Queen Camilla already had an impressive collection of jewels at her disposal before her husband’s accession, and though that collection will surely grow in the coming years and months, I expect we’ll continue to see her use a favorite set of jewels: her numerous pieces from Van Cleef & Arpels.
Over the past few weeks, many have been asking me for more information on the distinctive blue and gold bracelet that Queen Camilla wears on nearly all occasions these days. The bracelet comes from Van Cleef & Arpels, part of their signature Magic Alhambra collection.
Here’s a closer look at the bracelet, worn with four additional gold bracelets of similar size and design, from this year’s Sandringham Flower Show. Whether the blue and gold Magic Alhambra bracelet has particular sentimental meaning isn’t clear, but one thing’s for sure: Camilla absolutely loves to wear jewelry pieces from VC&A.
Camilla has been wearing and collecting Van Cleef & Arpels pieces for years. Here, she wears a pair of Cosmos clip brooches from the brand for her very first Buckingham Palace garden party in July 2005. One of the diamond brooches is set in yellow gold, and the other is set in white gold. You’ll note that she’s also wearing matching Cosmos earrings in this photograph.
She also has other matching jewels from the firm in her jewelry box. Here, for a state dinner in Ghana in November 2018, she wears a necklace and matching earrings from the Van Cleef & Arpels Snowflake line.
She also has additional Magic Alhambra pieces in her collection, including these diamond earrings. She’s worn this for a number of different gala occasions. Here, she wears them for a reception in London honoring the Man Booker Prize winners in October 2015.
She also owns a set of Magic Alhambra earrings and a coordinating necklace set with distinctive green malachites. She wears the suite here in May 2016 for a reception at Buckingham Palace honoring British winners of the Academy Award.
Camilla’s jewelry box also contains numerous other VC&A brooches. These are the firm’s Libellule dragonfly clip brooches, made of white gold set with diamonds and sapphires. Camilla wears them here in February 2017 for the launch of the Great Get Together at Clarence House.
Here’s a close-up of the dragonfly brooches from another occasion (the Diamond Jubilee visit to Guernsey in 2012).
Queen Camilla also owns a ballerina brooch from Van Cleef & Arpels. The original vintage brooches were made in the 1940s, part of a collaboration between Claude Arpels and George Balanchine. The design style was revived by the jeweler in 2007. Camilla wears her ballerina brooch here in Winnipeg in 2014.
Here’s a closer look at the gold brooch, which is set with diamonds, rubies, and sapphires.
Over the past two years, Camilla has debuted several pieces from another VC&A range: the “Lucky Animals” line. Camilla wore one of these charming little animal brooches for the first time in February 2020. For a visit to Maggie’s at The Royal Marsden, she wore the malachite and lapis lazuli hummingbird brooch from the line.
In March 2020, she wore two more Lucky Animals brooches—a rabbit and a hedgehog—for a visit to Bousfield Primary School to celebrate World Book Day.
She wore the squirrel brooch from the line in May 2020, as she joined in with a reading of James and the Giant Peach coordinated as a charity project by Taika Waititi.
For the annual decorating of the Clarence House Christmas tree in December 2021, she wore the owl brooch from the Lucky Animals line.
And, appropriately, she wore the dog brooch from the Lucky Animals range for a visit to the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in December 2020. There are several more Lucky Animals brooches that we haven’t seen her wear yet, including a dove, a lion, a turtle, a horse, and a panda. Wonder if we’ll see more of them on the Queen Consort in the near future?