OF ASCOT: The State Opening of Parliament was delayed a couple days and will now be held on Wednesday, June 21. This puts it right during Ascot. According to Richard Palmer at the Express, though, Her Maj is determined to finish up her parliamentary duties in time to make the first race of the day. She's done it before, in 2001 (when a bit of the pomp was actually cut out to get her out of there quicker!). Do NOT mess with Ascot, people.

13 June 2017

Anniversary Train Ride and Companions of Honour Centenary

Double event, double outfit, double brooch day!

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh celebrated the 175th anniversary of the first train journey taken by a British monarch, replicating Queen Victoria's 1842 journey from Slough Railway Station to London Paddington. 
Royal Family

Her Maj must not have been feeling very literal today, or surely we would have had a Queen Victoria brooch to remember Queen Victoria's train trip. 

But a close up of the Nizam's even better, no? There's so much dimension to these roses. The tiara they came from would have been a sight to see in action.

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh attended an Evensong service and reception at Hampton Court Palace, London, to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Companions of Honour. 
Royal Family
For more: Zimbio gallery.

For her second outfit and brooch of the day, The Queen brought back the Jardine Star. Much like the recently reappeared Cambridge Pearl Pendant, this perpetual favorite is making its first appearance in 2017 after a lengthy hiatus. We haven't seen it since last October! It returned on an outfit it's seen before.

Royal Family

Quite a game of who's who, this gathering of the Order of the Companions of Honour. The order was founded by George V in 1917 as an award for outstanding achievement.

Jardine Star Brooch

10 June 2017

Place Your Bets in the 2017 Ascot Brooch Stakes!

The busiest time in The Queen's year is upon us, and that means that Royal Ascot will be here before we know it. The races run Tuesday, June 20th through Saturday, June 24th this year. (Anyone else note with a giggle that The Queen was willing to ax Garter Day in favor of the State Opening of Parliament this year, but not a single day of Ascot shall be touched? #priorities)

Ascot 2011, in the Williamson Diamond Brooch
Royal Ascot is about the horses, it's about the hats, and - around here, at least - it's about THE BROOCHES. We've seen old favorites and rare picks, and once in a while we get something really special.

In fact, The Queen has used Ascot to debut something new or new-to-her every year since 2013: the Emerald and Diamond Sarpech Brooch in 2013, the Queen Mother's Aquamarine Art Deco Brooch and the Double Swan Brooch in 2014, Queen Victoria's Crown Ruby Brooch in 2015, and the Cartier Diamond Rose Clip Brooch in 2016.

We'll also see The Duchess of Cornwall there for a bit - probably displaying a full range of pearl choker splendor, as is her wont - as well as a rotating array of other family members.

So let's get into the spirit of the event once again. Here is our big Royal Ascot flashback from the past several years, should you wish to waste some time weigh the odds carefully. Place your bets here...

Which brooches do you think we'll see? And, more entertainingly, which brooches and other jewels are you wishing to see? 

Me, I just want the streak of debuts to continue. (Have anything new up your sleeve for us, Your Maj? Pretty pretty please?) If I can be greedy beyond that, it's been a few years since we've seen the Williamson Diamond Brooch. I miss it so...

08 June 2017

Audiences at Buckingham Palace

The Queen held audiences at Buckingham Palace.

It's been over a year since we last saw the Cambridge Pearl Pendant Brooch in action! Did you notice its absence? Did you miss it? I wonder what it did with all its vacation time...

07 June 2017

Audience at Buckingham Palace

The Queen received the Governor of Western Australia for a private audience at Buckingham Palace.

Maybe a missed opportunity for the Australian Wattle Brooch - what isn't a missed opportunity for the Australian Wattle, amirite - but instead we have the Pearl Triangle in its second appearance of the year.

06 June 2017

Flashback: State Visit to Spain, 1988

After yet another postponement, the 2017 Spanish state visit to the United Kingdom is on for July 12-14. That means we're on for coverage of the last state visit exchanged between the two countries.

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh visited King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia in October 1988, returning the trip the Spanish royal couple took the the U.K. in 1986. The Queen brought with her a roster of her favorite day brooches, so we'll focus instead on two glittering evening events.

The Queen used the Delhi Durbar Parure for the big state banquet, wearing the earrings, necklace, and bracelet. But rather than continue the theme with the Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara in its emerald setting, she stuck to diamonds and the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara.
Having exchanged lower orders at their last meeting, the two sovereigns used this opportunity for some upgrades. King Juan Carlos was given the Order of the Garter; The Queen is wearing the Order of the Golden Fleece on its red bow. (The announcement that she was granted the Collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece was issued in 1989.)

For Queen Sofia, it was another chance to wear the big Fleur de Lys Tiara, her usual choice when other monarchies came to visit.

For the rest of the Spanish royal family, it was a smorgasbord of tiaras - and unmistakably 80s fashions, too. Infanta Elena wore the Spanish Floral Tiara (close up here). Infanta Cristina wore the Prussian Diamond Tiara (close up here). A baby-faced future King Felipe was given the Royal Victorian Order.

Another glittering night on the tour saw some rubies and diamonds - the earrings and necklace from her Ruby and Diamond Swag Demi-Parure - plus something a little more rare:
A non-tiara hair ornament for Her Maj! This was not the only time in history she used one of Queen Victoria's Hair Wheat-Ear Brooches as a barrette, but they were few (another was in 1991, in the United States). For a trip where everybody involved is a descendant of Queen Victoria, it was a nice little touch. Fingers crossed, the state visit to come will involve a nice touch or two as well...

03 June 2017

Epsom Derby

The Queen, accompanied by Princess Alexandra of Kent, attended Investec Derby Day at Epsom Downs Racecourse.

Aren't these two a delightfully bright pair? The very picture of spring, they are. The Queen accented her second sunshine yellow Stewart Parvin coat and Rachel Trevor-Morgan hat combo in as many weeks with a delicate sprinkling of diamonds, courtesy of the Singapore Peranakan Diamond Jubilee Brooch.

When she takes her coat off, Her Maj usually transfers the brooch over to her dress, but this one doesn't seem to have made the jump.

01 June 2017

Buckingham Palace Garden Party

The Queen and other members of the Royal Family held a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.
For more: Zimbio gallery.

The Queen wore this ensemble to a garden party back in 2014, which gave me an opportunity to praise it as one of the best in her current outfit rotation. And now I get to say it once more with feeling, because she's swapped the Aquamarine Clip Brooches for the Queen Mother's Aquamarine Art Deco Brooch - a piece that has rapidly overtaken its clip cousins as my favorite of Her Maj's aquamarine brooches. Excellent.

Royal Family