28 May 2015

State Opening of Parliament Jewels: May 2015

Today, Queen Elizabeth II traveled from Buckingham Palace to Westminster to officially open parliament. She's been doing this for more than sixty years now, but the event is still as filled with pomp and circumstance (and jewels!) as ever.

On her way to and from the Houses of Parliament, the Queen wore the diamond diadem made in 1820 for the coronation of King George IV. From this angle, you can just see the yellow hue of the diamond in the center of the front cross pattée. You can read more about the history of this centuries-old diadem in yesterday's post.

Here's a great look at the side of the diadem, which features the emblems of England, Scotland, and Ireland (the rose, thistle, and shamrock, respectively) set with more than 1,000 diamonds. The intertwined floral elements are alternated with crosses pattée.

And here's a good look at the back of the tiara and its base, which features rows of pearls.

For her speech in front of the Houses of Lords and Commons, the Queen donned the Imperial State Crown. It traveled in a separate carriage to Westminster.

And it was carried in on a special pillow!

You can read more about the history of the Imperial State Crown and its gems, which include the Black Prince's Ruby, the Stuart Sapphire, and the Cullinan II Diamond, over here.

The Queen also wore two pieces of jewelry that belonged to Queen Victoria: the Coronation Earrings and Coronation Necklace.

Here's an especially good look at the glittering earrings. We've previously discussed the earrings more here, and the necklace over here.

The Duchess of Cornwall attended the state opening as well, wearing the Boucheron diamond tiara left to the Queen Mother as a part of the Greville inheritance.

She also wore one of her trademark pearl chokers, this time the version with the all-diamond clasp with a cross motif. This photo also provides a nice look at the bar brooch she's used to secure the sash of the Royal Victorian Order.

Princess Anne also attended, but she wore a uniform rather than a gown and jewels. Have a look at those medals and braids!

Also wearing a boatload of medals and decorations: the Duke of Edinburgh.

And the Prince of Wales was well-decorated as well.

And here's a fun tiara sighting to round out our post: this is the Queen's lady-in-waiting, Lady Susan Hussey, wearing a tiara to the state opening.