22 May 2015

The Duchess of Cornwall's Irish Claddagh Brooch

While on a trip to Ireland and Northern Ireland with The Prince of Wales this week, The Duchess of Cornwall picked up a new addition to her brooch collection.
The Duchess of Cornwall's Irish Claddagh Brooch
During a visit to the Claddagh National School in Galway, Ireland, The Duchess of Cornwall was presented with the gift of a Claddagh brooch. Known best in the iconic ring design, these traditional Irish jewels include two hands (representing friendship) on either side of a heart (representing love) which is topped by a crown (representing loyalty).
These brooches are available on the Dillon's website in Gold (€345) and Silver (€75).
The gold brooch is from Jonathan Margetts of Thomas Dillon, the Irish jewelers that hold the oldest license to make original Claddagh rings. The company presented Queen Victoria with one of their rings on her visit to Ireland in 1849. It's a classic design associated with Ireland and which has a history tied to the Galway area, making it a very appropriate gift for this royal visit.
It was also apparently a gift very much appreciated by this royal visitor. "She told me she had always wanted a piece of Claddagh jewellery, and I told her to wear it in good health," Mr. Margetts told the Irish Independent afterwards. And Her Royal Highness was quick to demonstrate it: The Duchess wore the brooch the day after it was presented and for the next two days as well, as their tour moved on to Northern Ireland. A lovely gesture for an historic trip, I think.

20-22 May 2015: Visit to the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland

Photos: via Getty Images and Dillon's

20 May 2015

Buckingham Palace Garden Party

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh hosted a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.
One dapper duke and one favorite brooch, not a bad turn out for the second garden party of the season.

Photo: WPA Pool via Getty Images

19 May 2015

Audience at Buckingham Palace

The Queen, Colonel-in-Chief, received representatives from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada for an audience at Buckingham Palace.
I'm surprised not to see a regimental badge here (in a collection of badges this size, you know she has the right one for these guys - and it's one we've covered before), but you won't see me complaining about a big ol' sapphire any day. No indeed.

Photo: WPA Pool via Getty Images

18 May 2015

Chelsea Flower Show

The Queen and other members of the Royal Family visited the Chelsea Flower Show.
Such terrible suspense each year, wondering whether The Hairnet will be making another appearance on Her Maj. That's a big negative this year (thankfully!). No suspense on the brooch front now that she has a brooch from the Royal Horticultural Society (the Chelsea Iris, a gift for her Diamond Jubilee) to wear.

Other members of the family were also in attendance, because there's nothing the royals love more than a flower show. Just a sampling here, not everyone:
Okay, now The Duchess of Cornwall is wearing her Sapphire and Diamond Butterfly Brooch (not yet covered here), which I thought she was wearing last week but she wasn't because she was wearing a different winged insect bauble. (You follow that?) She is also wearing her Everyday Pearl Pendant Earrings. The Prince of Wales was there too, but he didn't wear a pretty brooch.

Prince Harry had some fun showing his granny around the Sentebale charity garden.

The Princess Royal sported a lovely brooch of her own. And is that a butterfly scarf? Must be spring, everyone's feeling all buggy.

Her kids, Peter and Zara, were there too, albeit in a more casual mode.

And The Countess of Wessex rocked up in a pretty Peter Pilotto dress and polished chignon, looking absolutely spectacular. She's having more hits than misses these days and I love it! The Earl of Wessex was also present, but he wasn't in a pretty dress. His loss.

Photos: via Getty Images as indicated

14 May 2015

The Duchess of Cornwall's Four Strand Pearl Chokers with Diamond Clasps

Since pearl chokers with bejeweled clasps are one of her signature jewels, it's no surprise that The Duchess of Cornwall has more than one version with an all diamond clasp. We have seen two such necklaces on her to date:

Small Diamond Clasp 
The first and most frequently seen of the two, this choker has a diamond clasp one central round diamond surrounded by three rows of diamonds. The design has a lot of dimension when viewed from the side, and the four rows of pearls have a loose fit, sometimes appearing a little jumbled up in use.
The Duchess has been wearing this necklace since early 2010 at least, and it has become a favorite over the years. It is currently her most worn pearl choker and a frequent pick for day-to-day events, though we don't see it every day.

