lunedì 18 aprile 2016

#QueenAt90 Souvenir Ideas

As you'll all be aware, it's the Queen's 90th birthday on Thursday 21 April, so I thought it might be nice to compile a brief guide of some of the best souvenirs and mementoes that are appearing in the shops to celebrate the occasion! Worldwide delivery available on all items featured unless otherwise stated, click on the photos to be redirected.

London-based Biscuiteers Baking Company Ltd have come up with this special commemorative biscuit tin of beautifully hand-iced biscuits celebrating Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday. Perfect for toasting and feasting, this royal assortment includes corgis and crowns, guardsmen and pages, gilded coaches, a sumptuous cake and a majestic Buckingham Palace, not to mention an edible Launer handbag and Angela Kelly hat!
Get 10% off with code 'CORGI10' at checkout until 20 April:

Scottish company Walkers Shortbread are offering an appropriately regal purple Queen Celebration tin for their Union Jack shortbreads (delivery is to UK mainland only, but they have stockists round the world):

In case you'd like a cup of tea to wash down all those biscuits, Royal Warrant holder Twinings have created this very special commemorative blend of tea in a beautifully illustrated, limited edition collector’s tin. This lovely new tea blend uses the finest quality black teas from three Commonwealth countries.  Full-bodied tea from Assam, India; refreshing Kenyan tea and a rich, smooth Sri Lankan variety swirl together for a marvellous celebratory cup. The Queen is famous for her roles as Head of State and Church, of course, but also her hats and love of horse racing. All these symbols have been included in the fun and elegant design of the tin. The lid is embossed with her insignia EIIR (Elizabeth II Regina). The colours? Royal blue and gold, of course! For every commemorative tin sold, Twinings will make a donation to QEST: the Royal Warrant Holders Association Charity, supporting excellence in British craftsmanship. There's a section devoted to street party recipe ideas, too, should you wish to celebrate the Queen's birthday in true British style:

There's no shortage of elegant tea cup options, either, beginning of course with the official commemorative chinaware available from the Royal Collection Trust Shop (prices from £4.95). There are plenty of options to choose from (see them all here), but one I think HM herself would particularly approve of are this dainty teacup and saucer:

Royal warrant holders Halcyon Days have come up with this Queen Elizabeth II 90th birthday mug in gilded English fine bone china, decorated with flowers and symbols that represent the four countries of the United Kingdom against a green base detailed with golden trellising, but they, too, have a whole selection of 90th birthday-themed items available (from £28):

Dunoon Ceramics offer two celebratory mugs, including this playful HM Queen Elizabeth II 90th Birthday Cairngorm shape mug, intended as a humorous homage to the Queen. It displays hand-drawn images of things associated with HM’s daily life. A corgi, Buckingham Palace, the state car and the crown itself are all depicted, along with a bouquet of flowers and an enormous pink cake with 90 and a golden crown on the top (worldwide delivery via Temptations Gifts):
Emma Bridgewater are offering this commemorative tea towel alongside their classic 1/2 pint mugs, revamped in two celebratory designs for the occasion (prices from £10 for the tea towel):

Harrods (left) and Cath Kidston (right) are both stocking commemorative canvas bags:
Both brands stock a selection of other royal birthday-themed souvenirs, including this gorgeous Queen's 90th Birthday 100% wool shawl by Cath Kidston:
Iconic British designer Jan Constantine offers a limited edition Queen's Collection, which includes, among other items, this hand-embroidered and hand-appliquéd God Save the Queen wool cushion:
If you're into crafts, needlework company Riverdrift House has released a commemorative cross stitch sampler kit, which includes some hat and bag-shaped presents and of course doens't forget the corgis! (Additionally, most major UK stitchy magazines are publishing Queen's 90th birthday-related charts just now): 
Prefer knitting? Then look no further than the fabulously detailed 1950s Queen Elizabeth II Tea Cosy knitting pattern by Tea Cosy Folk! Available for immediate download as a .pdf file or as a paper pattern, the tea cosy is based on the water coloured portrait of the queen by Dorothy Wilding from 1952, featuring a young looking Queen in a gold and blue dress with silver crown and finery, complete with a purple cape bearing the royal cipher and holding a cup and saucer, because the Queen loves a good old cuppa too! A pattern for a Golden State Coach-shaped cosy is available as well.
It's never too early to start planning for Christmas, and a series of celebratory Christmas ornaments are already available, including this gold and purple one from the official range at Westminster Abbey:
For a look at magazines celebrating the occasion, head over to the Facebook page!

domenica 17 aprile 2016

Royal Tour of India and Bhutan 2016 Complete Lookbook

Royal tour of India and Bhutan, 10-16 April 2016

10 April 2016 - Arrival in Mumbai and wreath-laying ceremony at the Taj Palace Hotel.
New dress: bespoke version of an Alexander McQueen pre-fall 2016 paisley-print dress with peplum detail; new bag: Russell & Bromley "Curvy" clutch bag in taupe suede with a gunmetal frame and clasp closure; new shoes: L.K. Bennett "Fern" courts in trench leather; "Temple of Heaven" girandole pendant earrings by Cassandra Goad (Daily Mail article here).

