venerdì 21 giugno 2013

More On The Prince of Wales Feathers Brooch

As you might remember, yesterday I posted a picture of the Duchess of Cornwall on Day 2 of Royal Ascot, sporting her Prince of Wales Feathers Brooch with emerald pendant.

So I thought it might be nice to share a bit of background information on this piece of jewellery, one which I particularly like: it is delicate and pretty, yet the enormous proportions of the emerald pendant give it added oomph!
The brooch was a wedding gift to Princess Alexandra (later Queen Alexandra) from the "Ladies of Bristol" on the occasion of her wedding to the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) on 10 March 1863. It consists of an oval of 18 brilliant-cut diamonds accented with tiny emeralds, encircling the Prince of Wales ostrich feathers, set with diamonds, and a scroll inscribed with the Prince of Wales motto "Ich Dien", German for "I serve". Completing the jewel is a detachable cabochon emerald pendant suspended from the bottomo of the circle.
For more details on the history of the heraldic badge of the Prince of Wales, see here.
Royal Collection

Upon the death of Queen Alexandra in 1925, the brooch was inherited first by her daughter-in-law Queen Mary, then by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. She then gave it to Diana, Princess of Wales, soon after her engagement to the Prince of Wales was announced in 1981.
Apparently, Diana loved the brooch, and was often photographed wearing it, with or without the Emerald drop. She used to wear it as a necklace pendant, suspended from the diamond necklace that formed part of the suite of jewellery presented to her by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia upon her wedding. Originally, the diamond necklace had its own pendant, a huge Burmese sapphire, surrounded by baguette-cut diamonds in a sunrays shape, and the Princess wore it both this way, or with the Ladies of Bristol brooch, with or without the emerald pendant.
Princess Diana in a red evening gown, wearing the Spencer family tiara, the Emir of Qatar diamond and pearl dangle earrings (another wedding present), the Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II and the feathers brooch suspended from her diamond necklace, sans emerald drop, 30 March 1983.
The Princess is seen here wearing the diamond necklace with its original sapphire pendant and matching sapphire earrings.

When using the emerald pendant version, the Princess like to wear the brooch with a pair of emerald earrings that Prince Charles had got her as a wedding present, as can be seen in this 1986 photos taken at a gala event in Vienna:
The Catherine Walker blue/green sequinned gown perfectly complemented the jewels hues.
As a royal heirloom, the brooch was handed back to the Queen at the time of Diana's divorce from the Prince of Wales in 1996 and, in the absence of a new Princess of Wales who could wear it, went into hiding for a while.
It has since resurface, being debuted by the Prince of Wales new bride, the Duchess of Cornwall at the premiere of the film "The History Boys" at the Odeon Leicester Sq on 2 October 2006. Camilla, too, choose to pair the brooch with emerald earrings.
The Duchess has worn the jewel a number of times since its first outing on her lapel back in 2006. In fact, it is said that Prince Charles was particularly keen for her to have it, thanks to its traditional association with successive Princesses of Wales. To my knowledge, though, the Duchess has never worn it as a necklace pendant, perhaps due to this wearing option being strongly associated with the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

In fact, the media never fail to comment when the brooch is spotted on the Duchess' lapel.

The Duchess at Cheltenham Festvial races, in a fur trimmed hat and teal bouclé coat accessorised with the brooch, 14 March 2012.

Once again, riding in the Queen's carriage at Royal Acot, 19 March 2013.
This is for sure a piece of jewellery I would like to see the Duchess of Cambridge wear, when she eventually becomes Princess of Wales!

mercoledì 19 giugno 2013

Royal Ladies at Ascot

Yesterday marked the start of this year's Royal Ascot, one of Europe's most famous horse racing meetings, which of course provides a splendid opportunity for some serious hat-watching!

This year's official logo.

Let's start with a look at the Royal ladies' outfits for Day 1, 18 June:

The Queen.
Move over! Princess Eugenie appears to photobomb the Queen, her grandmother, at Royal Ascot in Berkshire
The Queen with her granddaughter Princess Eugenie.
Elegant: The Queen was resplendent in pale fondant pink as she was driven down the racecourse in an open landau, accompanied by the Duchess of Cornwall
The Queen and the Duchess of Cornwall.
Stylish: Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie made an appearance in hats designed by Nerida Fraiman and were accompanied their father, the Duke of York
Princess Eugenie (left) and her sister Princess Beatrice of York.
Vibrant: The Queen's niece by marriage, Viscountess Serena Linley, looked wonderful in purple, while Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie were pretty in black and grey
A better look at the sisters' outfits.
A beaming Countess of Wessex in Emilia Wickstead, aqua chalcedony earrings by Heavenly Necklaces (I might have to get a pair of those!) and an aquamarine brooch - with thanks to Anna at My Small Obsession for the IDs.
Day 2, 19 June:
The Queen and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, arriving at the second day of Royal Ascot in their complementary spearmint outfits, pearls and white gloves
The Queen arrives with the Duchess of Cornwall in complementary Tiffany blue outfits.

