Our sparkling survey of jewels worn by the late Queen Elizabeth II for South African state visits continues today with a look at several of the pieces she chose for President Mbeki’s 2001 visit to the United Kingdom.
The first ceremonial events of President Thabo Mbeki’s state visit to Britain in June 2001 took place at Windsor Castle. During the official welcome ceremony, the President and the Queen rode together in a carriage procession.
The brooch that Queen Elizabeth chose for the start of the state visit was particularly meaningful: it was a gift from President Mandela in 1995. The white and yellow gold brooch features peacock and sunrise motifs in its design, and it is set with diamonds, tourmalines, and onyx.
That evening, the royals hosted a grand state banquet for President and Mrs. Mbeki at the castle. Just as she did during the 1996 state visit, the Queen wore South Africa’s Order of Good Hope. This time around, though, she paired it with diamonds. She wore the widowed setting of the Vladimir Tiara (which means that it was worn without its pearl or emerald pendants), plus the Coronation Necklace and Earrings. She secured her order sash with Queen Mary’s Lover’s Knot Brooch. I believe I also spot the Edinburgh Wedding Bracelet on her right wrist. HM finished off the look with a diamond evening watch and the Royal Family Orders of her father and grandfather.
President Mbeki was elegant in white tie with the insignia of the Order of the Bath.
On the second evening of the visit, President and Mrs. Mbeki held a black-tie dinner for their hosts at the Landmark Hotel in London.
The Queen wore an elegant evening gown in a shade of ice blue for the occasion.
The Queen reached for a special suite of diamond jewelry: the necklace and bracelet that she received as a 21st birthday gift during the royal tour of South Africa in April 1947. She paired the jewels with even more diamonds: her small pear-shaped diamond drop earrings and a diamond evening watch.