17 December 2017

The Jewels of The Crown, Season 2, Episodes 1-4

The Crown on Netflix is back for Season 2, and our jewel-focused recaps are back as well!

The show picks up in the late 1950s and ends the season shortly after Prince Edward's birth in 1964, hitting along the way the trials and tribulations of Prince Philip, the trials and tribulations of Princess Margaret, and the struggle to modernize the monarchy.

To be honest, I didn't enjoy the second season as much as I did the first. The show vastly overestimated how much I care about Philip's angst (zero, I care zero) and their run through of Margaret's romantic problems wasn't backed by a very strong character development (her primary character trait seems to be a love of smoking). Claire Foy's portrayal of The Queen, however, remains impeccable. She deserves to add a few more trophies to her awards cabinet for her work here.

On to the jewels! As we did with Season 1, these recaps are mainly focused on the jewelry seen in the show. I'm focusing on those pieces that are intended to be replicas of the real deal; there are other items, brooches and so on, the show uses that seem to be pretty generic. 

Episode 1: Opening the season's premiere, in December, with the Diplomatic Reception, traditionally a December event, did make me smile. Just as they did in Season 1, the show continues to get its money out of this replica of the Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara, perhaps more than it was really used at this time. Combining the replicas of  the Duchess of Gloucester's Pendant Earrings an Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee Necklace is spot on. There are couple brooches they might be replicating with that pearl brooch at the center of her sash, the scale and positioning being the two things that stick out as not true to life. Piling on a whole bunch of medals for The Duke of Edinburgh is just about right, although if they're replicating the Order of Merit around the neck, they're jumping the gun by a few years. (He didn't have that one until 1968.)

Episode 1: Having a solitary moment of contemplation while watching a ballerina she suspects Philip is cheating with, we've got the Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara without any drops, an option we've seen in real life a few times. The cluster necklace doesn't seem to be replicating any particular piece in the collection.

Episode 3: There were several brooches shown in this episode that aren't really replicas of anything specific; this one, worn for a tense reunion in Portugal in 1957 after Philip was gone on a lengthy tour, included. It's hard to tell what brooch she actually wore for this event, but Philip really did wear a tie with hearts on it.

Episode 3: In the episode's most sparkling moment, the show depicts a baby coronation for Philip, when QEII granted him "the style and titular dignity of a Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" in 1957. This is the show's first use of a replica for Queen Alexandra's Kokoshnik Tiara, and it's really not too bad. (Maybe too tall, though.)

The earrings could pass for the Pear Drop Diamond Earrings that have been around since at least the 1960s; the necklace could pass for the King Khalid Diamond Necklace, which wouldn't enter her collection until 1979.

Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother did indeed wear this jewel combination frequently: the Greville Tiara and Queen Alexandra's Wedding Necklace. Princess Margaret wears a tiara (seen last season) that could vaguely be one of a couple pieces from Queen Mary, but replicating anything she actually wore will have to wait until the next episode.

Episode 4: The show then moves from the angst of Philip to the angst of Margaret. The romantic angst, specifically. And it all seems to move rather quickly for a character that I just don't think they've nailed. For example, this dude up here half-heartedly proposes to her; then, just a few minutes later, we move directly into her great angst over the break up of the engagement, and I couldn't give it anything more than a shrug. Anyway...this necklace could pass for the diamond collet necklace Margaret received from Queen Mary, which was auctioned after her death, but they'll use a seemingly different piece to stand in for that later.

Episode 4: And here, finally, we have a tiara that Margaret actually wore: the Cartier Halo Tiara. They're portraying one of her Cecil Beaton birthday portraits, and while the tiara is out of place for that occasion, the multiple strands of pearls are exactly right.

Episode 4: The speedy engagement and un-engagement of Margaret leads to ~drama~ at a dinner for The Queen and Prince Philip's 10th wedding anniversary, where we see more of the jewel combos we've already seen in this season. Those diamond earrings on The Queen are sort of a larger version of her Diamond Pendant Earrings.

Episode 4: The episode wraps with a return to the Lover's Knot Tiara, this time paired with the Duchess of Teck Earrings. They were more of a day selection than a gala selection in real life at this time, but it works.

To be continued with episodes 5-10... 

Photos: Netflix, British Monarchy

14 December 2017

Audiences at Buckingham Palace

The Queen held audiences at Buckingham Palace. Among those received was The Sultan of Brunei Darussalam, HM Hassanal Bolkiah.
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Although there was actually a head-on shot published from this group of audiences, this brooch is a little easier to pick out from the side, I think. There's a dot of bright blue to indicate the first 2017 appearance of this turquoise and diamond brooch.

13 December 2017

Christmas Staff Luncheon

December 12: The Queen had a pre-Christmas lunch with her staff at the Goring Hotel.

This is a beautiful suit for Her Maj, and this rich color is the perfect background for the delicate Waterford Crystal petals on this Mappin & Webb brooch. Festively well played!

