Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Thames River Pageant: Queen Elizabeth II’s Jewels

Queen Elizabeth II
Thames River Pageant, June 3, 2012
Photo Source: ABC News

Perhaps the highlight event of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee was the Thames River Pageant. On the afternoon of June 3, 2012, a royal display of nautical pageantry filled the River Thames.

Leading a flotilla of over 1,000 boats, a floating belfry rang with the peals of eight bells. As the parade floated past, standing bell towers on shore answered the waterborne chimes all along the route. Many of the passengers in these first boats had the privilege of waving to the Queen as she waited for departure aboard the Spirit of Chartwell.

In the photo above, Her Royal Majesty is seen waiting to board the ornately decorated barge. She is outfitted in a white silk dress and ivory boucle coat embroidered with silvery thread and decorated with gold and silver discs and Swarovski crystals.

The ensemble, designed by Angela Kelly, was crowned by a beautiful and somewhat whimsical hat, complete with white flower applique, made from hand-dyed feathers and Swarovski crystals, which suits Her Majesty’s sparkling eyes and sweet smile.

Her jewels of choice: The lovely three-strand pearl necklace, Queen Mary’s Devon pearl button earrings, and upon her lapel she wears the stunning Jardine Star brooch.

The Jardine Star Brooch, fashioned in the late Victorian Era, features a large collet-set central diamond with eight diamond-studded star points radiating from the center. A gift to Her Royal Majesty from Lady Jardine* in 1981, the brooch features eight collet-set diamonds extending from behind, adding more sparkle, shimmer, and carat weight. In total, this diamond brooch boasts nearly 40 carats of diamonds.

*It seems the identity of Lady Jardine is a mystery waiting to be solved. I have not been able to find Lady Jardine’s first name in direct association with this brooch. However, I did locate a Lady Mary Jardine, who may very well have been the one who gifted the Queen. I am on the hunt for definitive information and will keep you posted.


1. Arthurs, Deborah. "Our Diamond Queen!" Daily Mail Online. Last updated June 3, 2012. Accessed June 5, 2012.
2. Decor to Adore Blog. "Diamond Jubilee-What the Royals Wore." Posted June 4, 2012. Accessed June 5, 2012.
3. Jewellery Editor, The. "Jardine Star Brooch." Accessed June 5, 2012.
4. Jewellery Editor, The. "The Queen wears diamond and pearl jewels at Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant." Accessed June 5, 2012.
5. Occenola, Paige. "Elizabeth II: Queen regnant and style icon." Rappler Beta. Last modified June 5, 2012. Accessed June 5, 2012.
6. Artemisia. "Jewellery of the Day: The Jardine Star Brooch." The Royal Forums. Posted June 4, 2012. Accessed June 5, 2012.

*Clip art courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

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