31 December 2014

2014: The Year in The Queen's Jewels

It is once again time to review another year in The Queen's jewels: what was new, what was unusual, and what topped the favorites list. This is the third year-end wrap up in the life of this blog, so if you'd like to see how this year compares, see here for 2012 and here for 2013. Obviously, all pertinent disclaimers apply to all this information (I can only account for what is publicly worn and what is publicly known, and mistakes on my part and disagreements happen all the time, etc). With that said, let's get to it:

The New and "New" Brooches
I'm starting here instead of with the year's brooch counts, because this has been without a doubt the year of the unusual brooch. Several items appeared that were either confirmed to be new to the collection and/or were spotted for the first time this year:
Additionally, we saw what may have been the first public appearances of several brooches previously known to us:
A couple brooches known to be in The Queen Mother's collection were worn for the first time this year by The Queen:
Furthermore (what did I say about the year of unusual brooches?!), several rare brooches got a little spotlight this year:

The Most Popular Brooches
This was the year of unusual brooches, but you sure wouldn't know it just by tallying up the brooches we saw most frequently. This year's favorites are much like the favorites we've seen in years past. I was actually surprised the counts turned out so, well, ordinary, but with close to 70 brooches worn in the year and most appearing only once or twice, I shouldn't have been.
  1. Frosted Sunflower Brooch
  2. Pearl Trefoil Brooch
  3. Flower Basket Brooch
  4. Cambridge Pearl Pendant Brooch
  5. Aquamarine Clip Brooches tied with Flame Lily Brooch tied with Queen Victoria's Bow Brooch 
The Frosted Sunflower tops the list for three years running (and countless times prior to this blog's start), and the only brooch here that has not made an appearance on either or both of our two previous year counts is the Flame Lily.

The Tiara Appearances 
We saw Her Majesty with tiara (and/or crown) in place in for five events this year:
And once again, the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara topped the favorites list, being used for all except the State Opening (where other gear is traditionally worn) and the Ireland banquet. It must also be noted that The Queen would have donned a tiara for at least one other event, December's annual Diplomatic Reception, but as usual we did not get to see inside the palace for that occasion.

My Favorite Tiara Event of the Year 
Video: The Queen's speech at the Irish State Banquet
This was a no-brainer for me. Not only was it the only time we saw something apart from the favorite Girls (which is my favorite tiara, don't get me wrong, but I am a fan of variety more than anything else), it had been quite a few years since The Queen wore the Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara with emeralds in place and other pieces of the Cambridge and Delhi Durbar Parure on display. It was an historic visit and Her Majesty treated it as such, to our great delight.

My Favorite Brooch Event of the Year 
As The Queen noted in her Christmas speech, this was a year of remembrance, and her appearance at the events marking the 70th anniversary of D-Day in France was a highlight. Despite all the new brooches in the air, her outing of Queen Victoria's Fringe Brooch (still not a normal selection for her, she'd worn it only once before) was my favorite for the year. Wearing such a massive piece for a daytime appearance conveyed how important the anniversary was, and it didn't go unnoticed that she selected a brooch which had been a favorite of her mother's for a World War II commemoration event. The entire state visit to France, centered around this anniversary, was basically one highlight after another.

And one last bonus category...

Biggest Loans of the Year
The Duchess of Cambridge wore two big pieces from The Queen's collection this year: the New Zealand Fern Brooch and the Nizam of Hyderabad Necklace. It feels as though the past few years have brought an increase in loans to others in the family, and these were the two most noticeable examples for the year. More of that, pretty please!

This round up is already too wordy, but I could go on and on. It's been a tremendously fun year to watch what emerges from the royal vault, and I can only hope there are more surprises to come in 2015. It's already guaranteed to be an historic year, as QEII will officially pass Queen Victoria to become the longest reigning British monarch in history in September. Her Majesty will also welcome another great-grandchild when the second Cambridge baby arrives around April, and the first tiara event of the year is already on the books for a state visit from Mexico in March. The New Year Honours list has just been published, promising lots of interesting investitures, and I'm already hoping The Queen personally handles making Joan Collins into a Dame.

A heartfelt thank you from me to all of you who have joined in the fun this year, and I hope you'll stick around for the next!

Do tell: What were your favorite jewel moments for The Queen in 2014?