Large Diamond Clasp 
The second option features a larger diamond clasp, with a more intricate design that radiates from the largest central diamond. The four rows of pearls fit more tightly to the neck than the smaller version does, and each row has a smaller pearl just before the clasp.
The Duchess debuted this necklace while visiting Norway in 2012, during a tour of Scandinavia with The Prince of Wales for the Diamond Jubilee.
Since then, she's continued to use the necklace primarily for events with a higher profile, such as tiara events or day events like the Diamond Jubilee Thames pageant and the inauguration of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands. That means that we don't see the large version as often as the small version (which I find unfortunate, as the bigger one is definitely my favorite of the two) but it's always a treat when we do.

Appearances (Large Version):
12 May 2015: Duke of Wellington Memorial Service
30 April 2015: Welsh Guards New Colours Presentation
3 March 2015: State Visit from Mexico, State Banquet 
4 June 2014: State Opening of Parliament
8 May 2013: State Opening of Parliament

Appearances (Small Version):
21 May 2015: Visit to Northern Ireland
12 May 2015: Buckingham Palace Garden Party
10 May 2015: VE Day Anniversary Service 
9 November 2014: Remembrance Sunday
10 December 2013: Barnardo's Headquarters Opening 

Note: Appearances are listed from the date this entry was published going forward. The only past appearances listed are those that have specifically appeared on this blog.

Photos: via Getty Images

13 May 2015

Royal Windsor Horse Show 2015

The Queen makes several informal visits to the Royal Windsor Horse Show on the private grounds at Windsor Castle during the show's duration (13-17 May this year). Appearances at this year's show will be compiled in this entry, which will be updated as the week goes on.

May 13

Opening day brought both The Queen and The Duchess of Cornwall out to play. Pearl stud earrings, a double strand of pearls, engagement and wedding rings, and a leather strap watch with a round face for HM; Everyday Pearl Pendant Earrings, Gold Chain Bracelet with Multi-Color Stones, Cross and Eye Chain Bracelet, a watch, and engagement and wedding rings on show for HRH.

May 15

Not much to show for jewels today, but a jolly day with extra appearances by The Countess of Wessex and Lady Louise, plus The Duke of York and The King of Bahrain.

May 16

Another standard appearance in the day. The Queen Mother's Palm Leaf Brooch came out later for award presentations, and a longer double strand of pearls for the evening event.

May 17
And finally, she presented more prizes wearing Queen Victoria's 11 Pearl Brooch

Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo and Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

12 May 2015

Buckingham Palace Garden Party and Wellington Memorial Service

The Queen, accompanied The Duke of Edinburgh and other members of the Royal Family, hosted a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.
Polish up those top hats, it's garden party season! And with cheery yellows and pinks and blues on the top ladies in attendance, it really does feel like a lovely spring day in the garden.

Hmm...I think she heard us wondering why she didn't wear a brooch from The Queen Mother at the VE Day service.

Also in attendance at the garden party was The Duchess of Cornwall, wearing one heck of a hat. She's worn shapes like that in creams and beiges and pulled them off spectacularly, but my my, they look soooo much bigger in a strong color, no? Anyway, her jewel roundup: A diamond butterfly brooch which I believe is having its public debut today, her Four Strand Pearl Choker with Small Diamond Clasp, and her Everyday Pearl Pendant Earrings.

Earlier in the day, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh were among members of the Royal Family in attendance at a memorial service for the late Duke of Wellington.

It's rare that Her Majesty attends memorials or funerals, but she made an exception for a Knight of the Garter and holder of one very famous title. She wore the Kent Amethyst Brooch, as you can see in the comments. The Duchess of Cornwall was wearing the same butterfly brooch and earrings she wore to the garden party, with her Four Strand Pearl Choker with Large Diamond Clasp. She also had a watch, some of her everyday bracelets, and her engagement/wedding rings in view.

Photos:John Stillwell/AFP via Getty Images