10 April 2016 - Watching a young person’s cricket match at Oval Maidan, a public park in Mumbai, and meeting representatives and beneficiaries of three charities: Magic Bus, Doorstep, and India’s Childline, and later visiting Banganga Water Tank and meeting with representatives of the Smile Foundation.
New dress: "Gulrukh" tunic dress in viscose georgette by Indian designer Anita Dongre; new shoes: "Fleur" espadrille wedge in mink by Monsoon; new earrings: filigree bead short drop earrings by Accessorize; Ray-Ban Wayfarer (folding?) sunglasses (Daily Mail article here, Daily Telegraph article on how the Duchess had the dress customized here).

10 April 2016 - Attending a reception and dinner hosted by the British High Commission in partnership with the British Asian Trust at the Taj Palace Hotel to celebrate Mumbai’s film and creative industries and to raise funds for the three charity the couple met earlier in the day.
New gown: bespoke Jenny Packham evening gown and matching cape, hand-beaded in India; new bag: bespoke Jenny Packham clutch matching the gown; new shoes: plum suede wavy sandals by Prada; new earrings: bespoke lapis and diamond oval drop earrings by Jaipur-based Amrapali Jewels, similar in style to these (Daily Mail article here).

11 April 2016 - Meeting aspiring young entrepreneurs at a GREAT campaign event at The Social, a bar, restaurant and collaborative workspace in Mumbai. Later, arrival in New Delhi, wreath-laying at India Gate, the country's main war memorial and visit to Gandhi Smriti, where Mahatma Gandhi, India’s founding father, spent the last few years of his life.
New dress: ivory wool crepe midi dress with pocket detail by Emilia Wickstead; new bag: Mulberry "Bayswater" clutch in oatmeal suede; new shoes: "Calice" high heel pumps in pink lady textured kid by Rupert Sanderson; "Temple of Heaven" girandole pendant earrings by Cassandra Goad (Dail Mail article here). 

11 April 2016 - Garden party at the British High Commissioner's residence in New Delhi to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday.
New top: "Delphia" crop top with opulent embroidery motifs of Indian chintz and lattice and new skirt: long "Delphia" skirt in embroidered silk, both by Temperley London; unidentified costume chandelier earrings, dating back to at least 2007; new shoes: criss-cross ankle wrap suede sandals by Gianvito Rossi; new bag: black satin clutch with crystal-embellished clasp by Prada (Daily Mail article here).

12 April 2016 - Visiting the Salaam Baalak Trust, a charity which provides a sensitive and caring environment to street and working children in New Delhi.
New dress: red navy border print lace up maxi dress by Glamorous; new shoes: Russell & Bromley "Xpresso" crossover flat shoes in blush suede; filigree bead short drop earrings by Accessorize (Daily Mail article here).


12 April 2016 - Meeting with a group of women's rights activists at the British High Commissioner's residence and lunch with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, a residence used by the Government for meetings with visiting foreign dignitaries. Arrival at Tezpur Airport in Assam.
New dress: "Desdemona" lace dress in jade by Alice Temperley; L.K. Bennett "Natalie" clutch; new earrings: Kiki McDonough green tourmaline and green amethyst oval drop earringsL.K. Bennett "Fern" courts in trench leather (Daily Mail article here).


12 April 2016 - Seeing dance and musical performances by local people at the time of the Bohag Bihu festival, the celebration of the Assamese New Year.
New dress: printed crinkled silk-chiffon and twill maxi dress by Anna Sui; gold-tone chandelier earrings with azure stones (chalcedony?), dating back to at least 2006; Pied-a-Terre "Imperia" wedges in black canvas (Daily Mail article here).


13 April 2016 - Open-air drive around Kaziranga National Park and meeting with local people, park staff and rangers.
New shirt: "Gretna" ruffled shirt in white/navy/sand from Australian brand RM Williams's A/W 2014 collection; new trousers: biker stretch pants by Zara; Kiki Classic citrine pear drop earrings by Kiki McDonough; Sebago "Bala" moccasin slip-on shoes in white/taupe; new scarf: beige Indian embroidered stole by Flora Garments; Ray-Ban Wayfarer (folding?) sunglasses (Daily Mail article here).

