31 July 2018

The Daily Diadem: Queen Sirikit's Floral Tiara

Image licensed to The Court Jeweller; do not reproduce

Queen Sirikit of Thailand wears a floral tiara for an audience with Pope John XXIII at the Vatican, 1 October 1960; the tiara, which features a series of six-petaled flower elements, has a large central element that may be interchangeable


The Sutherland Ruby, Diamond, and Pearl Necklace

Cate Gillon/Getty Images

Few royal women have inspired more myth, legend, and furor than Marie Antoinette, the French queen whose life ended on a guillotine in the midst of revolution. The extravagance of her life, and the notoriety of her death, have made objects associated with her into something like relics. In particular, jewels connected with the tragic queen are incredibly sought after. Perhaps it's a surprise, then, that this British aristocratic ruby and diamond necklace -- which is also set with Marie Antoinette's pearls -- didn't make it off the auction block.


30 July 2018

The Daily Diadem: Queen Margherita's Savoy Knot Tiara

AFP/Getty Images

Queen Elena of Italy wears the diamond and pearl tiara of Savoy knots that belonged to her mother-in-law, Queen Margherita, for an official visit with Pope Pius XII at the Vatican, 26 December 1939; the tiara, which was made in 1883 by Musy, has been in a vault in an Italian bank since 1946, when the Italian royal family went into exile


Red Cross Gala Jewels 2018

VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images

This weekend, the Prince and Princess of Monaco headed to the Sporting Club in Monte Carlo for one of the principality's biggest events of the summer: the Red Cross Gala. This year was the 70th anniversary for the charity event.


29 July 2018

The Daily Diadem: The Bains de Mer Tiara

Image licensed to The Court Jeweller; do not reproduce

Princess Grace of Monaco wears the Bains de Mer Tiara for a private audience with Pope Pius XII at the Vatican, 30 April 1957; learn more about the tiara here!


The Queen Mother's Australian Hibiscus Brooch

The Queen wears the hibiscus brooch for the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey, 12 March 2018 (KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH/AFP/Getty Images)

If you've read this blog for any length of time, you know that the Queen's brooch collection is absolutely packed with sentimental and important pieces that belonged to her mother, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. Today's brooch is one that the Queen Mum received during her long widowhood, and that the Queen has begun to wear regularly since her mother's death.


28 July 2018

The Daily Diadem: The Oriental Circlet

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Malcolm Sargent views Edward Halliday's portrait of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother wearing the Oriental Circlet at the Annual Exhibition of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters at the Royal Institute Galleries, London, 20 November 1953; read more about the tiara here!


The Ruby Peacock Tiara

Queen Maxima wears the tiara and brooch from the Ruby Peacock parure in Canada, May 2015 (DAVE CHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

As we wrap up a July filled with the month's sparkling birthstone, the regal ruby, it's time to gaze at one more ruby tiara from a reigning royal family: the unusual and striking Ruby Peacock Tiara from the Dutch royal vaults.


27 July 2018

The Daily Diadem: The Ruby Olive Wreath Tiara

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Anne-Marie, the former Queen of Greece, wears the Ruby Olive Wreath Tiara at a dinner held ahead of the wedding of her nephew, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, 11 May 2004; read more about the tiara over here!


This Week in Royal Jewels: July 20-26


July 20-26, 2018

Royal tours and national day celebrations brought us our jewelry haul this week. Don't forget to vote for your favorites in the poll below!


NICOLAS MAETERLINCK/AFP/Getty Images

10. Queen Mathilde of the Belgians was patriotic and festive in golden jewels for the Te Deum service and military parade marking National Day on Saturday. (More here!)

26 July 2018

The Daily Diadem: Crown Princess Mary's Edwardian Tiara

SISSE STROYER/AFP/Getty Images

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark wears her Edwardian-era diamond, ruby, and spinel tiara for a gala dinner in honor of the President of Iceland, 24 January 2017; read more about the tiara here!


TCJ Book Club Pick: Janice Hadlow's A Royal Experiment


Get excited, everyone! Our August 2018 selection for The Court Jeweller Book Club is...

TCJ Book Club Discussion: Cherie Burns's Diving for Starfish

Cherie Burns's Diving for Starfish (Photo: The Court Jeweller. Do not reproduce.)

