19 July 2017

The Sapphire Jubilee Snowflake Brooch

Attending an event at Canada House to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada's confederation today, The Queen added another brooch to her collection to celebrate her own milestone anniversary.

The Sapphire Jubilee Snowflake Brooch
Sgt Johanie Maheu, Rideau Hall
The Governor-General of Canada, David Johnston, presented The Queen with the Sapphire Jubilee Snowflake Brooch from Canada. The brooch recognizes Her Majesty's Sapphire Jubilee in 2017, marking 65 years on the throne.

Sgt Johanie Maheu, Rideau Hall
Appropriately, it does so with sapphire stones. The sapphires contained in the brooch come from a deposit of sapphires discovered in 2002 on near Kimmirut on Baffin Island by brothers Seemeega and Nowdluk Aqpik. Coming from Canada's only known deposit of sapphires, these Beluga sapphires are stones that have a natural blue color that does not require heat to enhance.

Hillberg & Berk
The brooch includes 48 sapphires of varying sizes, shapes, and colors, weighing 10.19 carats in total. The blue stones are arranged with the darkest blue colors at the center, surrounding a diamond dome. The sapphires fade into lighter colors as they approach the edge of the brooch, creating an ombré effect. The stones are surrounded by more than 400 diamonds from northern Canada, weighing 4.39 carats in total, and the brooch is set in 18K Canadian white gold.

Hillberg & Berk
The design, inspired by the Canadian Arctic, is a one-of-a-kind snowflake shaped like the North Star. The brooch was designed and crafted by Hillberg & Berk. The Canadian jewelers also created the Saskatchewan Tourmaline Flower Brooch that was gifted to The Queen in 2013. The center diamond dome around which the snowflake is based is a special Hillberg & Berk touch, recalling their signature Sparkle Ball collection.

Hillberg & Berk
The Sapphire Jubilee Snowflake Brooch measures 61 mm tall and 66 mm wide, or about 2.5 inches square. It's slightly larger than the Maple Leaf Brooch, which is 55 mm x 50 mm, and is right in the size range of The Queen's usual favorite brooches.

The Queen receives the brooch at Canada House from the Governor-General
Royal Family
The Queen smiled as she received this stunning brooch in its beautiful wooden box. She has worn her other Hillberg & Berk brooch on several occasions, and I hope she will be just as fond of this one. It would be a perfect choice for a Christmas service, but I'd love to see it much sooner.

Visit to Canada House

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh visited Canada House, London, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada's confederation.
Royal Family

Surprise, surprise: the Maple Leaf Brooch is back! I know some of you will join me in wishing for a little more Canada brooch variation - she has the Enamel Maple Leaves Brooch plus a smaller diamond maple leaf brooch, if she wanted to stick to the leaf theme - but this one is certainly the best known Canada link in the collection. And it could be a good long while before we see it again, once the 150th anniversary events are done.

Royal Family

The Queen actually picked up another new Canada brooch during today's event! Check out her new Sapphire Jubilee Snowflake Brooch here.

18 July 2017

Audience at Buckingham Palace

The Queen received David Johnston, Governor-General of Canada, and his wife Sharon Johnston during a private audience at Buckingham Palace where he relinquished his appointment as Governor-General of Canada.

I'm picturing a giant countdown clock at the palace, ticking away the moments until Her Maj finally gets to depart for Balmoral. But first, there is more Canada business to take care of: receiving the outgoing Governor-General here, and a reception tomorrow at Canada House. Gotta polish up that Maple Leaf Brooch one more time...

16 July 2017

The Duchess of Cornwall's 70th Birthday Portrait

A new portrait of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall by Mario Testino was released to mark The Duchess' 70th birthday on July 17th.
Mario Testino/Clarence House

If Camilla collected any serious gems for her milestone birthday, none were on show for her official birthday portrait (which, to be fair, was taken back in May). The portrait's very much a reflection of her day-to-day jewel style, though, showing her favorite earrings and a favorite selection from her collection of signature pearl chokers. I'm sure she was plenty bedecked for her private birthday party at Highgrove on Saturday, anyway.

I'll just be over here waiting for a portrait of these two in their full gala splendor to be released. Waiting and waiting some more...

14 July 2017

State Visit from Spain, Farewell

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh bid farewell to King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain, at the end of their State Visit to the United Kingdom.
For more: Zimbio gallery.

"What's that you said up there? You're leaving? Already??"

Well, SIGH. That most fabulous of State Visits is over. With an elegant ballerina-inspired ensemble for Queen Letizia, classic pearls for Her Maj, and a tie fit to make a librarian swoon for Philip, they said their goodbyes.

Can we get another monarchy-to-monarchy state visit on the Windsor schedule real quick like? Before I go into withdrawal?

13 July 2017

New Scotland Yard Opening

The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, officially opened the new headquarters of the Metropolitan Police at New Scotland Yard, Victoria Embankment, London.

Several people have commented on how quickly The Queen is reusing her outfits lately, and this is no exception; it was used for a garden party in May. (It was worn the day after the Manchester terrorist attack. Relatedly, if perhaps coincidentally, this visit was originally scheduled to take place the day after the Westminster attacks in March, and was postponed to now.)

Royal Family
Once again, The Queen's brooch choice has been influenced by the golden buttons on this Stewart Parvin coat, and she's selected the Singapore brooch. It really has become a modern favorite, this brooch.

12 July 2017

State Visit from Spain, State Banquet

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, along with other members of the Royal Family, hosted a state banquet at Buckingham Palace for The King and Queen of Spain during their State Visit to the United Kingdom.

My wish for the Spanish state banquet was the Oriental Circlet and Queen Victoria's Crown Rubies. (Which is...pretty much my constant wish.) My prediction was that we'd get at least something from Queen Victoria, you know, because of the family ties and all. Her Majesty, however, is full of surprises.

House of HM the King

It's not just the Brazilian Aquamarine Parure that surprises me - and that is, by itself, a surprise; we haven't seen the tiara used since 2011 - it's the dress! There's color on The Queen's dress, are you seeing this? For someone so dedicated to her white dresses, even this amount of embroidery is a departure. Anyway, with all of this, she's wearing Spain's Order of the Golden Fleece (the red bow on her shoulder).

Order of the Golden Fleece

CasaReal Screencap

 Meanwhile, we are very much back to Business As Usual for The Duchess of Cornwall's state banquet gear: the same choker she wore for the welcome ceremony, with her regular diamond tiara. There is, however, a new pair of earrings! Another pair from Van Cleef & Arpels, and there's more info in the link below. 

Four Strand Pearl Choker with Large Diamond Clasp
Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II
Star, Riband, and Badge of the Royal Victorian Order
 Art Deco Diamond Brooch on her shoulder, previously worn
Diamond Bracelet, not yet covered here but regularly worn

CasaReal Screencap

I went into detail on The Duchess of Cambridge over at the other blog, but her loans require mention here too. Mainly, this is the first loan of the Ruby and Diamond Floral Bandeau Necklace, which the palace referred to today as the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Bandeau Necklace. It's one I've been hoping to see on her, as I know many of you also have. A treat!

Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara
Collingwood Pearl and Diamond Earrings (from the private collection of the late Diana, Princess of Wales)
Ruby and Diamond Floral Bandeau Necklace
Diamond Bracelet (possibly one of the two she's borrowed from The Queen in the past)

That's that. Again, more in depth coverage and coverage of others in up in full at the other blog, so check it out!