The British state visit to France wrapped up in Bordeaux today, and Queen Camilla offered us a final bejeweled treat: antique turquoises and diamonds!
King Charles III and Queen Camilla touched down at the airport in Bordeaux on Friday for the final day of their state visit to France. The royal couple had originally been scheduled to make the journey from Paris to Bordeaux by train, but royal correspondents explained that their specific travel plans had been leaked by some members of the media. Rebecca English writes that “a major security operation” would have had to be put in place by the French police to secure the train journey, so the police advised the royals to fly instead.
The King and Queen’s visit to Bordeaux included several stops, including a visit to the Hotel de Ville.
Despite some rain showers, they were able to greet members of the public during a walkabout.
The royals also officially opened the British Consulate in Bordeaux.
And they met with members of the military during a reception on the flight deck of HMS Iron Duke. (If the name of the ship sounds familiar, that’s because Prince William served aboard the vessel for several weeks in the Caribbean back in 2008.)
For the day’s engagements, Queen Camilla wore a coat dress in a bright shade of turquoise blue. It was made by one of her favorite designers, Anna Valentine.
She matched the color of the outfit to her jewelry, wearing her antique diamond and turquoise earrings.
These earrings come from her personal collection. They’ve been in her jewelry box for more than two decades, since before she married the King. Above, she wears them with an antique diamond and turquoise necklace for Charles’s 50th birthday celebration at Highgrove in 1998.
Camilla wears both the earrings and the necklace again here, in a photograph taken during an official dinner at the Royal Palace in Oslo in March 2012.
Queen Camilla pinned a royal heirloom to her jacket as well, wearing a rectangular diamond brooch with an Art Deco design. Buckingham Palace briefed royal reporters today that the brooch belonged to the late Queen Elizabeth II.
We saw Camilla wear the brooch for the first time last Christmas for a church service at St. Mary Magdalene near the Sandringham estate in Norfolk.
She also wore the diamond brooch on Ladies’ Day at Royal Ascot this June. On that occasion, the palace shared the brooch’s connection to the late monarch for the first time. We haven’t gotten any more specific provenance details about the piece, but one royal jewelry researcher has posited that the brooch may have belonged to Queen Mary, pointing to an appearance in July 1930.
Interestingly, Queen Camilla removed the brooch during the day. Perhaps it was tucked away during moments when aides worried they wouldn’t be able to easily retrieve it or secure it? This photograph shows that she also wore some of her everyday pieces of jewelry, including her Kiki McDonough Apollo Pendant and her blue Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra Bracelet.
Here’s one more look at Camilla’s turquoise and diamond ensemble during the Iron Duke reception. Three cheers for antique jewels during a state visit!