Believe it or not, it's already time for our monthly book club discussion post! (Isn't the year flying by?) Today, we're chatting about our July 2018 book club selection, Cherie Burns's mysterious Diving for Starfish

25 July 2018

The Daily Diadem: The Mellerio Ruby Parure Tiara

Torsten Laursen/Getty Images

Queen (now Princess) Beatrix of the Netherlands wears the Mellerio Ruby Parure Tiara at the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, 19 June 2010; read more about the jewels here!


The Duchess of Marlborough Egg

The Duchess of Marlborough Egg, made by Fabergé in 1902 for Consuelo Vanderbilt (Wikimedia Commons)

As we wrap up our month-long focus on Russia's imperial jewels, we're looking today at an unusual example from Fabergé's series of incredible bejeweled Easter eggs. While most of the eggs were made for the Romanovs, this particular egg was commissioned by an American -- and remained in American hands for a century.


24 July 2018

The Daily Diadem: The Danish Ruby Parure Tiara

Julien M. Hekimian/Getty Images

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark wears the tiara from the family's grand ruby parure for a gala performance in honor of Queen Margrethe's 70th birthday, 15 April 2010; read more about the history of the parure over here!


Jewel History: Russian Duchess Hid Jewels in Bottles (1931)

A portrait of Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna taken by Jaeger during her marriage to Prince Wilhelm of Sweden, 1912 (Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons)

"Russian Duchess Hid Jewels in Bottles"
(originally appeared in the Winnipeg Tribune, 21 Feb 1931)

LONDON -- One of the few members of the Russian royal family who have lived to tell the tale is the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna [1], a first cousin of the Tsar [2]. Therefore, her book, "Things I Remember," [3] dedicated to her murdered father, the Grand Duke Paul [4], and published recently, is a valuable document.

23 July 2018

The Daily Diadem: The Burmese Ruby Tiara

GERARD FOUET/AFP/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom wears the Burmese Ruby Tiara with the Qatari Ruby Suite for a state dinner in Paris, 9 June 1992; read more about the tiara here and the ruby suite here!


Princess Mako Sparkles in Brazil

CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images

Princess Mako of Akishino, the eldest granddaughter of Emperor Akihito of Japan, embarked on a diplomatic visit to Brazil last week. The trip marked the 110th anniversary of the first waves of Japanese immigration to Brazil, and Mako brought some lovely jewels along in her luggage.


22 July 2018

The Daily Diadem: The Habsburg Fringe Tiara

Wikimedia Commons

Princess Gina of Liechtenstein wears the Habsburg Fringe Tiara in a portrait used for a postage stamp, 1971; read more about the tiara here!


National Day Jewels in Belgium

NICOLAS MAETERLINCK/AFP/Getty Images

On Saturday, Belgium celebrated its National Day, and the royal family gathered for several events to mark the occasion. Here's a look at some of the jewels we saw on the day.


21 July 2018

The Daily Diadem: The Harewood Fringe Tiara

Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Princess Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood (standing beside Lord Home) wears her diamond fringe tiara during the Greek state visit to London, 11 July 1963; the tiara, which was one of Mary's wedding gifts, was sold after her death and acquired at some point by the Grosvenor family


The King Edward VII Ruby Tiara

Queen Silvia of Sweden wears the ruby tiara on a state visit to Japan, March 2007 (EVERETT KENNEDY BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

Like so many of the Swedish royal family's jewels, their ruby tiara came to the Bernadottes in 1905 when Princess Margaret of Connaught married Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden. The tiara was a wedding present from Margaret’s uncle and aunt, King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra of the United Kingdom.


20 July 2018

The Daily Diadem: The Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg Fringe Tiara

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Princess Benedikte of Denmark, Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg wears the Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg Fringe Tiara with her amethysts for her sister's Ruby Jubilee in Copenhagen, 15 January 2012; read more about the tiara here and the amethysts here!


This Week in Royal Jewels: July 13-19


July 13-19, 2018

Royal summer is in full swing, and we've got some lovely summery jewels in our review this week. Don't forget to vote for your favorites in the poll below!


Michael Campanella/Getty Images

15. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden celebrated her birthday on the island of Oland on Saturday with a pair of sparkling stud earrings. (More over here!)


