24 June 2017

Royal Ascot, Day 5, Plus a Wrap Up of the Remaining Royal Fashions

The Queen honored Ascot Races with her presence today.

A somewhat rare brooch closes out Ascot for us this year; the Irish Blossom hasn't been seen since 2014. It accompanied The Queen's fourth Stewart Parvin/Rachel Trevor-Morgan outfit combo of the week, a magenta hat and coat with a pistachio and rose dress underneath.

Three Strand Pearl Necklace

With no winners among this year's runners, The Queen wasn't a lucky owner this year. How did you do in the Ascot Brooch Stakes? Did you have any winners?

Day 1: Singapore Peranakan Diamond Jubilee Brooch on a lime green outfit
Day 2: The Flame Lily Brooch on yellow
Day 3: The Small Pink and Diamond Brooch on (what else?) pink
Day 4: Jardine Star Brooch on a muted jade background
Day 5: The Irish Blossom Brooch on another pink coat

There weren't any surprises this year, which is always what I hope for. But I suppose our streak of Ascot brooch debuts had to come to an end at some point. The Flame Lily was the best brooch of the week in my book.

We've been cataloging the rest of the royal fashions from Ascot over at the other blog (Day 1 here, Days 2 & 3 here). Royal attendance really tapered off on Days 4 & 5, so let's wrap up the rest right now:

Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie usually bring along their mother for one Ascot day. That day was Day 4, and orange accessories stole the show for both Eugenie (wearing a floral L.K. Bennett dress with a fab pop of orange on her shoes and a hat that I really wish was worn at a different angle) and for Beatrice (in her second Claire Mischevani outfit of the week with a Vivien Sheriff hat and a lovely orange clutch to tie it all together).

Sarah, Duchess of York wore a hat previously seen on Eugenie and continued the Amanda Wakeley theme started by Beatrice on Day 3, sporting not only a similar dress from the designer but using the same apparent shirt-under-dress strategy. Listen, I have a CRAZY idea, it's really complicated but see if you can follow me: if you want a dress with an elbow-length sleeve...buy a dress with an elbow-length sleeve.

Princess Beatrice turned up on Day 5 too, once again wearing Amanda Wakeley. And once again her accessories stole the show, adding interest with a colorful belt and carrying a purse that would make her granny proud.

Princess Marie-Chantal Instagram

One last royal sighting for Ascot week: Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece! Smallest hat I've liked this week, and several rounds of applause for pepping up a simple white outfit with some long necklaces.

23 June 2017

Royal Ascot, Day 4

The Queen honored Ascot Races with her presence today.

I have a theory that Her Maj plans at least one Ascot outfit each year that is specifically designed to confound the bookies taking bets on her hat. How many colors will they have to pay out on this time?, she deviously giggles to herself as her carriage rolls into the ring. Nobody was betting on "muted jade", as Rachel Trevor-Morgan hat and Stewart Parvin called their creations, that's for sure. So they paid out on turquoise, green, and blue. 

The brooch would've been an easier guess, because we're back to the Jardine Star and back to her old favorites. I detect a hint of pink in the dress beneath (this is a really lovely color combo, actually) and that's all I need to suggest that the  Williamson Diamond Brooch would have been a superb choice here. On this outfit, and on all the rest of the outfits. Yeah, I'm just gonna keep on suggesting it.

22 June 2017

Royal Ascot, Day 3

The Queen honored Ascot Races with her presence today. 

Some of us thought Day 1's lime green outfit would have been fun with a pink brooch. Clearly, The Queen had other plans, and saved her pink sapphire brooch for use with this vibrant fuchsia outfit. Note how closely the floral dress pattern matches the flowers on this Angela Kelly hat, even more precisely than usual.

Also getting in on the colorful fun: The Duke of York, stepping in with The Duke of Edinburgh at home recuperating from his infection and The Prince of Wales elsewhere, who saved up his best pink accessories to match her. 

Three Strand Pearl Necklace

Once again, highlights from more family members still to come at the other blog!

21 June 2017

State Opening of Parliament and Royal Ascot, Day 2

The Queen, accompanied by The Prince of Wales, traveled to the Palace of Westminster to open the Session of Parliament.

As promised, this year's State Opening of Parliament was a "dressed down" version, thanks to the speedy schedule. Business as usual meant that those of us hoping The Queen's jewels might reflect a more special occasion were disappointed - not that one could ever be too terribly disappointed with an 18.8 carat diamond, of course, but she stuck with her usual day pearls and earrings.

Cullinan V Brooch

What was not business as usual: The Prince of Wales stood in for The Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Philip was hospitalized Tuesday night for an infection, according to a Buckingham Palace spokesperson: "The Duke of Edinburgh was admitted to King Edward VII Hospital in London last night, as a precautionary measure, for treatment of an infection arising from a pre-existing condition. Prince Philip is in good spirits and is disappointed to be missing the State Opening of Parliament and Royal Ascot. The Prince of Wales will accompany The Queen to the State Opening. Her Majesty is being kept informed and will attend Royal Ascot as planned this afternoon."

And so The Queen carried on, sporting a delphinium blue coat with a blue and yellow floral silk dress and matching hat adorned with flowers by Angela Kelly. An outfit which, many have noted, sorta kinda dresses her up like...the European flag. Because if you're gonna make The Queen schlep down to London on an Ascot day, you're gonna get trolled.

