The Queen made a surprise appearance in London on Tuesday to open a passenger service line named in her honor, wearing a brooch she’s worn and loved for the past ten years.
The Queen arrived at Paddington Station in London on Tuesday morning to officially open the Elizabeth Line, a passenger rail service that runs from Reading and Heathrow Airport to Abbey Wood and Shenfield. The line has been under construction for more than a decade, and it will open to the public next week.
The Queen was accompanied by her youngest son, the Earl of Wessex, for the visit to the station.
The Queen’s appearance at the official opening ceremony wasn’t announced ahead of time. As she arrived, Buckingham Palace told the press, “In a happy development, Her Majesty The Queen is attending today’s event to mark the completion of the Elizabeth line. Her Majesty was aware of the engagement and the organisers were informed of the possibility she may attend.” She unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion.
The Earl of Wessex filled in for his mother during the more physically demanding portions of the engagement, touring a train on the new line.
Here, he chats with Carinne Spinola, driver of an Elizabeth line train.
For the opening, the Queen wore a sunny yellow coat and matching hat with tan and blue floral embellishments.
The coat’s buttons have gold detailing, and the Queen wore a gold and diamond brooch to coordinate: the Bird of Paradise Jubilee Brooch. She paired the brooch with her usual pearl and diamond earrings and three-stranded pearl necklace.
Here’s a close-up view of the brooch from a previous appearance in 2019. The intricate gold and diamond brooch was a Diamond Jubilee gift to the Queen from government of Singapore in 2012. The piece is a traditional Peranakan-style brooch, made by Singapore-based jeweler Thomis Kwan. The brooch wasn’t a commission; it was a stock item from Kwan’s firm, made of yellow gold and set with 61 diamonds. An official from the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs purchased the brooch from Kwan’s store.
The Queen has worn the brooch often throughout the ten years that have elapsed since the Diamond Jubilee. One of her notable recent appearances in the jewels came in March 2022, when she wore the brooch at Windsor Castle to present the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry to Grace Nichols.
Here’s one more glimpse of the Queen from yesterday’s surprise engagement. Here’s hoping that her recent happy appearances are a good sign for several more outings during the upcoming Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June!