22 May 2011

Gold Star: Queen Elizabeth in Ireland

As you most likely know, Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh made a state visit to Ireland this past week. This visit was heralded as one of the most historic of the Queen's reign, and it certainly stood out. The Queen and the Duke were praised for everything from their peacemaking presence to their sheer stamina (how flattered they must be, so many people shocked they just don't keel over these days). We're here, of course, to praise the clothes.

The Queen is usually dressed by her own personal dresser, Angela Kelly. She must have great influence, this Angela; she's even got the Queen in nude shoes! Whatever she's saying, I'm glad the Queen is listening: from the vibrant emerald green on arrival to the 2,091 hand-sewn embroidered shamrocks adorning her evening gown, every outfit is flattering for this 85-year-old monarch, with just the right nod to the occasion.

And being the Queen, she's always sure to bring us some bling. No day is complete without a brooch:
Top row, left to right: one of Queen Victoria's bow brooches, a gold brooch with carved rubies, the Australian Wattle Brooch
Bottom row, left to right: Prince Albert's sapphire brooch (a wedding gift to Queen Victoria), the aquamarine clips, an interesting new brooch that was perhaps a gift from the President, the smaller of the Cambridge emerald brooches without the usual emerald drop

And the real sparkle, of course, comes at the state dinner:
Many, including myself, wondered if we'd see the Queen in her emeralds while on the Emerald Isle, but of course we overlooked the most obvious choice of all: the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara, a wedding gift to Queen Mary (who gave it, in turn, as a wedding gift to the Queen), and the Queen's favorite. With this, she paired a diamond necklace that looks nearly identical to the King Khalid of Saudi Arabia necklace, but isn't the same (oh, to have a collection that large!). The brooch is in the shape of an Irish harp, and has been reported to be Swarovski crystals.

I must also give a tip of the non-royal hat to Ireland's President, Mary McAleese. She's been involved in several state visits lately, and I'm always impressed.
Mostly dressed by Deborah Veale here, she's neat and stylish without trying too hard. Gold stars all around!

What did you think of the Ireland visit?

Photos: Getty Images/Daylife