01 January 2018

2017: The Year in The Queen's Jewels

It's time! We're here to wrap up the year in The Queen's jewels, for the sixth year in a row. (Previously: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012.) Big brooch tally stuff, new stuff, rare stuff, tiara stuff, other stuff:

The Most Popular Brooches 
The Queen wore no fewer than 65 different brooches and badges this year, which - believe it or not  - has proved to be about average in the years I've been counting. Just one appearance is all it takes to separate the spots at the top of her most worn list. These are 2017’s most worn brooches (as always, this count is pulled from those public appearances cataloged here which included a brooch with a generally agreed upon identification):

Singapore’s gold and diamond gift to The Queen has been inching its way up the favorites list since its 2012 debut. It finally smashed its way to the top in 2017 - managing to run her old gold favorite, the Frosted Sunflower Brooch, off the road along the way.

The New Brooches
We know of two brand new brooches added to The Queen’s collection in 2017, a Czech garnet brooch gifted by the Czech President and the Sapphire Jubilee Snowflake Brooch from Canada. Both are still awaiting their public debuts.

The Rare Brooches
Embed from Getty Images
While this year didn’t really see any "new" mystery brooches appear, we did get new looks at several rare brooches:
--We finally got a great view of Queen Mary’s Thistle Brooch, worn in Scotland
--I didn’t think we’d ever see the Diamond Swan Brooch again, but it’ll reappear for a documentary to be aired in 2018.
--The Queen Mother’s Lily Brooch also reappeared in a new portrait this year. 
--We got a reminder that there are even more floral brooches in Her Maj’s stash when the Diamond Rose of York Brooch reappeared. 

The Most Significant Brooches of the Year
In the year of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation, the Maple Leaf Brooch was bound to have a few appearances, and it sure did: three, or four if you want to count the January 1st message for the anniversary which was filmed alongside 2016’s Christmas message (and if you count that one, you can add the Maple Leaf into the tie for 4th place in this year’s brooch race). The Australian Wattle Brooch racked up an unusual three appearances of its own this year. (We even got an appearance of the New Zealand Fern Brooch in 2017, for the Commonwealth realm hat trick.) In the year of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh’s platinum wedding anniversary, the Grima Ruby Brooch – a gift from Philip – seemed to be the designated symbol, appearing in their anniversary portraits as well as another occasion.

The Tiara Appearances
We ran a little low on tiaras in Britain in 2017. There were only two tiara appearances for The Queen, and since one was the Diplomatic Reception with no chance to see what she wore, we’re really down to just one: the Spanish state banquet in July. (But oh, what an appearance it was!) Two other appearances that would usually have included some sparkly headgear opted out in 2017: the State Opening of Parliament was in “dressed down” mode and Her Maj chose day dress for May’s Order of the British Empire Service.

The Loans of the Year
The past few years have seen the vaults open more and more for loans to other ladies in the Royal Family (as you'll see if you browse through our past yearly reviews). The Duchess of Cambridge seriously cleaned up in the loan department in 2017, debuting multiple new-to-her pieces:

The Queen's work load may be slowing down a bit, but the jewel action is powering full speed ahead. With a royal wedding and a new royal in-law added to the fold in 2018, I'm excited for another year of tracking the vault happenings. A sincere thanks and Happy New Year to all of you who join in the fun here!

What was your favorite sparkly moment in The Queen's year?