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Monday, June 9, 2014

Queen Elizabeth Wears Tiara and Diamonds at French State Dinner

Queen Elizabeth II with French President Francois Hollande (left)
and her husband Prince Philip.

French President Francois Hollande honored Queen Elizabeth II with a state dinner Friday reportedly attended by seven monarchs and 10 presidents to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of D-Day. The jewelry worn by the queen at the historic event was appropriate for the grand occasion and nearly as compelling as her words in the speech she gave, which were described by London’s Daily Mail as “forceful and personal.” 

Consulting with Buckingham Palace Sunday and verifying that information with two of several blogs that follows the queen’s jewelry preferences, “From Her Majesty’s Jewel Vault,” “The Court Jeweller,” as well as The Royal Collection Trust website and Wikipedia, I was able to get a near complete picture of what she wore. 

Described by a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman as “Queen Mary’s Tiara,” I was able to learn that what she wore was “The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara,” which was a wedding present to Queen Mary in 1893 from a committee of girls representing Great Britain and Ireland. It is one of the current queen’s favorites, according to several sources. 

The queen also wore the “Coronation Necklace” and the matching “Coronation Earrings.” These are substantial diamond jewelry pieces with little adornment. A total of 26 large diamonds make up the necklace with the largest diamond suspended as a pendant. Matching diamond drop earrings make up the set. 

Thanks to From Her Majesty’s Jewel Vault,” I was able to identify the brooch on her red sash as the Queen Mother’s ruby and diamond bouquet brooch.

The queen also wore a diamond bracelet, rings and a watch, according to a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman. 

In case you're interested, below is a transcript of the speech given by the queen at the dinner:

Monsieur le President, The Duke of Edinburgh and I are delighted to be here this evening on this, our fifth State Visit to your country.

Our first visit together overseas was to France, in 1948: shortly after our wedding, and four years after D-Day.

I recall my own happiness, discovering this beautiful country for myself and for the first time, and developing my own great affection for the French people.

Wherever two or more of our countrymen gather, there one finds the unique mixture of friendship, good-humoured rivalry and admiration that is the essence of Anglo-French relations.

But tonight, stirred by the day’s commemorations, we are also filled with other emotions:

With sorrow and regret, remembering the loss of so many fine young soldiers, sailors and airmen;

With pride, at the sheer courage of the men who stormed those beaches, embodied in the veterans among us;

And with thankfulness, knowing that today our nations are free and sovereign because allied forces liberated this continent from occupation and tyranny.

Knitted together by common experiences of struggle, sacrifice and reconciliation, we remember those times in a way that strengthens unity and understanding between us.

In that spirit, I venture three observations:

The first is that the true measure of all our actions is how long the good in them lasts.

Each year has compounded in Europe the benefits of our victory in the Second World War, since it enabled our subsequent successes and our achievements. Seen in that light, those heroic deeds will stand out as much in 700 years as they do after 70.

In an age of instant news and instantaneous judgment, it reminds us that we should weigh our actions not by immediate acclaim, but by their benefit for future generations.

This leads me to my second observation, which is that everything we do, we do for the young.

Since my last State Visit I have had the joy of becoming a great-grandmother.

The hopes and innate potential of young people are the same in all nations and on all continents.

The decisions we make should always be designed to enlarge their horizons and enrich their future, from caring for our environment to preventing conflict.

Our peace and prosperity can never be taken for granted and must constantly be tended, so that never again do we have cause to build monuments to our fallen youth.

My third observation is that our two nations, Britain and France, have a particular role to play in this effort.

We are two of the trustees of international peace and security, and we are both ready and equipped to aid those threatened by poverty or conflict.

We are famously proud of that which is particular to each of our peoples, and rejoice in our cultural differences.

But there is also great inspiration to be found in what we represent together:

Two democracies who have faced grave perils and emerged stronger together.

And two of the world’s most successful economies, working together on the technologies of the future, and making a vast contribution to the development of other nations.

All this rests on the efforts of thousands of people who have made the Channel not a dividing line but a trait d’union.

It gives immense confidence in the future of relations between us.

Monsieur le President, Ladies and Gentlemen, I pay tribute to the nation of France, as Kipling wrote: 

“First to follow Truth and last to leave old Truths behind – France, beloved of every soul that loves its fellow-kind!”

And I ask you to join me in a toast to the French Republic, to the President and to the people of France.

Please join me on the Jewelry News Network Facebook Page, on Twitter @JewelryNewsNet and on the Forbes website.

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