Photos: Via Getty Images as indicated; PA, British Monarchy and Parliament video

28 December 2014

Church at Sandringham

The Queen and members of the Royal Family attended church at Sandringham.
For more: Express article and photos, Daily Mail photos.
And we're back to the old favorites once again - one last outing for the year, I suppose.

Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty Images

25 December 2014

Christmas Service and Christmas Broadcast, 2014

The Queen, accompanied by members of the Royal Family, attended Christmas service at St. Mary Magdalene Church, Sandringham.
For more: Daily Mail photos, Zimbio gallery.
A very merry Christmas to you all! Here's Her Maj's present for you: another look at the Tudor Rose Brooch, which first appeared in 2012. I'm not a huge fan of that brooch on this particular color coat (though my love for HM in brights never ceases), but I love that it serves as something of a symbol of this year of unusual brooch selections. (Stick around for our year in review post here, which goes up on the 31st! It's going to be a doozy. Also, we'll be covering other family members at the service on the other blog later on.)

The Queen's annual message was broadcast on Christmas Day.
For more: Article from the BBC, video embedded below.
The Queen talks much about this year of remembrance, including the centenary of World War I. The photos on the table are of her grandparents, King George V and Queen Mary, who were king and queen back in 1914, and the brass box sitting in front would have been filled with presents for the troops back then as part of an effort organized by their daughter, Princess Mary.
Her selection of a brooch which came to her via Queen Mary has a bit of additional significance in that context. The Cambridge Pearl Pendant has made several appearances in Christmas broadcasts past, most recently appearing in 2012 and 2004. She's gone slightly fancier for this occasion, abandoning her usual earrings and triple strand of pearls for the larger version of those earrings, also from Queen Mary, and a longer double strand of pearls (as you'll see from the post linked below, I rarely attempt to differentiate between her many, many pearl necklaces). Very elegant, and on a final and tremendously superficial note...bonus points from me for a purple outfit and purple ornaments to match!

Photos:Chris Jackson via Getty Images, British Monarchy video

21 December 2014

Church at Sandringham

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh attended church at Sandringham.
For more: Link above, article at Express.
A quality treat indeed! A wee sighting of the Kent Amethyst, and a sighting of Prince Philip, for those that wondered where he was when he didn't take the same train as Her Maj.

18 December 2014

Train to Sandringham

The Queen traveled to Sandringham for the Christmas holiday.
For more: Click above or photos at the Daily Mail.
Well, this is a treat! A Flame Lily spotting, even if it is hard to see on that coat.

Flame Lily Brooch
(Some of her other regular day jewelry can be seen in the DM link, through the train window.)

Photos: @itvanglia, Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

10 December 2014

Audience at Buckingham Palace

The Queen received the new First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, for an audience at Buckingham Palace.
For more: BBC article and video, Zimbio gallery.
It takes a lot of pattern power to make the Flower Basket Brooch disappear, and yet here we are. Not one of my favorite dress-to-brooch pairings, I gotta say.

Photo:WPA Pool via Getty Images

09 December 2014

Audiences at Buckingham Palace

The Queen held several audiences at Buckingham Palace.
For more: Zimbio gallery.
The heart-shaped Cullinan is a perfect match for this textured pink dress, which is a repeat from the French state visit, but worn without the jacket this time - a big improvement, I'd say.

Photo:WPA Pool via Getty Images

05 December 2014

Investiture and Audience at Windsor Castle, and Christening

The Queen held an Investiture at Windsor Castle. Her Majesty also received His Excellency Sir Rodney Williams for an audience upon his appointment as Governor-General of Antigua and Barbuda.
For more: ITV video, Zimbio gallery.
She gives her traditional gift, a portrait of herself...and receives one in return! Gotta love that.
The audience gives us a return of the Palm Leaf a.k.a. Paisley Brooch, which has only had one other appearance this year. The investiture likely has the same.

Also, last weekend, The Queen attended the christening of her great-granddaughter Mia Tindall. 

Photos: WPA Pool via Getty Images, ITV Video

28 November 2014

Holyport College Visit

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Holyport College, Berkshire.
Speaking of new brooches...here's the treat HM got from Saskatchewan last year, already on its third outing. That's a nice run for a new brooch. Methinks she likes it. (I like it too!)

Photo: ITNSource video

27 November 2014

Audience at Buckingham Palace

The Queen received the newly appointed High Commissioner of Barbados, Mr. Guy Hewitt, for a private audience at Buckingham Palace.
For more: Zimbio gallery.
For some reason, this brooch is looking a little crumpled to me and a bit hard to identify right here, but it is just the larger Nizam brooch.

