09 March 2017

Jewels at the Iraq and Afghanistan Memorial Unveiling

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This morning, many of the senior members of the British royal family gathered at Victoria Embankment Gardens in London for the unveiling of a new memorial honoring those who served in the Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan campaigns from 1990-2015. Here's a look at the jewels they wore to honor both the members of the armed forces and those who supported them back home.




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The Queen chose a brooch with a long royal and imperial history: Queen Mary's Russian Sapphire Brooch. Empress Marie Feodorovna (mother of the last Russian tsar, sister of Queen Alexandra) gave the diamond and sapphire brooch to Queen Mary as a wedding present in 1893. It pairs a large diamond and a sugarloaf sapphire in a geometric scroll setting.


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The Duchess of Cornwall wore one of her signature pearl necklaces: the four-stranded necklace with the diamond cross clasp. She also wore her usual diamond and pearl earrings and the cap badge of The Rifles. (She's the Royal Colonel of the 4th Battalion.)


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The Duchess of Cambridge wore the earrings and pendant necklace from her Collins Tanzanite Suite, a set that she's chosen before for military commemoration events. She debuted the set almost exactly two years ago at a service of commemoration for those who served in Afghanistan. (Not sure about the hat, though...)


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The Princess Royal wore a modern diamond and gold brooch, pairing it with her gold, sapphire, and pearl earrings.


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Here's a closer look at Anne's unusual brooch (albeit obscured a little by the strap of her handbag).


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The Countess of Wessex wore trendy pearl earrings. Like her sister-in-law, Camilla, Sophie also wore the cap badge of The Rifles, as she's the Royal Colonel of the 5th Battalion.


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A closer view of Sophie's earrings -- I believe these are the Shimmering Back-to-front Pearl Earrings from Heavenly Necklaces.


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The men of the Windsor family brought their medals along with them to the unveiling. The Duke of Edinburgh has so many now that they nearly stretch across his entire chest! From left to right: the Queen's Service Order of New Zealand; the 1939-1945 Star; the Atlantic Star; the Africa Star; the Burma Star (with the Pacific Clasp); the Italy Star; War Medal 1939-1945 (with Mentioned in Despatches Oak Leaf); the King George VI Coronation Medal; the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal; the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal; the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal; the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal; the Naval Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (with six clasps); the Canadian Forces Decoration (with five clasps); the New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal; the Malta George Cross Fiftieth Anniversary Medal; the Greek War Cross (1940); and the Croix de Guerre 1939-1945 (with Bronze Palm).


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The Prince of Wales wore his medals, too. From left to right: the Queen's Service Order of New Zealand; the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal; the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal; the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal; the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal; the Royal Air Force Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (with three clasps); the Canadian Forces Decoration (with three clasps); the New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal; and the New Zealand Armed Forces Award. Charles also wore the HM Armed Services Veterans Lapel Pin and the Royal British Legion Lapel Pin.


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The Duke of Cambridge's medal haul is a bit more modest: the Queen's Golden Jubilee and Diamond Jubilee Medals.


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The Duke of York has a few more: the South Atlantic Medal (with Rosette); the Queen's Silver Jubilee, Golden Jubilee, and Diamond Jubilee Medals; the Naval Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (with two clasps); the Canadian Forces Decoration; and the New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal.


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The Earl of Wessex has a medium-sized medal collection: the Queen's Silver Jubilee, Golden Jubilee, and Diamond Jubilee Medals; the Canadian Forces Decoration; and the New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal. He also wears a signet ring on his left hand.


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And finally, Prince Harry, who served in Afghanistan, spoke at the service. At his neck, he wore the badge of a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order. His medals, from left to right, are the Operational Service Medal for Afghanistan and the Queen's Golden Jubilee and Diamond Jubilee Medals.