Tomorrow, King Charles III and Queen Camilla will arrive in Paris to begin the first pair of state visits of their reign. [Edit: Never mind. The French state visit has been postponed. Instead, Charles and Camilla will head to Germany on Wednesday.] The state visit to Germany marks the first foreign state visit by a British monarch since 2015. Today, we’ve got a look at the tiaras that Queen Elizabeth II wore on her final state visits to France and Germany.
On June 6, 2014, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh attended a state dinner at the Élysée Palace in Paris. The occasion was a special one: the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy. We covered all of the jewels worn for this state visit in our earlier article here.
For the dinner, the Queen wore a white evening gown with a beaded bodice and silver accessories. The beading on the gown is particularly interesting, because it’s quite modern, with a deliberately uneven, jagged edge along the neckline, waist, and wrists. She also wore the red sash and star of the French Legion d’Honneur.
With the sparkling gown, the Queen absolutely piled on the diamonds, wearing several notable heirloom pieces.
She opted for the Girls of Great Britain & Ireland Tiara, one of her very favorite royal jewels. She received the diamond tiara as a wedding gift from her grandmother, Queen Mary, in November 1947. Half a century earlier, in July 1893, the tiara had been one of Mary’s own wedding gifts.
With the tiara, she wore the magnificent Coronation Necklace and Earrings, which date to the 1850s. They were made for Queen Victoria as replacements for similar jewels lost in the Hanoverian Claim. They’re now Heirlooms of the Crown, intended to be used by the monarch or consort.
She secured her order sash with a jewel inherited from her late mother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother: the Ruby and Diamond Bouquet Brooch.
She wore a diamond evening watch on her left wrist and a modern diamond bracelet, worn often for banquets around this time, on her right.
A year later, in June 2015, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh made their final foreign state visit, this time to Germany. You can see all of the jewels worn by the Queen during this state visit in our article here.
On June 24, a banquet was held in their honor at Schloss Bellevue in Berlin.
The Queen wore another white evening gown for the banquet, again with a sparkling beaded bodice. This time around, the beading was more subtle and traditional. She also pinned the sash and star of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany to her dress.
She again chose the Girls of Great Britain & Ireland Tiara for the state banquet. It was a lovely little nod to history, as Queen Mary’s father, the Duke of Teck, was a member of the royal family of Württemberg.
Another German member of the family, Prince Albert, was also included in the jewelry display. The Queen wore the Crown Rubies, a necklace, earrings, and brooch designed by Albert as a gift for Queen Victoria.
The jewels are now set with bright red rubies, but the diamond clusters originally contained opals. Queen Alexandra had the necklace and earrings reset with rubies, and Queen Mary had the brooch reset later on as well.
The Queen didn’t wear a bracelet on her right wrist, but she did wear one of her diamond evening watches on her left wrist.
There was also one more brooch surprise in store, another tribute to the Teck family. The Queen wore the Teck Emperor of Austria Brooch (without its chain and pendants) to secure the back of her sash. The brooch was given to Queen Mary’s mother, the Duchess of Teck, by Emperor Franz Josef of Austria in 1870, when he served as a godfather and namesake to Mary’s brother, Prince Francis of Teck.
I didn’t expect that we’d see Queen Camilla wearing a tiara in France, as their state dinners have a business attire dress code now, but that’s a moot point now. But I do think we’ll see her wearing one in Berlin at Schloss Bellevue for the state banquet on Wednesday. What jewels are you hoping to see her wear during the German state visit?