24 May 2014

Royal Tour Jewels: The Duchess of Cornwall in Canada

Much of the royal attention over the past two weeks has been focused on a series of anniversaries -- milestone wedding anniversaries in Denmark and Spain, and an important constitutional anniversary in Norway -- but in the midst of all of that, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall made a trip across the pond to Canada. The nation's future king and his wife visited three provinces and met lots of Canadians along the way. Let's have a look at the jewelry that Camilla packed in her hand luggage for the tour, shall we?

The royal couple landed on Sunday in Halifax to begin their four-day visit. With a pair of small pearl pendant earrings, Camilla wore a pair of brooches that she's donned at some important occasions for the royal family. The diamond brooches are shaped like four-leaf clovers. She wore them at Prince William's wedding in 2011, and for her first Christmas as a member of the royal family at Sandringham in 2005.

The tour kicked into high gear on Monday with a series of military-related events in Halifax. While Camilla kept her pearl necklace covered with a warm scarf for several events, she showed it off during the official welcome ceremony at the Cenotaph. Camilla has several pearl necklaces; this one has four strands of pearls connected by a clasp that features several circular rows of diamonds. She wore no brooch with the coat, probably so that the Nova Scotia tartan could take center stage. The Duchess of Cambridge is often praised for planning tributes to the areas she visits into her wardrobe choices; she's not the only lady in the family who does so. In this case, the lapels and the cuffs of Camilla's coat are embellished with the local tartan. (Let's not talk about the dumb feather on the hat. *shudder*)

Here's a close-up look at the bracelets and rings that Camilla wore on Monday during a visit to a family resource center in Halifax. On her right wrist, she wears her watch and a Rainbow Loom bracelet, surely a gift from an admiring young Canadian. On her left wrist, she wears a gold bracelet with cabochon stones that often features in her daytime jewelry, as well as a more delicate gold chain bracelet. She's also wearing her platinum and diamond engagement ring, an heirloom that once belonged to the Queen Mother, and her wedding ring, made from part of a nugget of Welsh gold.

On Tuesday, the royal couple moved on to Prince Edward Island. The brooch she wore for the day's engagements, including a visit to Cornwall United Church, belonged to the Queen Mother. It's the white gold and diamond Lily of the Valley Brooch, made by FabergĂ©, that was presented to the Queen Mum by Nikita Khrushchev during his visit to the UK in 1956. Camilla has worn it at a number of important occasions, most importantly her daughter's wedding in 2006.

Wednesday's events were held in Manitoba, where Camilla made a visit to the Winnipeg Ballet. Her choice of brooch for the engagement was especially appropriate:

This is her ballerina brooch, made by Van Cleef & Arpels. The piece is made of gold and set with sapphires, rubies, and diamonds.

The tour came to a close on Tuesday with an investiture at Winnipeg's Legislative Chamber. Camilla changed her outfit, as well as her jewels, for this final engagement. With her usual pearl earrings, she wore a single-stranded pearl necklace. She also paid tribute to one of the military regiments for which she serves as Colonel-in-Chief: The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada. The pin she wears on her lapel is the diamond cap badge of the regiment, which features a bold number two in its center. Camilla has worn this piece in Canada before, and before her, it was worn by other royal Colonels-in-Chief (including Princess Alexandra). During the 2012 tour, she donned it for a luncheon in Toronto, and at a muster at Fort York commemorating the War of 1812, she affixed it to her hat.

And that's it from Canada! Hope you enjoyed this rundown of royal tour jewels -- Camilla may be less newsworthy than Kate, but she certainly can bring the bling. Stay tuned tomorrow for a special "Sunday" Sparkler post!