29 June 2012

Gold Star: The Queen in Northern Ireland

Another day, another historic moment for the Queen in her Diamond Jubilee year: a peace-making visit to Northern Ireland with the Duke of Edinburgh in tow. And as always, the Queen shows the royal world exactly how diplomatic dressing is done.

On arrival, her Wedgewood blue outfit was covered with lace which looked like shamrocks from afar. (And her hat totally looks like it has the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara wrapped around it, no? Now that's how we show 'em who's boss.) Her brooch, meanwhile, went the actual shamrock route: a cluster of three diamond shamrocks tied with a small ribbon of green which looks like emeralds. The Shamrock Brooch doesn't seem to have a known history or any other known appearances right now. Based on the specific nature of the design (shamrocks, very region-specific), I would imagine it was a gift from a group associated with Northern Ireland; since it doesn't appear she's worn it for any previous visit to this region, I'd guess it was a recent gift. Guesses, guesses.
The Shamrock Brooch

The second and final day of the trip, on which I desperately wanted to give HM a hug, included a headline-making handshake with Martin McGuinness, Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland and a former leader in the IRA. Lord Mountbatten and three others were killed by an IRA bomb in 1979. But true to form, both the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh carried on with smiles on their faces.
And the Queen honored the area again in her outfit, this time by using the color green - but an acid green, which was a nice way not to dose herself in emerald like some comical drunk American pretending to be Irish for St. Patrick's Day. The outfit was covered in gold accents and was complemented by the Frosted Sunflower Brooch, a gold sunflower with a diamond center and diamond-studded petals which was made for the Queen by Garrard and appears frequently. I suppose it's not for nothing that some see the sunflower as a symbol of peace.
The Frosted Sunflower Brooch

For clever diplomatic dressing and sheer dedication to pushing on, this gets Gold Stars galore.

Photos: WPA Pool/Getty Images