I watched The Queen's Speech on 2x speed, which is exactly how I imagine it went in Her Maj's head. She had to get to Ascot, and she had to make it in time for an outfit and brooch change (people bet on those hats, you know, it just won't do to be tipping them off early!), so speed.it.up.

The Queen honored Ascot Races with her presence today.

Recruiting The Duchess of Cornwall to help continue the day's yellow and blue theme, The Queen wore another ensemble designed by Stewart Parvin and Rachel Trevor-Morgan. She swapped in the Flame Lily Brooch for an extra bit of diamond sparkle.

Flame Lily Brooch

The Duchess of Cornwall repeated her outfit from Princess Charlotte's christening as she continued to display her resplendent collection of pearl chokers. The Duchess of Gloucester wasn't slouching on the jewel front either; check out her sneaky use of diamond and ruby clip brooches at the neckline. Elegantly piled on, just how I like it.

Four Strand Pearl Choker with Large Diamond Clasp
Everyday Pearl Pendant Earrings 

As always, review of the rest of the family's fashions is still to come over at the other blog, so stay tuned.

20 June 2017

Royal Ascot, Day 1

The Queen honored Ascot Races with her presence today.

A color splash from Stewart Parvin and Rachel Trevor-Morgan kicks off this year's Ascot outfit parade. I confess, I was a little afraid at first peek that Her Maj might have repeated her bummer of an Ascot Day 1 brooch pick from last year - the Frosted Sunflower Brooch - but she went with a newer favorite in the golden family instead: the Singapore Peranakan Diamond Jubilee Brooch. Lime green, I suppose, isn't the easiest color to coordinate with.

While my vigil for the return of the Williamson Diamond Brooch continues, The Duchess of Cornwall kindly stepped in to fulfill my need for a pink jewel by wearing her pink topaz choker - a.k.a., one of my favorite Cams jewels. And Chaz even chipped in with a pink tie! A+ Ascot coordination.

Five Strand Pearl Choker with Pink Topaz Clasp
Everyday Pearl Pendant Earrings 

Stay tuned to the other blog for highlights from the other royal family members present, including some more jewels from Her Maj's vault on loan!

18 June 2017

The Diamond Rose of York Brooch

The Queen wears her Diamond Rose of York Brooch, 2017 
One of many diamond floral brooches in The Queen’s jewel vault, this diamond rosette brooch features a diamond center surrounded by two sets of petals, five petals to each layer. In shape and color it resembles the White Rose of York, the heraldic symbol that was combined with the Red Rose of Lancaster to create the Tudor rose emblem (hence the name I have used here for the brooch).

The Queen wears the brooch in 2004 
While the exact provenance of this brooch is unconfirmed, an heirloom from Queen Mary seems likely. The wedding gifts from Mary’s 1893 marriage to the future George V included two diamond brooches (as noted by Royal Magazin): one from the bridegroom, and one from the West Yorkshire Regiment. Since the bride's new title was The Duchess of York, these ties make sense. There are more than two possible rose brooches seen on later members of the royal family that could be Mary’s wedding gifts – or, of course, from other sources or from later in Mary’s life. With such possible symbolism and such a simple floral design to start, it’s no surprise that multiple examples exist.

Other diamond rose brooches: one in Princess Margaret's collection (left, sold in 2006), and one given from Queen Mary to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother (right)
In addition to the brooch worn by The Queen, a York rose brooch was among the jewels auctioned from the estate of the late Princess Margaret in 2006. A diamond rose brooch was also included among the jewels given from Queen Mary to the future Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother as a wedding gift in 1923; Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon was also titled The Duchess of York at the beginning of her marriage. The Queen Mother’s brooch is thought to match one worn today by The Duchess of Cornwall. There is also a five petal diamond flower used as a clasp on Queen Mary's Pearl and Diamond Floral Bracelet now worn by The Queen.

Whatever its provenance, this pretty brooch is a rare one to see on The Queen. She has others of similar theme and shape, such as the Nizam of Hyderabad Rose Brooches and the Cartier Diamond Rose Clip Brooch, as well as many other brooches to pick from in the diamond floral category.

With thanks to Franck for the 2004 appearance.

18 June 2017: Cartier Queen's Cup Polo

Cartier Queen's Cup Polo

The Queen attended the Cartier Queen's Cup Final at Guards Polo Club, Windsor Great Park.

Well, well, well. I do believe we have a brooch debut on our hands - but since there are sooooo many diamond floral brooches floating around, I'll wanted to see what everyone thinks before I do a brooch post for it. (And, update: this brooch has indeed been worn in the past, with thanks to Franck.)

This one is a diamond rosette with five petals, which is not enough petals and not enough shape to be either the Cartier Diamond Rose Clip Brooch or one of the smaller Nizam of Hyderabad Rose Brooches. It most closely resembles a diamond rosette brooch worn by The Duchess of Cornwall, which was most likely one of The Queen Mother's wedding gifts that came from Queen Mary and may have been one of her wedding gifts; Queen Mary had at least two. It's also very close to a diamond rose brooch sold when Princess Margaret's jewels were auctioned (and that brooch was also likely from Queen Mary). It's one big tangled web of diamond floral brooches, y'all.

Any thoughts or leads, friends? The Daily Mail site does have a couple more pics, if you're so inclined.