29 October 2011

Royal Fashion Awards: The Queen in Australia

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip have just wrapped a much-publicized trip to Australia which some have been billing as her "last" trip Down Under. I doubt it myself, but that doesn't mean we won't give her the applause she deserves in the form of a single person edition of the Royal Fashion Awards. It's QEII vs. QEII, head-to-head-to-head-to...let's just get on with it:

Best Outfit
Perfectly Pink in Melbourne
Click to enlarge
Tip o' the hat to outfit #7 - a repeat of sunshine from the royal wedding - and the divine white and silver #5, but the pink of #10 wins the trip. Perfectly vibrant color, perfect hat shape, perfect all over. Plus, it resulted in this bit of cuteness:

Best Brooch
The Australian Wattle Brooch
Click to enlarge
First, the brooch lineup:
  1. The Australian Wattle Brooch
  2. A sapphire, diamond and ruby brooch that was a gift from her parents in 1945
  3. A diamond and pearl brooch from the Queen Mother's collection
  4. One of her diamond bow brooches, looks like one of the three Queen Victoria had made in 1858
  5. Flowers in precious and semi-precious stones, a gift from a Sri Lankan state visit in 1981
  6. A diamond and gold rose brooch
  7. A diamond paisley brooch from the Queen Mother's collection
  8. The Jardine Star, a gift from Lady Jardine and one of HM's faves
  9. A diamond lily brooch, a gift from the City of London in 1947
  10. Rubies, diamonds and gold in a modern design
  11. Repeat! See #3.
  12. A sapphire flower, again from the Queen Mum's stash
  13. The Rhodesian flame lily brooch, a gift from the children of Rhodesia for her 21st birthday
And now, the undisputed best of the trip: the Australian Wattle. It's not just one she brings out of duty to the Australian people, who gave it to her in 1954, it's actually one of the gifts she wears on the regular. And who wouldn't? It's just lousy with white and yellow diamonds (in the form of a spray of wattle, the national flower).

Biggest Omission
The Andamooka Opal
Hey, Your Majesty, speaking of Australian gifts: why have you left the Andamooka opal in the vaults for so long? The people of south Australia gave this massive 203 carat opal to you in 1954, you wore it once, and you've neglected it ever since. I know opals are an acquired taste (they're not my favorites either), but I think Angela Kelly could come up with a gown to make this baby work. Or maybe that's just my absurd fondness for a statement necklace shining through.

Worst Hat
Teal in Perth
Brim's all kinds of stumpy, ornamentation is just too much...giant no to this one.

Best Picture
Meeting Elizabeth Cambage

Ha! Extra props to Ms. Cambage because she had heels on. I mean, when you're 6'8", what's the point in playing around?

Best Only Tiara
The Brazilian Aquamarine Tiara
This parure stems from a set of aquamarines QEII received as gifts from Brazil. It's gone through a lot of changes through the years (a story for some future Thursday), and the redesign merry-go-round stopped on this clunky thing. Can you tell it's not my favorite? I want to like it, I really do - who am I to argue with stones that size? - but it just fails me in the execution department. And you know how irrational I get when faced with sparkle let-down.

What were the trip highlights for you?

Photos: Daylife/Zimbio/Getty Images/Reuters/AP Photo/Royal Collection