The Queen made another surprise appearance in London on Monday at the preview day for this year’s Chelsea Flower Show—and, appropriately, she wore a very sparkly flower brooch!
The Platinum Jubilee has inspired lots of displays at this year’s show, including this fun installment featuring a classic silhouette of the Queen. Florist Simon Lycett created the display, which features 70 hand-thrown pots, one for each year of the Queen’s record-breaking reign.
The Queen herself made a surprise appearance at the preview day for this year’s show. The palace’s current strategy is to only announce the Queen’s attendance at an event a few moments before her arrival, instead of scheduling engagements far ahead on the calendar. They’re presumably trying to avoid a press cycle of “cancel and worry” that way.
The Queen used a new mode of transportation to tour the flower show this year: a new motorized cart, which was quickly dubbed “the Queenmobile” on social media.
The Queen arrived at the show wearing a Stewart Parvin ensemble, featuring an ivory silk floral dress underneath a coat. Charmingly, the color of the coat was described in press notes as “pink lemonade.”
She accessorized with her usual daytime jewelry uniform: diamond and pearl earrings, a three-stranded pearl necklace, and a brooch. She selected the Cartier Sapphire and Ruby Floral Brooch for this year’s show.
The brooch, which features blue and pink sapphires, rubies, and diamonds set in gold, has been in the Queen’s collection for 77 years. It was her 19th birthday present from her parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, in April 1945. Here, she wears the brooch as she helps assemble food packages for pensioners in 1948, when she was still Princess Elizabeth.
The brooch has continued to make sporadic appearances over the years. Here, the Queen wears the jewel for a visit to a flower festival in Canberra during her 2011 visit to Australia.
Most recently, we saw the Queen wear the brooch for a set of virtual audiences in April of this year, meeting with diplomats at Buckingham Palace via video link from Windsor Castle.
Here’s another view of the brooch from Monday’s appearance. The gold tones of the jewel tie in nicely with the gold buttons on the jacket.
The Queen wasn’t the only member of the royal family at the preview day for the show. The Earl and Countess of Wessex were there as well. Here, they’re being shown a special new rose. The John Ystumllyn Rose is believed to be the first rose in Britain to be named after an individual from an ethnic minority background. John Ystumllyn, who lived in the 18th century, was one of Britain’s first Black gardeners. The Queen released a statement about the new rose, noting, “The rose has been bred as a mark of friendship and community, and I hope guests and visitors to the garden will have the opportunity to reflect on what this rose represents for many years to come.”
For her visit to the flower show, Sophie Wessex wore a charming pair of floral earrings and a necklace with a sparkling pendant.
Princess Beatrice and her husband, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, were also in attendance for the show preview. Beatrice wore a dress from Reformation for the occasion.
After her recent appearance in a pair of major statement earrings, I was hoping we’d begin to see a little more jewelry on Beatrice going forward. This time around, she decided not to wear earrings with her dress. (Beatrice’s ears are not pierced, so the earrings that she wears have clip or screw fastenings.)
Beatrice did wear a little bit of jewelry, though, courtesy of a tangle of delicate bracelets on her right wrist.
Joining Her Majesty today at the show was The Earl and Countess of Wessex, Princess Beatrice, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, The Duke of Kent, Princess Alexandra and Princess Michael of Kent. pic.twitter.com/JHcQ9x9tKY
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) May 23, 2022
Several other members of the royal family were present as well. The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent, Princess Alexandra, and Princess Michael of Kent were all in attendance. I’m not able to license photos of them yet, but I’ll update the post if I can. (But it looks like Alexandra wore her lovely emerald butterfly brooch!)
UPDATE: We have photos! Here’s the Duchess of Gloucester, wearing an interesting pair of earrings set with different colored gems, plus several layered gold necklaces.
Here’s Princess Alexandra, who did indeed wear her emeralds, including her emerald and diamond earrings and her butterfly brooch. That’s her son, James Ogilvy, accompanying her.
And here’s Princess Michael of Kent, wearing a modern pair of gold and pearl earrings, plus rings on both hands.