The Queen, without realising, scuppered the bookies hopes of low payouts by wearing a green, pink and purple hat
A closer look at the Queen's hat.
The Duchess of Cornwall looked elegant, peaceful and sophisticated in her green summer coat, pearl necklace and wide-brimmed cream hat with stiff cream tuiles
If you look closely, you can see that the Duchess is wearing her "Ladies of Bristol" diamond brooch with emeral pendant, featuring the Prince of Wales' feathers, a priceless heirloom given as a wedding gift to Princess Alexandra when she married Prince Edward (later King Edward VII) in 1863.
A close-up view of the brooch.
Sophie, Countess of Wessex in her beige wrap dress, nude courts with a matching wide-brimmed hat and purple tuile
The Countess of Wessex in nude Emilia Wickstead, hat by Jane Taylor Millinery with credit to Anna at My Small Obsessions.
Excitement mounts: The Royals cheer on the horses
The Queen, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Prince of Wales taking a keen interest in the race.
Betting on Her Majesty: Bookmakers Coral are offering punters the chance to have a flutter on the Queen's sartorial choices, although it appears that most think she'll be in blue
Bets are being taken on the colour of the Queen's hats.

sabato 8 giugno 2013

The Swedish Royal Wedding

Today, HRH Princess Madeleine of Sweden married British-born American banker Christopher O'Neill at the Royal Palace Chapel in Stockholm and of course it was a glittering social occasion - just what I love!

The couple got engaged in October last year. One of my favourite pre-wedding pictures of them was taken very recently, on Sweden's National Day, 6 June.

Today, the romance was sealed with a fairytale wedding attended by European royals and the cream of New York society. The bride dazzled in a bespoke gown by Italian couturier Valentino Garavani, made from pleated silk organza with appliquéd ivory-coloured Chantilly lace, completed with a silk organza veil scattered with small Chantilly lace orange blossoms held in place by the fringe tiara.

15-month old Princess Estelle had her very own miniature gilded chair. Her mother the Crown Princess wore Princess Lilian's tiara and corsage, with the Order of the Seraphim on a ribbon with Grand Star.

An array of European royals were also in attendance:

Princesses Mary of Denmark (left) and Mette-Marit of Norway (right).

The Countess of Wessex.

The bride's mother, Queen Silvia, in a jade-coloured silk organza dress with train, accompanied by her son Prince Carl-Philip, in the mess dress of the Swedish Amphibious Corps, of which he is captain.

Full lenght view of Crown Princess Victoria's dress, a greige-rosé creation with aubergine accents.

On the whole, I must say I much preferred Princess Madeleine's dress to the one worn by her sister Crown Princess Victoria on the occasion of her own marriage to Daniel Westling on 19 June 2010, particularly because I've never been a huge fan of the Swedish Cameo parure she sported on that occasion.

Chanel Superstition Collection for Fall 2013

The new Chanel "Superstition" make up collection for fall 2013, is nearly upon us, with a release date for the US market set for next week, starting 10 June.

Europe and the rest of the world will soon follow, with release dates expected to be, as for previous collections, between mid-July and mid-August.

So, well, we'll just have to be patient for a few more days to have more detailed information and *holds breath expectantly* pictures!
For now, let's just enjoy this sneak peek!

A photo of Chanel Quadra Eyeshadow in Mystère, a limited edition US exclusive featuring Golden Khaki, Golden Ivory, Silver Taupe, Matte Khaki shades was tweeted by Tomoichi:

The collection will also feature a brand-new product for Chanel, and one I'm really excited about as I'm a big fan of cream blushes, especially for the winter months as I find them kinder to my sensitive skin - Le Blush Crème de Chanel cream blush, in no less than six shades:
Finally, the other products I'm most eagerly anticipating are, of course, the nail polishes!
There will be three new shades:
#589 Elixir, which is my favourite one so far and looks like a creamy raspberry pink and reminds me a bit of #533 April
#591 Alchimie, a limited edition Golden khaki, and
#601 Mysterious, a gunmetal shimmery cream which, so far, looks gorgeous. Of course I can't wait to see these in person as soon as they hit the beauty counters, but for now, I'll see you early next week after the US release, with more pictures!
Is there a particular product you cannot wait for? Leave a comment below and let me know!