19 July 2018

Much Ado About The Queen's Brooches

The Queen meets the American President and First Lady at Windsor Castle, 13 July 2018 (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)


In September 2015, as the Queen neared yet another royal record – becoming Britain's longest-reigning monarch – the historian David Starkey paid tribute to the sovereign's careful, non-controversial approach to her role, dubbing her "Elizabeth the Silent."

Indeed, silence has been a hallmark of Queen's six decades on the throne. In a world where everyone seems to have an opinion on every subject, the Queen has been resolutely tight-lipped about hers. She does not share her personal political views with the rest of us; the only hints we've gotten of her politics have come second-hand, through the whispers of party-goers, courtiers, and even the occasional indiscreet prime minister, never confirmed and never clarified. Andrew Marr wrote in 2012 that the Queen "has never 'confessed' or reinvented herself. When something hurtful or wrong is reported she bites her tongue. As a young woman she was a global superstar, but she does not play to the media in a gushing way and certainly does not court them." In a monarchical world where image is everything, Marr argues, the Queen simply "has no image" at all.

This silence – this lack of defined image – allows for much interpretation. The Queen is a cipher: she can be everything or nothing at the same time. Since she doesn't express her own feelings, thoughts and opinions are often assigned to her. She becomes a sort of mirror, reflecting back any opinion that the holder wishes to project upon her.

And that brings us to the matter at hand. This week, the press has gone wild over one of these projections, a theory that argues that the Queen hasn't actually been silent at all – but instead has been telegraphing us secret messages about her politics. Her preferred method of expression? Her jewelry – specifically, her enormous collection of brooches, the glittering ornaments that she pins to her coat or dress for nearly every public engagement.

Unsurprisingly, this new theory about the politics of Elizabeth II's jewelry has come courtesy of two of the defining entities of 2018: Twitter and Donald Trump.

The Daily Diadem: The Baden Fringe Tiara

Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Queen Louise of Sweden wears the Baden Fringe Tiara at the Nobel Prize Ceremony in Stockholm, 10 December 1964; read more about the tiara here!


Queen Mary's Ruby Cluster Earrings

Queen Elizabeth II wears Queen Mary's Ruby Cluster Earrings for a gala dinner in Slovenia, 21 October 2008 (SRDJAN ZIVULOVIC/AFP/Getty Images)

The British royal jewelry vaults are packed with gorgeous pieces set with rubies, but for my money, their best ruby jewels of all may be the lovely ruby and diamond cluster earrings that belonged to the Queen's grandmother, Queen Mary.


18 July 2018

The Daily Diadem: The Miller Fringe Tiara

Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Marie-Chantal of Greece wears the Miller Fringe Tiara at the pre-wedding gala for Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie of Luxembourg, 19 October 2012; read more about the tiara over here!


The Sussexes Celebrate Nelson Mandela

Arthur Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex headed to Southbank Centre's Queen Elizabeth Hall on Tuesday for a visit to the Nelson Mandela Centenary Exhibition, which explores the life and times of Nelson Mandela and marks the centenary of his birth.


Birthday Pearls for Camilla in Cornwall

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall embarked on their yearly visit to Cornwall and Devon this week, which also happens to be the week that Camilla celebrates her 71st birthday. Here's a look at the jewels she wore for a day out in Fowey.

17 July 2018

The Daily Diadem: The Kent City of London Fringe Tiara

Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent wears her diamond fringe tiara, a wedding gift from the City of London, during the Greek state visit, 11 July 1963; read more about the tiara here!


The Imperial Crown of Russia

Nicholas II, the last emperor of Russia, wears the Imperial Crown in an illustration from the time of his 1896 coronation (Wikimedia Commons)

On this date in 1918, Emperor Nicholas II of Russia, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna, Grand Duchess Tatiana Nikolaevna, Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna, Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna, and Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich were murdered in Ekaterinburg by members of the Bolshevik secret police. In the century that has elapsed since their deaths, the Romanovs have become figures of myth and legend, spectral representations of a glamorous, glittering imperial past. The reality of their lives is much, much more complicated -- as is true of the story of any family that exists in the center of power. Today, we're looking at one of the most important symbols of that power: the Grand Imperial Crown of Russia.


16 July 2018

Wimbledon Jewels for the Cambridges

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

On Saturday, the Duchess of Cambridge brought her sister-in-law to Wimbledon, and on Sunday, she brought her husband. Here's a look at the jewels Kate wore as she took in the men's final with William.