Photo:WPA Pool via Getty Images

The FEI Lifetime Achievement Award Brooch

The Queen was presented with the inaugural FEI Lifetime Achievement Award on November 26, 2014 by Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, President of the FEI, the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (Fédération Équestre Internationale). The award, given in honor of her lifelong support of equestrian sport, includes this brooch. Made of diamonds set in white gold and created specially for The Queen, it mirrors the insignia of the FEI Awards (seen below). The design is a shape created from nine interlocking horseshoes.
I think this is a lovely design, including a connection to Her Majesty's passion but without being overly themed, and it will be interesting to see how The Queen uses it.

27 February 2015: Visit from The King and Queen of Tonga

26 November 2014

FEI Lifetime Achievement Award Presentation (and a New Brooch Alert!)

At Buckingham Palace, The Queen was presented with the FEI Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (Fédération Équestre Internationale). The award was presented by FEI President Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein. The Duke of Edinburgh was also present.
For more: Express and Star article, FEI press release.
From the FEI: "Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II today became the first recipient of the FEI Lifetime Achievement award in recognition of her leading role as supporter of equestrian sport throughout her reign as British monarch." She looks delighted, as well she should.
And the FEI knows her well - the gift was a new brooch! Again from the FEI: "The award is a stunning white gold and diamond brooch of nine interlinked horseshoes, created especially for today’s presentation, and mirroring the insignia of the FEI Awards." Looking forward to seeing it in action. (Update: Here's a post on the brooch itself, including close up view.) Until then, the brooch for today's presentation was the trusty old Flower Basket.

25 November 2014

20 November 2014

RAF Lossiemouth Visit

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh visited RAF Lossiemouth, Moray, Scotland.
For more: Article and gallery from the Mirror, Video and article from the Telegraph.
These two lovebirds were celebrating their 67th wedding anniversary today! No wedding gift brooches on display, though - just the old Jardine Star, which needs to put some work in if it wants to make the favorite brooch list for the year. This is only its third appearance so far in 2014, by my count.

Photo: WPA Pool via Getty Images

18 November 2014

Chatham House Academy Launch and Audiences

The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, attended the launch of The Queen Elizabeth II Academy for Leadership in International Affairs at Chatham House, London.
I continue to be surprised at how many times we've seen this brooch since it's 2012 debut, but it does make a nice accessory to all those gold buttons.

Earlier, The Queen held several audiences at Buckingham Palace.
This one is not so clear...looks like it could be the old Frosted Sunflower.

Photos: ITNSource video, WPA Pool via Getty Images

13 November 2014

Audiences at Buckingham Palace

The Queen held several audiences at Buckingham Palace.

For more: Zimbio gallery.
Amethyst! Yessss. My favorite stone has been quite sparse this year in Her Maj's jewel wardrobe, after being a favorite last year. Any appearance is much appreciated.

Photo:WPA Pool via Getty Images

11 November 2014

Investiture at Buckingham Palace

The Queen held an Investiture at Buckingham Palace.
Looks like we might have the Pearl Trefoil here, though - as always with investitures - it's hard to tell.

Photo:BBC video

09 November 2014

Remembrance Sunday

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied by members of the Royal Family, attended the Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph, London. The service honors those that have died in armed conflicts.
As is her tradition, The Queen chose a bow brooch to "tie" her poppies. Today's is the Dorset Bow, one of the earliest bow brooches to be added to her collection, having been a wedding gift.

Queen Mary's Button Earrings
We assume, of course, the standard pearl necklace was also there, though not immediately visible. 

Members of the royal family in uniform joined HM in laying wreaths, including The Duke of Edinburgh (not pictured), The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge, The Earl of Wessex, and The Duke of Kent.

 Other members watched from the balcony above, including The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duchess of Cambridge, and The Countess of Wessex. Kate is wearing a brooch given to her in Australia earlier this year; Sophie is wearing a regimental badge. Camilla is also wearing a badge, from her father's regiment, and her Four Strand Pearl Choker with Small Diamond Clasp.

Photos: BBCOne video

08 November 2014

Festival of Remembrance

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied by other members of the Royal Family, attended the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall, London.
For more: Daily Mail with photos, Zimbio gallery 1, Zimbio gallery 2.
It is nice to see a brooch with its optional pendant back in place for a change, but I'm not sure the Richmond Brooch was up for the task of handling Her Majesty's poppy bouquet - things had been rearranged between arrival (above) and the show (below).
It does look like this is the first time this has been used since this blog's been around, so that's delightful anyway!

