08 August 2014

This Week in Royal Jewels: August 1-7

August 1-7, 2014

This week, we're surveying the jewels worn by royal ladies during the events held to remember the beginning of World War I. A little sparkle was worn, but much of it was either subdued or connected to the events themselves.

5. On Monday, the Duchess of Cambridge traveled to Belgium to take part in events to mark the centenary of the start of the war. For the day's commemorations, Kate wore a familiar pair of drop pearl earrings. Pearls and other "white" jewels are fairly commonly worn for events that have a somber or mournful element to them, like this week's services, which remembered the sacrifice and loss of the war while underscoring the importance of peace and cooperation.

4. Kate, William, and Harry also took part in the World War I remembrance at the Tower of London, arriving on Tuesday to place ceramic poppies to mark the number of Britons who died during the war. Kate wore blue (as did both of the princes), which made for dramatic photographs against the sea of red poppies:

Kate wore a familiar pair of sapphire and diamond earrings (likely made from earrings once owned by her late mother-in-law, Diana, Princess of Wales) as well as her wedding and engagement rings, her Cartier watch, and a diamond pendant necklace by Mappin and Webb.

3. Monday's services were held on the date that troops invaded Belgium, and Queen Mathilde of the Belgians was present with her husband, King Philippe, to remember. Her jewelry was sparkling but understated, with a pair of diamond and pearl earrings and a delicate diamond bracelet paired with her dove-gray ensemble.

2. Queen Elizabeth II has already retreated to Balmoral for the rest of the summer, but she still observed the World War I centenary, albeit more quietly. She attended a service at Craithie Kirk, the church near the Balmoral estate. The church is the same one that Queen Victoria attended (and there's a bust of Victoria in the sanctuary), and the Queen's brooch is also a Victorian heirloom: one of her diamond bow brooches.

1. The member of the British royal family who had perhaps the most significant public role during this week's commemorations was the Duchess of Cornwall, who extinguished the oil lamp at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior during Westminster Abbey's vigil service on Monday.

At the vigil, Camilla wore her pearl choker with the diamond clasp, pearl earrings, and her engagement and wedding rings. Instead of a brooch, she wore an item with significant military and personal meaning: the badge of the 12th Lancers, the regiment with which her late father, Major Bruce Shand, fought in World War II.

Be sure to catch up with the rest of this week's royal jewel posts!