08 February 2016

Return to London

The Queen departed King's Lynn via train at the end of her Sandringham break.
A bit of a tease to wear a brooch and then almost entirely cover it up, isn't it? I shall not be deterred; you can juuuuuust tell that the Pearl Trefoil is under there. Anyway, this is the gray outfit debuted when The Queen and The DoE visited the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany last year, but I'm noticing the shine and all that zipper-y trim a lot more this time around. Change the color and it might even be festive. Sometimes a change in context really can change the whole outfit.

Photo: via Getty Images

07 February 2016

Church in Norfolk

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh attended church at West Newton, Norfolk, near the Sandringham estate.
This should be the last church appearance of this Sandringham break, and we're going out with another interesting brooch and another step away from her Everyday Pearls. Jaunty little hat flourish, no?

Photo: via Getty Images

06 February 2016

Visit From The Emir of Kuwait

February 5: The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh received Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah of Kuwait at Sandringham House for a meeting and luncheon.
We almost never see photos from engagements at Sandringham - we're only seeing this one thanks to the Kuwaiti side so far - so this is a treat. And a double treat, because we get to see Her Maj's sapphire and pearl brooch, plus one of her longer triple strand necklaces. I do love this brooch.

04 February 2016

Norfolk Hospice Opening

The Queen formally opened The Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House, near Sandringham.
As though she knew we needed something to cheer us on the day that the planned March state visit from Spain has been cancelled/postponed (argh, political problems in Spain), Her Maj emerges and brings out a new-ish brooch for us to gaze upon.

This is the third time we've seen the Mappin & Webb Orchid Brooch since its 2014 debut, and one appearance per year is actually pretty good for a new brooch. It has a bigger impact in video (see below) than I would have guessed, don't you think?
Much like Scottish engagements signalling the end of the Balmoral holiday, The Queen will soon be back to work after her Sandringham break. She usually stays until about the anniversary of her father's death, February 6th.

Photo:via Getty Images

02 February 2016

The Duchess of Cornwall at the British Asian Trust Gala

We need some serious bling right now, wouldn't you agree? The Duchess of Cornwall has us covered:

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall attended a reception and dinner for the British Asian Trust at the Natural History Museum, London.
For more: Zimbio gallery.
I was extremely excited to see Camilla's full Pear Drop Diamond Demi-Parure back in action tonight! It's been entirely too long since we last saw that glorious diamond necklace on display. The Duchess also wore her favorite diamond bracelet, usually said to have been The Queen Mother's.
I'm not quite as sold on the lace Bruce Oldfield gown, which has a bit of an awkward waist transition from that blue underlay, but the overall sparkly feel just can't be beat, no?

Pear Drop Diamond Demi-Parure
Diamond Bracelet
Engagement and Wedding Rings 

Photos: via Getty Images

31 January 2016

Church at Sandringham

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh attended church at Sandringham, Norfolk. The Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence were also present.
Another round of the brooch guessing game: it looks like we have Queen Victoria's Bow Brooch here (there is another photo in the article linked in the tweet above).

26 January 2016

The Greville Bow Brooch

Looking at the contents of the Greville bequest, it's immediately notable how few of the Greville jewels can be identified, and it's immediately hard not to imagine what wonders may have gone unworn since the Hon. Mrs. Ronald Greville left her treasures to Queen Elizabeth in 1942. The case of the Greville Bow Brooch makes such speculation even harder to resist.
Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, wearing the Greville Bow Brooch
At a Royal Film Performance in 1961, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother wore an enormous diamond bow brooch. This may have been the only time she wore it in public. It didn't surface again until the 2012 publication of The Queen's Diamonds by Hugh Roberts, where you can find it beautifully pictured in its full glory with even more information.
Video: The 1961 Royal Film Performance
Roberts traces the brooch back to a 1900 commission from Boucheron by Mrs. Greville, who had a diamond tiara dismantled and made into another tiara (perhaps the one that would ultimately become what we know as the Greville Tiara) and what was probably this bow brooch. The large stones and large size would have fit right in with the rest of Mrs. Greville's collection, which was inherited by Queen Elizabeth in 1942.
When Queen Elizabeth died in 2002, the brooch was inherited by The Queen. It has yet to reappear in public. Given that the brooch is larger than most of the brooches in use by the royal family, it's not surprising that it has been left in its box. Still, it's certainly a jewel made to make a statement, and I hope we'll see that statement made again sometime in the future.

Photos: via Getty Images,  British Pathe screencaps