08 December 2017

Investiture at Windsor Castle

The Queen held an Investiture at Windsor Castle.
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Wow, we can actually sorta see a brooch here, at an investiture! But apparently that's not enough, as we still have disagreement.

07 December 2017

HMS Queen Elizabeth Commissioning, Scripture Union Anniversary, and Audiences

The Queen attended the Commissioning Ceremony of aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth in Portsmouth. Her Majesty was accompanied by The Princess Royal, Commodore-in-Chief of HMNB Portsmouth.
Royal Navy/MOD Crown Copyright 2017

Purple, Anne in uniform, and Her Maj’s usual delight around these sorts of events. That’s a top notch engagement for you. 

Royal Navy/MOD Crown Copyright 2017

Amethysts make it even better! They’re the cherry on top of this outfit. The grape on top of this outfit, perhaps we should say. 

December 6: The Queen attended Scripture Union's 150th Anniversary Service of Celebration at St Mary's Church, Islington. 
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Not so entirely certain about the red and gold of the Grima Ruby Brooch against this hot pink, on the other hand. 

December 6: The Queen held audiences at Buckingham Palace. 
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And here we have the Cambridge Pearl, doing an admirable job of sticking out despite the heavy floral on this dress. Plus, a triplet moment! She coincidentally coordinates very well with the Nigerian High Commissioner George Adesola Oguntade and Mrs. Oguntade.

05 December 2017

The 2017 Diplomatic Reception (and a New Loan for The Duchess of Cambridge)

The Queen hosted the annual Diplomatic Reception at Buckingham Palace. The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke of Cambridge, and The Duchess of Cambridge were among those present. 

It doesn't look like we're getting lucky again this year with a proper group shot inside of the palace like we did last year - you'll remember that pictures from inside this event are rare - but we do have a glimpse inside the cars carrying the other members of the Royal Family to the party. We've got some loans from The Queen, including a new loan, so we'll cover it here: 

The Duchess of Cornwall 
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Solid repeats for Camilla for the evening, as we've seen both this dress and this jewelry combination on more than one past occasion. 

Camilla will have worn the Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II, though it is obscured by her cape in the car   
Riband of the Royal Victorian Order, certainly accompanied by the Star and Badge which can't be seen here

The Duchess of Cambridge 
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We have another new loaner for Kate, a diamond collet (rivière) necklace! This necklace must be a loan from The Queen, who has several of these collet necklaces in her collection. I am THRILLED to see her wearing one of these luscious necklaces! They're a) gorgeous and b) so versatile. The little black dress of (massive diamond) necklaces. She paired this with the tiara and earrings she's worn before.

 Cambridge (or Queen Mary's) Lover's Knot Tiara 
Collingwood Pearl and Diamond Earrings (from the private collection of the late Diana, Princess of Wales)
Diamond Collet Necklace

(A note on the necklace: While some will try to make a determination on which specific diamond necklace this is, I'm not likely to follow suit without official confirmation. Judging the size of a stone from one wearer to the next is a problem because the scale changes, and these necklaces can be changed in length by altering the number of stones to suit a new wearer. There are a lot of variables.)

01 December 2017

The Queen Mother’s Cartier Bracelet Quintet and Bandeau

The Queen Mother’s Cartier Bracelet Quintet and Bandeau

This set of five Cartier Art Deco bracelets were given individually as presents from King George VI, then Duke of York, to his wife, Queen Elizabeth, then Duchess of York and later Queen Mother, for birthdays and Christmases in 1923-25. The diamond bracelets have different colored baguette centers: one ruby, one emerald, one sapphire, and two diamonds. There are two diamond bracelets and five total, although only four are pictured above and this set is often referred to as a quartet rather than the quintet that it is.

The Queen Mother, as Duchess of York, wearing the bandeau (left) and the bracelets (right)

Mounts to turn three of the bracelets into a bandeau to be worn in the hair were added from Cartier in 1925. The Queen Mother wore the bandeau through the early 1930s, and the bracelets haven’t been seen as a bandeau since. She also regularly stacked the bracelets on one wrist. (A frequent question: what necklace is she wearing in the bandeau picture above? It’s impossible to tell what stone that is, thanks to the black and white, but she did have a sapphire and diamond chain necklace made in 1929 and this could be it. It is unknown whether that necklace is still in existence.)

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The Queen wears one ruby and one diamond bracelet, 1977

The bracelets are now in the collection of The Queen. She was spotted wearing the diamond and ruby bracelets as early as the 1970s, so it’s not known for certain when exactly she received them from her mother. She also loaned the ruby bracelet to The Princess of Wales for a tour of Australia in 1983*.

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The Princess of Wales wears one ruby bracelet, 1983

The Queen still wears these bracelets. She may get more use out of them for private events, since she has certain sets of jewelry she likes to wear together and most of her tiaras have other preferred bracelets, but that’s my hunch and nothing more.

Read more about these bracelets and bandeau at Order of Splendor.

*With thanks to Franck.

18 May 2017: Dinner at The Ivy