15 April 2014

Investiture at Windsor Castle

The Queen held an Investiture at Windsor Castle.
Click here for more pics from the Daily Mail.
Angela Lansbury is the BEST. Celebratory Murder, She Wrote marathon, anyone? (PSA: The series is available to stream on Netflix.) Anyway, back to the topic of this blog: the brooch is hard to positively identify here, probably one of the ones with a pearl at the center.

Unidentified Brooch

Photo: @_AngelaLansbury twitter

13 April 2014

Flashback: Parliament Opening, Wellington, New Zealand, 1954

The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, opened Parliament in Wellington, New Zealand, in January 1954.
The Queen became the first reigning monarch ever to visit New Zealand when she arrived in December 1953. The New Zealand leg of the post-Coronation tour was more than a month long, beginning just before Christmas and ending at the end of January 1954.

To open a special session of Parliament, the Queen wore her glittering Coronation gown with a jewel combination that would also be seen opening Parliament in Australia: Queen Alexandra's Kokoshnik Tiara, the Coronation Necklace and Earrings, and a diamond watch, plus the Riband (secured with one of Queen Victoria's Bow Brooches), Star, and Lesser George of the Order of the Garter. Though she did not wear the New Zealand Fern Brooch she was given at Christmas for this event, her Coronation gown came complete with its own fern embroidery (seen above, top right).

This was the first of ten visits to New Zealand for the Queen. For a sense of how successful the tour was, have a look at the video below:

Video: The Royal Tour of New Zealand, 1953-54

Photos: NZ Parliament/Royal Collection/Archives NZ

11 April 2014

State Visit from Ireland Farewell, and Newbury Races

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh bid farewell to President and Mrs. Higgins at Windsor Castle at the close of the Irish State Visit.
I'm surprised we didn't see any appearance of the brooch she received on her visit to Ireland in 2011, but instead the last brooch of the trip was one from the Queen Mother's collection. No complaints, though - this was state visit was quite a feast for those of us with sparkly interests (a new brooch, a parade of emeralds, and even an extra event).

Engagement and Wedding Rings 

And later in the day...
The Queen attended Newbury Races at Newbury Racecourse.
She lost the Shell Brooch, donned one we haven't seen since this blog started, added an unfortunate hat, and indulged in one of her favorite pastimes. Click here for photos from the Daily Mail.

The Red Flower Posy Brooch

The Red Flower Posy Brooch
This brooch, a posy of small red flowers (possibly of rubies, or another material) on a long stem, is often said to have been a gift from the Duke of Edinburgh in the 1960s. It may have been in the Queen's collection for decades, but it is only rarely worn; in recent years, it has been paired with the same dark red coat and hat.

11 April 2014: Newbury Races

Thanks to Anne for adding more info.

Photo: Getty

10 April 2014

Northern Ireland Reception, New Zealand Portrait, and Organ Recital

Lots and lots going on. A triple event update:

As part of the ongoing State Visit from Ireland, the Queen hosted a Northern Ireland-themed reception at Windsor Castle which was attended by President and Mrs. Higgins.
Click here for an article from the Express.
This is unusual: Her Majesty normally participates in the welcome, state banquet, and farewell of a state visit these days, without extra events, so this certainly speaks to the importance placed on this particular visit. She's wearing the Jardine Star Brooch - usually a favorite, but hasn't been seen since last November!

Engagement and Wedding Rings 

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world... 
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge unveiled a new portrait of the Queen by New Zealand artist Nick Cuthell. The portrait was commissioned by the New Zealand Portrait Gallery to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee, and it will become a part of their permanent collection. The Queen sat for this portrait in October 2013.
A casual portrait in her standard day wear, but of course she is sporting the New Zealand brooch most recently loaned to the Duchess (and the Duchess echoed that fern motif with her Jenny Packham gown; click here for another article with photos). Prince William even made mention of the fern jewel in his speech, saying that "Her Majesty is portrayed wearing her silver fern brooch, which provides a simple but clear reminder of Her Majesty's deep affection for the people of New Zealand." So that's all kinds of aww.

Engagement and Wedding Rings 

And yesterday... 
On April 9, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh attended a recital to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Royal College of Organists at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.
Video, above; click here for a gallery.
She took a break from the Irish state visit for a regular engagement, and she took a break from the jewel intrigue, too, returning to her favorite Frosted Sunflower Brooch. But continuing in her trend of doing something a bit out of the ordinary, she opted for a double strand of pearls instead of her typical triple strand and a simple single pearl stud earring instead of her usual pearl and diamond combo. Oooh.

09 April 2014

The Emerald and Diamond Celtic Knot Brooch

The Emerald and Diamond Celtic Knot Brooch
The design of a traditional Celtic knot is echoed in this small brooch by lines of diamonds intertwining around a central emerald that appears to be a cabochon stone. Though its history is unknown at this time (to me, at least), the motif makes it easy to understand why the Queen added it to her Garter sash during the State Banquet for the President of Ireland, despite the fact that she was already wearing one significantly sized brooch.

8 April 2014: State Visit from Ireland

Photos: PA/RTÉ

08 April 2014

The Mappin & Webb Orchid Brooch

The Mappin & Webb Orchid Brooch
A gift from Mappin & Webb (jewelers, Royal Warrant-holding silversmiths, and home of the current Crown Jeweler, Martin Swift) in collaboration with Waterford Crystal, this brooch includes orchid flowers of hand cut Waterford Crystal with 66 diamonds and rose gold stamens. It was handmade by the Mappin & Webb team with the Crown Jeweler and was given in honor of the 60th anniversary of the Queen's coronation. The Queen debuted the delicate piece during the Irish state visit in 2014, a fitting choice since Mappin & Webb is a company with a long British history, and Waterford is a company with a long Irish history.

8 April 2014: State Visit from Ireland, Welcome Ceremony

Photo: PA