16 March 2015

Commemoration Service Jewels

The senior British royals gathered en masse on Friday at St. Paul's Cathedral in London to commemorate the British troops who served in Afghanistan. Let's have a look at the jewelry they chose for the day, shall we?

The Queen selected a brooch that is among the more historical pieces in the royal collection. It's Queen Victoria's diamond and pearl brooch, one of the pieces that she designated as an heirloom of the crown when she died in 1901. HM wore the brooch with her usual daytime pearl necklace and earrings.

The Duchess of Cornwall wore her usual diamond and pearl earrings for the service, but she added an extra touch, pinning the cap badge of The Rifles to her hat. Camilla is the colonel-in-chief of the 4th Battalion of the regiment.

The most exciting jewelry surprise of the day came courtesy of the Duchess of Cambridge, who debuted a new set of tanzanite and diamond jewelry. The necklace and earrings were made by G. Collins and Sons, the crown jeweler. Other royal ladies, including the Countess of Wessex, have also worn pieces made by the firm.

Here's a better view of the new tanzanite and diamond earrings, which can apparently be worn either as studs (the way that Kate wore them to a service) or as drops suspended from additional diamonds.

The Countess of Wessex wore her smoky quartz pendant earrings to St. Paul's. Like her sister-in-law, she also wore the cap badge of The Rifles.

Here's a better look at the cap badge. Sophie is the colonel-in-chief of the 5th Battalion.

The Princess Royal followed her brothers' examples and wore military dress -- the uniform of a Colonel of the Blues and Royals -- to the service. With her uniform, she's wearing the sash and star of the Order of the Garter. She's also wearing a number of medals (eight by my count). From left to right, I think we've got the Queen's Service Order, the Queen's Coronation Medal, the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal, the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Canadian Forces Decoration, the Service Medal of the Order of St. John, and the New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal. Whew!