09 August 2017

The Duchess of Cornwall's Ruby Garland Demi-Parure

We'll finish up our 70th birthday round of features on Camilla's most impressive official gifts with one last addition to the pile...

Eight years after she wore a ruby and diamond necklace so staggeringly opulent it changed the way Clarence House discloses official gifts, The Duchess of Cornwall did it again. Not with the same necklace, mind you; with a completely different, yet no less extravagant, ruby and diamond demi-parure.

The Duchess of Cornwall wears her Ruby Garland Demi-Parure

For the Royal Film Performance of The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in 2015, The Duchess of Cornwall wore a necklace featuring four strands of diamond garlands adorned with 18 pear-shaped rubies, including four down the center of the necklace in diamond surrounds, and multiple pear-shaped diamond elements. The long matching earrings include more diamond-framed rubies finished with a diamond fringe. A matching ruby and diamond bracelet was also worn.

While the provenance of the Ruby Garland Demi-Parure has not been officially confirmed, my strong suspicion is that it was a gift from the late King of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. My guess is based on a few reasons, the first and most obvious being that the complete extravagance of the design screams of the lavish gifts given by Middle Eastern monarchies. Second, the official gift list for a trip by The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall to Saudi Arabia in 2013 listed Camilla as receiving a "parure" (with no further details given) from King Abdullah. It's also possible that she received some jewels when the King came to Britain for a state visit in 2007. Third, she debuted this parure shortly after the King passed away, so it could have been worn as a tribute. I also suspect that King Abdullah gave Camilla her Saudi Sapphire Demi-Parure in 2006.

The bracelet from the demi-parure can be seen peeking out from under her sleeve

If these rubies were an official gift, then they are not The Duchess of Cornwall's private property. You can read more about the rules for official gifts in our feature on the Saudi Ruby Demi-Parure.

 So far, the Ruby Garland Demi-Parure has been worn just once. None of her larger necklaces are worn with any regularity, and this will probably not be an exception. The earrings would be nice to see worn more often; her hair covers shorter earrings, making longer models a better choice for her eveningwear, and these are perfect.

Appearances:
17 February 2015: Royal Film Performance of The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

05 August 2017

Balmoral Holiday, 2017

By Stuart Yeates from Oxford, UK - Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

The Queen started her annual summer Balmoral holiday in July at Craigowan Lodge on the Balmoral estate, while the castle was still open to the public, followed by taking up official residence at the castle itself in August. Her break usually ends around late September/early October with an engagement or two in Scotland before heading south.

Any appearances by The Queen during her holiday will be gathered in this post. A link for this post will be on the sidebar under Recently Updated Events and it will include the date of the last update, so you can find it any time and don't miss anything. (And if you see I've missed one, help me out and drop a comment below!)

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August 20: NEW! Finally, a church-goin' brooch we can identify! The Singapore Peranakan Diamond Jubilee Brooch is on its sixth appearance for 2017. It seems most of the Royal Family is hanging around Balmoral right now, as the church-goin' crowd included The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, The Duke of York, The Earl and (I think) Countess of Wessex, and Zara and Mike Tindall. Pictures at the link below and also at the DM.

August 13: The Queen and other members of the Royal Family attended church at Balmoral, in another unidentifiable brooch. Photos at the Daily Mail.

August 7: The traditional welcome ceremony kicks off the start of The Queen's official residence at Balmoral Castle. Her inspection of the Royal Guard included both the Royal Regiment of Scotland Badge - which is getting a lot of mileage this year - and Cruachan IV, the mischievous regimental mascot that tried to take a bite out of Her Maj's flowers at their last meeting.
Army in Scotland
Army in Scotland

August 6: Church at Balmoral, in an unidentifiable brooch. [Facebook] 

August 5: The Queen made a surprise appearance at the Aboyne Highland Games to mark its 150th anniversary. She wore her Diamond Art Deco Double Clip Brooch. [STV]

July 30: Church at Balmoral, wearing what appears to be an emerald brooch - maybe the Round Cambridge Emerald without its pendant, but it's impossible to say for certain. [Daily Mail]

July 23: Church at Balmoral in the Greville Scroll Brooch.