The Daily Diadem: Queen Mary's Fringe Tiara

AFP/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom wears Queen Mary's Fringe Tiara in a portrait, ca. 1937; learn more about the tiara over here!


Jewel History: Women Fought for Admission to Gem Auction (1927)

Laurits Tuxen's painting of the Coronation of Nicholas II and Alexandra, completed in 1898 and held in the collection of the Hermitage Museum

"Women Fought for Admission to Gem Auction"
(originally appeared in the Montreal Gazette, 17 March 1927)

LONDON, March 16 -- Women fought for admission to Christie's showrooms today to attend an auction of a collection of royal Russian jewels including the famous nuptial crown of Catherine the Great [1]. The gems brought a total of £80,561, or almost $400,000.

The nuptial crown, as it is described to distinguish it from the great imperial coronation crown, was sold early to a Paris firm for £6,100. It has double rows of fine brilliants set in borders of smaller stones and surmounted by a cross of six large brilliants.


15 July 2018

The Daily Diadem: The Swedish Aquamarine Kokoshnik

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Princess Madeleine of Sweden wears the family's aquamarine kokoshnik during the Nobel Prize banquet in Stockholm, December 2015; read more about the tiara here!


Birthday Jewels for Crown Princess Victoria

Michael Campanella/Getty Images

Crown Princess Victoria, the future Queen of Sweden, celebrated her 41st birthday on Saturday with festivities on the island of Öland. Here's a look at the jewels the family wore for the annual Victoriadagen celebrations.


14 July 2018

Pearls for a Day of Duchesses at Wimbledon

NIC BOTHMA/AFP/Getty Images

We got a bit of a royal treat earlier today, when the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex headed to Wimbledon together to take in a spot of tennis, including a match featuring Meghan's close friend, Serena Williams. Here's a look at the jewelry we did (and didn't) see on this duchesses' day out.


The Daily Diadem: The Greek Emerald Parure Tiara

German Federal Archives/Wikimedia Commons

Queen Friederike of the Hellenes wears the (slightly-modified) kokoshnik-shaped version of the family's emerald parure tiara during a visit to Germany, September 1956; learn more about the parure here!


Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna's Fringe Tiara

Detail of Philip de Laszlo's portrait of Queen Marie of Romania wearing her mother's diamond fringe tiara, painted 1936 (Wikimedia Commons)

When the Romanovs reigned in Russia, every grand duchess got a kokoshnik-style diamond fringe tiara as a part of her trousseau when she married. Think about how many Russian grand duchesses there were! No wonder there are so many of these hanging around in royal vaults, huh? But today we're talking about one, Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna's Fringe Tiara, that bounced from royal family to royal family before finally disappearing through the doors of an auction house.


13 July 2018

The Daily Diadem: Grand Duchess Ella's Emerald Kokoshnik

Wikimedia Commons

Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia wears the emerald and diamond kokoshnik she inherited from her aunt and guardian, Grand Duchess Ella, in a portrait; read more about the tiara here!


This Week in Royal Jewels: July 6-12


July 6-12, 2018

It's been another crazy busy royal week, so we've got plenty of jewels for you to enjoy today! Don't forget to vote for your favorites in the poll below!


Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

20. For audiences at Zarzuela Palace on Thursday, Queen Letizia of Spain wore a pair of delicate beaded pendant earrings.


12 July 2018

The Daily Diadem: The Vladimir Sapphire Kokoshnik

Wikimedia Commons

Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia wears her diamond and sapphire kokoshnik in a portrait by Boris Kustodiev, painted ca. 1911; learn more about the kokoshink over here!


Scouting Statement Earrings for Queen Maxima

Patrick van Katwijk/Getty Images

Queen Maxima of the Netherlands headed to Voorburg on Tuesday to attend a scouting event, and although the environment was a fairly casual one, our reliable Max brought along a major pair of earrings.


11 July 2018

Sussex Visit to Ireland: Jewels of Day Two

Andrew Parsons - Pool/Getty Images

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex wrapped up their quick visit to Ireland on Wednesday with a tour of some of Dublin's most famous landmarks. Here's a look at Meghan's jewels for the day.


The Daily Diadem: The Cartier Pearl and Diamond Kokoshnik

Cole Bennetts/Getty Images

A delicate pearl and diamond kokoshnik, made by Cartier in 1908, is displayed in Canberra, Australia, March 2018; learn more about the exhibition here, here, and here!