13 April 2016 - Visiting Pan Bari village and the Kaziranga Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation Centre and meeting with young filmmakers from the Green Hub, a project that teaches film-making as a vocational skill to young people across North-East India. Then visiting the Kaziranga Discovery Centre, built by Elephant Family, the charity founded by Mark Shand, late brother of The Duchess of Cornwall.
New dress: embroidered smock dress by Topshop; filigree bead short drop earrings by Accessorize; Pied-a-Terre "Imperia" wedges in black canvas (Daily Mail article here).

14 April 2016 - Departing Guwahati Airport in Assam en route to Bhutan.
"Chrissy" dress by Tory Burch, in a Moroccan-inspired print of abstract fans and flourishes; L.K. Bennett "Fern" courts in trench leather; new earrings: lavender amethyst pear and oval drop earrings by Kiki McDonough.

14 April 2016 - Arrival at Paro Airport in Bhutan, ceremonial welcome and scenic drive to the capital city of Thimphu.
Bespoke Emilia Wickstead belted coatdress in buttercup yellow; L.K. Bennett "Natalie" clutch; L.K. Bennett "Fern" courts in trench leather; new earrings: gold charm earrings by Brora (Daily Mail article here).

14 April 2016 - Arrival at Thimphu Dzong, a Buddhist monastery, fortress and the seat of Bhutan's government; chipdrel (a traditional welcome procession, and rivate audience with the King and Queen. Later, visit to Thimphu’s open-air archery venue (archery is Bhutan's national sport) and meeting with young people from local schools and NGOs.
New cape: Paul & Joe cream wool cape embroidered in India with pink, turquoise and red florals; new skirt: inspired by the kira, the national dress for women in Bhutan, made in England by Catherine's dressmaker from material sourced and woven in Bhutan; L.K. Bennett "Fern" courts in trench leather; lavender amethyst pear and oval drop earrings by Kiki McDonough (Daily Mail article here).


14 April 2016 - Private dinner with the King and Queen at Lingkana Palace.
New dress: floral mesh gown by Tory Burch; criss-cross ankle wrap suede sandals by Gianvito Rossi; new scarf: John Lewis modal wrap in coral is a possibility; gold charm earrings by Brora (Daily Mail article here).

15 April 2016 - Hiking to Paro Taktsang, the Tiger’s Nest monastery, a prominent Himalayan Buddhist sacred site and temple in the upper Paro valley.
Shooting leather waistcoat by Really Wild Clothing in olive green nubuck; new shirt: white linen classic blouse by Jaeger; new jeans: unidentified khaki jeans; Penelope Chilvers long tassel boots in conker; Kiki Classic citrine pear drop earrings by Kiki McDonough; Ray-Ban Wayfarer (folding?) sunglasses; beige Indian embroidered stole by Flora Garments (Daily Mail article here).

15 April 2016 - Attending a reception in Thimphu for British nationals in Bhutan and Bhutanese people with strong links to the UK.
New dress: Beulah London "Juliet" dress in silk chiffon with a poppy print (the poppy is the national flower of Bhutan); "Temple of Heaven" girandole pendant earrings by Cassandra Goad; criss-cross ankle wrap suede sandals by Gianvito Rossi (Daily Mail article here).

16 April 2016 - Departing Bhutan en route to Agra, India.
White broderie anglaise suit by Alexander McQueen; L.K. Bennett "Natalie" clutch; L.K. Bennett "Fern" courts in trench leather; "Lauren" yellow gold pave diamond leaf earrings by Kiki McDonough; new necklace: gold and diamond necklace depicting the endless knot, one of the eight auspicious symbols in Buddhism, representing the harmony of wisdom and compassion, a gift from Bhutan's Queen Jetsun. The Duchess's is a bespoke version of this silver and cubic zirconia necklace by Sonam Rabgye (Daily Mail article here).

16 April 2016 - Visiting the Taj Mahal in Agra, India.
New dress: blue and white embroidered dress by Indian-born designer Naeem KhanL.K. Bennett "Fern" courts in trench leatherRay-Ban Wayfarer (folding?) sunglassesnew earrings: Bhutanese earrings bought at a market stall during the hike to the Tiger's Nest monastery (Daily Mail article here and here).

Daily Telegraph picture gallery for the tour here.

Official Kensington Palace press release for the tour here.

I'd love to know which outfit was your favourite, so make sure to leave a comment below to let me know! Personally, I have two favourites: the Anita Dongre tunic dress and the Naeem Khan embroidered dress!