The final day of Royal Ascot brought us even more spectacular royal jewels, including coronation diamonds and a magnificent brooch that was a royal wedding gift almost a century ago!
For the fifth day running, the King and Queen arrived at the races in the first carriage of the traditional procession from Windsor Castle. They were joined by the Earl and Countess of Caledon. Lord Caledon also rode in the procession on Friday.
One photographer, Alex Pantling, snapped this excellent overhead shot of the royal couple arriving in the carriage.
Supporters of the racing industry in Britain were reportedly thrilled by King Charles III and Queen Camilla’s attendance at the entire Royal Ascot race meeting, following in the footsteps of the sport’s most important patron, Queen Elizabeth II.
King Charles wore his usual gray morning suit for the races on Saturday, while Queen Camilla yet again opted for a dress by Anna Valentine and a hat by Philip Treacy. For those betting on the color of her ensemble, the racecourse notes that the official shade of the outfit was “buttermilk.”
The King brought along some lovely jeweled accessories on Saturday, just as he has done all week long. He secured his tie with a gorgeous antique pin featuring a luminous cabochon sapphire surrounded by diamonds. He wore this particular pin last month for a coronation garden party at Buckingham Palace.
We also got a glimpse of his gold cufflinks on Saturday. They feature another royal cypher, GR topped by a coronet, which means they’re from one of the Georges (either King George V or King George VI).
Queen Camilla also referenced the recent coronation with her jewelry, wearing her gold and diamond coronation earrings with her ensemble. She also added more gold jewelry, including her torc-style gold necklace.
That overhead shot of the King and Queen also revealed that Camilla wore her gold and diamond bangle with the large green cabochon gemstone on her left wrist.
We’ve seen her wear this bracelet on previous occasions, including a dinner at Winfield House in London in June 2019.
Several members of the family of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent were at the races on Saturday as well. Their son, Lord Frederick Windsor, rode in carriage number two with his wife, the actress Sophie Winkleman.
Sophie wore a bright yellow dress with cream-colored accessories for Saturday’s races.
She accessorized with pearl earrings and a chic pair of sunglasses.
Also riding in carriage two were Lady Weatherby (wife of Sir Johnny Weatherby, who served as Queen Elizabeth II’s Representative at Ascot from 2011-2020) and Princess Zahra, daughter of the Aga Khan. Zahra wore a lovely pair of diamond and ruby earrings for the races.
In the third carriage, Lord Frederick’s sister, Lady Gabriella, rode alongside her husband, Thomas Kingston. They were joined by the trainer Andrew Balding (brother of the presenter Clare Balding) and his wife, Anna-Lisa.
Lady Gabriella was lovely in a light blue coat dress with a matching hat.
But it was her accessories that caught my eye. With her diamond wedding earrings and a diamond tennis bracelet, she wore a very special antique brooch.
The triangular aquamarine clip brooch features the initials G and M in diamonds. Those who know their royal history will immediately think of Lady Gabriella’s royal grandparents: Prince George, Duke of Kent and Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark.
George and Marina are indeed the G and M referenced on the brooch. The jewel, one of eight identical brooches, was made in 1934 as Prince George’s gift to the bridesmaids at his wedding to Princess Marina. News reports from the wedding describe the brooches as having a “very modern triangular design.”
Prince George and Princess Marina were married at Westminster Abbey on November 29, 1934. Princess Marina was attended by eight bridesmaids: Princess Katharine of Greece and Denmark, Lady Iris Mountbatten, Princess Eugenie of Greece and Denmark, Grand Duchess Kira Kirillovna of Russia, Princess Juliana of the Netherlands, Lady Mary Cambridge, and Princess Elizabeth of York. They wore the aquamarine triangle brooches pinned to their dresses for the royal wedding.
I’m not sure which of the eight brooches is the one now worn by Lady Gabriella, but it wouldn’t surprise me if, eventually, one had been given back to Gabriella (or her parents, or another member of the Kent family) as a gift to mark a special occasion like a wedding. After all, the late Queen Elizabeth II, who was the youngest bridesmaid at George and Marina’s wedding, was one of the guests in attendance at Lady Gabriella’s wedding in May 2019. Perhaps she boxed up her brooch for Gabriella as a wedding present?
The final carriage in today’s procession held several important members of the racing world: the jockey Frankie Dettori and his wife, Catherine, and the trainer Jamie Snowden with his wife, Lucy.
Frankie was given the honor of riding in the procession as part of a salute to his remarkable racing career. He announced that he will retire at the end of the 2023 racing season, so this is his final Royal Ascot. He’s won more than 80 races at Royal Ascot over the years, and he’s ridden numerous racehorses owned by the late Queen Elizabeth II (and now King Charles III and Queen Camilla).
A quick programming note: after a VERY busy week, there will be no new article published on Sunday. I’ll be back here with more royal jewelry content as usual on Monday morning!