Richmond Brooch

As always, a whole host of members of the royal family were present: The Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Duke of York, Earl and Countess of Wessex, Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Duke of Kent, Princess Alexandra and Prince Michael of Kent can all be seen below.
A couple of the ladies were wearing regimental brooches, the Duchess of Cornwall wore her diamond snake necklace, and Princess Alexandra had a lovely brooch on too.

Photos: Matthew Lloyd and Tim P. Whitby via Getty Images

06 November 2014

Flanders Fields Memorial Garden Opening and Recovery Pathway Reception

Accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh and The Duke of Cambridge, The Queen joined The King of the Belgians to open the Flanders Fields Memorial Garden at Wellington Barracks, London.
Remembrance events are picking up speed in advance of Remembrance Day, and HM started out bundled up in a neutral background outfit with one of her favorite brooches.

Later, with The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, The Queen hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace to recognize those that have helped injured servicemen and women on their paths to recovery.

For more: Zimbio gallery, Express and Star article.
And later, she went for something new-ish - a brooch from the Queen Mother's collection that was reintroduced this summer. This time, she's worn it vertically instead of horizontally, which is probably just the best way to wear it on this dress, but in my imagination is a cheeky nod to those of you that wish she'd use her regular Aquamarine Clips in a more inventive manner.

Photos: ITN video, WPA Pool via Getty Images

05 November 2014

Audiences at Buckingham Palace

The Queen held several audiences at Buckingham Palace.
For more: Zimbio gallery.
The shadows in the brooch at first made me think we might have something interesting on our hands - but no, chalk up another appearance for Victoria's bow. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Photo:WPA Pool via Getty Images

30 October 2014

Visit to Wolverhampton

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh visited a stamp factory and opened a new Jaguar Land Rover factory during a visit to Wolverhampton, West Midlands.
This outfit makes an interesting color pairing for Her Maj, since the brooch has red in it, but it's always nice to see a better glimpse of the Tudor Rose. It's a mystery brooch that first appeared in 2012.

Photos: Richard Stonehouse via Getty Images, and ITNSource video

29 October 2014

Visit from the Emir of Qatar

The Queen received the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, for a private audience at Buckingham Palace.
Another day, another pastel suit with an old favorite brooch, and another good combo.

Photos: WPA Pool via Getty Images, ITNSource video

28 October 2014

Victoria Cross and George Cross Reception

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh held a reception in honor of recipients of the Victoria Cross and George Cross at Buckingham Palace.
This is a cute suit for her, right? Made even cuter by the addition of the Cullinan V stone, a.k.a. the heart-shaped one, a.k.a. the Cutest Cullinan, which was at its very sparkly best today.

Photos: WPA Pool via Getty Images, and Telegraph video

24 October 2014

Science Museum Gallery Opening

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited the Science Museum to open the Information Age gallery.

HM sends her first tweet! And here it is, in all its glory:
With 30k+ retweets and counting, plus a jump in followers for the British Monarchy's account today, she's a Twitter hit. Here's a little video from the Science Museum including her tweeting:

I like how she takes that glove off, ready to get down to tweeting business. And I really like that subtle bit of sparkle the Nizam Rose brooch is giving off. This is the third time we've seen this brooch this year so far.

Here's one last detail, for those of you fascinated by the bouquets given to royals at their engagements: Her Maj received an "Information bouquet" today. Clever, I think!

Photos: Science Museum video

23 October 2014

State Visit from Singapore, Farewell, and Audience at Buckingham Palace

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh bid farewell to the President of the Republic of Singapore and Mrs. Tan at the conclusion of their State Visit to the United Kingdom.
For more: Zimbio gallery.
There was a gold theme to this two brooch day, starting with the Gold Filigree Brooch, which debuted in 2012 and has been seen several times since. And, update: There's a reason why she wore it - it was a gift from President Tan and Singapore!

Engagement and Wedding Rings 

Also today, The Queen received the President of Ghana and his wife for an audience at Buckingham Palace.

And finishing with the Gold Trellis, which has been a part of the collection since her wedding. A metal better suited to these warmer tones, I think.

Photos: Chris Jackson and WPA Pool, via Getty Images