20 April 2015

Royal Wedding Jewels: Princely Wedding in Brunei

While we were focusing our attention on the royal jewels in Denmark this week, another glittering event was taking place in another part of the globe. Prince Abdul Malik, the son of the Sultan of Brunei, married Dayangku Raabi'atul 'Adawiyyah on April 12. And the sparkle was immense.

The bride and groom both wore serious diamonds. Here's the diamond and emerald set that the bride wore during the wedding.

The Top Ten: Royal Diamond Brooches

Behold, perhaps the most challenging Top Ten list of all-diamond royal jewels I've compiled yet: the diamond brooch category! There are just so many good ones to choose from, and from all over the world, too. Here's what I finally decided on, but I'm definitely looking forward to hearing about your choices in the comments below!

[image source]

10. Princess Benedikte's Diamond Stars

Lots of royal collections include caches of diamond stars, which were extremely popular during the nineteenth century. (See my article on Sisi's popularization of the baubles over here!) I love the way that the Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, who was born Princess Benedikte of Denmark, wears her set of stars, scattering them across the necklines of her gowns and jackets, pinning them to her order sashes, and suspending them from necklaces. These brooches apparently once belonged to Queen Victoria of Sweden, Benedikte's great-grandmother; she often pairs them with the pearl and star tiara that belonged to her great-great-grandmother, Queen Sofia.

19 April 2015

New Brooch for Queen Elizabeth II

Brand-new brooch alert!

Queen Elizabeth II popped out to Newbury Racecourse on Saturday, and the brooch she pinned to her coat appears to be a new (or at least new-to-us) piece.

Sundays with the Queen: The Jardine Star Brooch

One of my favorite brooches from the jewelry collection of Queen Elizabeth is undoubtedly the Jardine Star Brooch. Symmetry, diamonds, mystery: this brooch has it all!

Our best source of information about the history of this brooch is Leslie Field's The Queen's Jewels. (Curiously, even though HM chose to wear the Jardine Star during her Diamond Jubilee weekend in 2012, it wasn't discussed in any of the three jewelry books -- Roberts's The Queen's Diamonds, de Guitaut's Diamonds: A Jubilee Celebration, or Kelly's Dressing the Queen -- published in connection with the big anniversary.)

Here's what Field tells us about the brooch: "In 1981 the Queen was left a late-Victorian diamond star brooch by Lady Jardine, which she has worn on many occasions. It has a collet diamond on a knife-wire between each of its eight points." No information is given regarding the maker of the brooch.

Who exactly was Lady Jardine? It's not exactly clear. There's a Clan Jardine in Scotland, though to my knowledge, none of the wives of the baronets of that clan died in 1981. There are also miscellaneous other people in the twentieth century who have Jardine baronetcies, but again, none of their wives appeared to have died in 1981. Did Field make an error on the date? Is Lady Jardine even real? Verdict's out. Her identity remains a bit of a mystery.

The Queen's affection for this brooch, however, isn't mysterious at all. She wears the piece very regularly, including at high-profile appearances like holiday church services, Christmas broadcasts, and the aforementioned Diamond Jubilee water pageant. I can't blame her at all: this brooch is absolutely lovely and classic, and the fact that it's an all-diamond piece means that it can be coordinated with a large number of outfits.