ITS A FAMILY GALLERY.
British Royal black & white portraits displayed at the National Portrait Gallery.
-Links: top left to bottom right: Queen Victoria, Queen Alexandra, Queen Mary, The Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth ii, Princess Margaret, The Queen Mother (again), Queen Elizabeth ii (again), Princess Anne The Princess Royal, Diana Princess of Wales, Sophie Countess of Wessex & The Duchess of Cambridge.
There are some wonderful other Royal portraits on the NPG website, these are jus a few.
Jewelry of the Princess of Wales
There are quite a few pieces of jewelry associated with the Princess of Wales that belong to the British Royal Family. They all feature either the Prince of Wales’ Feathers or the leek. The Prince of Wales’ Feathers are three ostrich feathers with a coronet and the Prince of Wales’ motto, Ich Dien/I Serve. A leek is a plant in allium family (onions, garlic, etc.) that has been the symbol of Wales since the 7th century when Welsh soldiers wore them on their helmets when fighting against the Saxons. The BRF will sometimes wear actual leeks not bejeweled ones on engagements in Wales or with the Welsh Guards.
In 1863, when Princess Alexandra of Denmark married the then Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, the women of Wales collected money to gift their new princess jewelry. There hadn’t been a Princess of Wales is over 40 years and I guess they were a little excited because the gifts were plentiful. They are split into those from North Wales and South Wales and they are all made from emeralds and diamonds which are the colors of the Welsh flag. The set from the ladies of North Wales includes two brooches and a pair of earrings all made by Garrard. It was a little hard to get a picture of the earrings but there is a diamond stud at the top that you can’t see here.
The first brooch is a Prince of Wales’ Feathers surrounded by diamonds with a cabochon emerald drop. The ribbon at the bottom of the feathers says ‘Ich Dein/I Serve.’ The Queen Mother gave this brooch to Princess Diana when she got engaged to Prince Charles in 1981 and it was the only piece of Wales gifted jewelry that she passed along. Diana wore it primarily as a pendant on the diamond line necklace from the Saudi Arabian sapphire set both with and without the emerald drop. In the picture of the Duchess of Cornwall wearing the brooch below she is also wearing the earrings from the North Wales gift.
The second brooch features an emerald leek surround by a diamond border saying ‘I’n Tywysoges Ni/To Our Princess’ and also has a cabochon emerald drop. It’s the only one of the gifts that we have a photograph of Queen Alexandra wearing and the Queen Mother famously wore it for her grandson’s investiture as the Prince of Wales in 1969. All Queen Alexandra’s North Wales jewelry is currently worn by the Duchess of Cornwall who is the Princess of Wales even though she doesn’t use the title.
Not to be outdone the women of South Wales also presented jewelry but theirs were made by Hunt & Roskell. The bracelet is made of emeralds, pearls, and diamonds set in gold. There’s a big emerald in the center with a ribbon saying ‘Duw Cadwo Ein Tywysoges Ni/God Keep Our Princess’ intertwined with leeks on either side. Then there is what I can only assume is a massive brooch made from enamel, emeralds, pearls, and diamonds. It features a leek in the center topped with a floral design of trefoil, oak, wheat, and mistletoe to symbolize the four seasons and an enamel ribbon with ‘O Ddeheudir Cymru Iddeu Tywysoges/From South Wales To Our Princess’ in diamonds. On the bottom are three pendants. The left is a red Welsh dragon, the center is St. David, and the right is the arms of Wales.
I can’t find any pictures of the brooch being worn but the Queen Mother used to wear the bracelet.
Prince George, Duke of Cambridge, also gave Prince of Wales’ Feathers jewelry to the new bride. The gold, blue enamel, and diamond bracelet was made by Garrard with the buckle section dating from around 1830 and then later mounted on a bracelet before being given to Alexandra.
In 1903, the then Prince of Wales, later King George V, gave his wife, Mary, a gold and diamond Prince of Wales’ Feathers brooch and then a year later he added a gold bracelet with the Prince of Wales’ Feathers intertwined with the letter ‘G’ and set with unidentified pink gemstones.
In 1981, the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths gave Princess Diana, the first Princess of Wales in 70 years, a necklace and earrings that feature the Prince of Wales’ Feathers. They were made by Lexi Dick using cabochon sapphires set in white and yellow gold. The set has never been worn publicly. In 2007, it was loaned to the Kazanjian Foundation's Jewels for Charity tour and the press release said that it had been sold by Diana prior to her death but there are no other sources for that so take it with a grain of salt. The only reason it makes sense to me for Diana to have sold any of her jewelry would be if it was to raise money for charity but there’s no evidence of that happening.
In the late 90s, Prince Charles gave the Duchess of Cornwall a Prince of Wales’ Feathers brooch with a gray pearl. The most important outing of this brooch was on their wedding day in 2005.
And finally these diamond leek brooches from the Welsh Guards that were given to the Queen, Princess Diana, and the Duchess of Cornwall. According to From Her Majesty’s Jewel Vault, there are three separate brooches and I am going to take her word for it. There have to be at least two because the Queen and the Duchess of Cornwall have worn theirs to the same event.
There are some older pieces associated with the Prince of Wales but this is what I would consider the wearable jewelry, although knowing the BRF there’s probably a few more pieces in a vault somewhere that have never been seen publicly. Right now the jewelry is kind of here, there, and everywhere and I would love to see it all brought together as a collection that is passed from Princess of Wales to Princess of Wales. I wouldn’t expect the Duchess of Cornwall to pass on her brooch when she becomes queen since it was a personal gift from before she was a royal but it would be nice if she left it to future Princesses of Wales and whoever is the Queen would be able to keep one of the Welsh Guard brooches since there are three. Queen Elizabeth II also has a daffodil brooch that could potentially be added to this group but the Queen would still need some Wales associated jewelry. The Welsh government website calls the daffodil an “interloper” from the 19th century which makes me smile but you sometimes see the BRF wear it instead of the leek. In the future I wouldn’t mind seeing some daffodil or maybe even red dragon jewelry added to the collection for the Princess of Wales but I’m probably dreaming on the latter.
June 20, 1945: U.S. troops returning from Europe pack the decks of the British luxury liner-turned-troopship RMS* Queen Mary as she steams into New York Harbor with some 14,000 troops aboard. This was the ship's first voyage to America since V-E Day.
Photo: U.S. Coast Guard via the Denver Post