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Messages - Martyn

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The Windsors / Re: Windsor Jewels Pt 7
« on: August 10, 2012, 09:54:05 AM »
What nonsense.  Kate looks lovely whenever she appears.  Hardly anyone has been able to fault her clothes up to this point, and the fact that some of them are high street and not couture has gone down very well in the UK where times are hard.  She is such an attractive woman, she really does not need clothes that are overly flashy, and by the same token does not need flashy jewellery while she has youth and beauty on her side.

I do take the point that tiaras are part of the royal armoury, if you like.  And having been to BP to see the latest exhibition, it's easy to see how they work.  Some of them are simply masterpieces and naturally would draw the eye to the face of the wearer.  Having a glittering mass of jewels atop one's head is a surefire way to make a statement about status

Their World and Culture / Re: Russian and European Court Dresses
« on: August 09, 2012, 08:15:15 AM »
The metal thread embroidery would have glittered and sparkled when new.  Of course this embroidery was all done by hand in an era when labour was cheap and such work could be done (that's not to say that these gowns were at all cheap, merely that the embroiderers were not that well paid).

The weight of these court dresses must be considerable.  With the trains primarily of velvet, lined with silk or satin and  embroidered with silver and gold thread, these garments would have considerable pull at the centre back waist.  They were designed for display and magnificence and to give an impression of majesty, hence the very solid appearance.

I can't think of any other royal court that had such picturesque court dress for its female members..........

Certainly did.

The Windsors / Re: Windsor Jewels Pt 7
« on: August 09, 2012, 07:56:28 AM »
The point that Chris made about the bulk of the Queen's collection being in all probability destined for Charles is a really interesting one.  The tax implications had never occurred to  me, but of course that makes perfect sense.

I think that the Queen does have a very good sense of the historic and sentimental importance of some of the pieces in her collection, and I'm thinking now mostly of the jewels that came direct to her from Queen Mary, either at the time of her marriage or on the death of Queen Mary.  Iconic pieces such as the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara and numerous other jewels that have come down to her and have a familial connection must surely be intended to remain within the immediate family, with the idea that they will continue to be worn by consorts or future female monarchs?

The British royals do seem to have a different code for gala dress and jewels, compared to some of the other European royal families - is it differing protocols do we think?

The Windsors / Re: Windsor Jewels Pt 7
« on: August 08, 2012, 10:56:42 AM »
Yes, that's true, but we are living in a different era and times are very different.

The Queen pulls out all the stops on gala occasions and we have been fortunate enough to see all these heirloom pieces on display over the years.  One thing that she is not in favour of though is ostentatious display, and as Chris rightly says, only jewels appropriate to the occasion or time of day are ever worn.  Kate may not be that in to jewellery, and if she is, her personal taste may be for small understated pieces - as yet we don't know.

It's interesting that Camilla has been wearing items that are from the collection of the late Queen Mother but they do seem to be pieces that either originated from Mrs Greville's collection (that gaudy 5 strand necklace, the Boucheron tiara) or pieces that haven't seen the light of day for years (May's Delhi Durbar tiara).  This last jewel is on display at BP at the moment and is quite a hefty piece - broad and inflexible, due to the fact that it is more like a crown than a tiara.  It is still minus a central ornament for the top gallery of the diadem and as a result looks odd.  This jewel originally sported the Cambridge emerald drops and is capable of taking Cullinan 3 and 4 as its central ornaments, but now looks a bit butchered and out of style.....

A very interesting review.

Personally I can't bear Junor.  Every time that I've seen her interviewed on the subject of Charles and Diana there has been such an unpleasant tone to her pronouncements on their marriage that I have often wondered quite what her real agenda is. 

Objective is never a word that comes to mind when I think of Junor and her opinions.

The Windsors / Re: Windsor Jewels Pt 7
« on: August 02, 2012, 02:55:07 PM »
Well she may be careful with them, but she will doubtless wish to leave pieces to the female members of her family, the number of which increases as the years pass, which may effectively remove them from public view to a degree.

The Windsors / Re: Windsor Jewels Pt 7
« on: August 02, 2012, 01:12:08 PM »
That sounds fascinating GDElla.  I might well order that as well.

I honestly think that it is worth buying anything that pertains to the royal jewellery collection.  'The Queen's Diamonds' may well be the best authorised version that covers part of the Queen's collection - it may also be the last one.

We have to remember that this amazing collection may well be dispersed to some degree in the future.  Much of this amazing collection is the personal property of the Queen and she can dispose of it as she chooses.  It's certainly worth trying to see any exhibition of it, now or in the near future.

What is certain is that our next two successive monarchs will be male and whilst they both will have consorts, the role of the jewellery and its visibility may very change and possibly decrease.

Camilla of course quite clearly likes jewellery and seems to follow in the tradition of wearing it both for daytime, evening and gala occasions.  She seems to have a fine appreciation of grand jewellery and I think that it has been said that Charles enjoys seeing his wife thus bedecked, and has made significant acquisitions to enrich her personal collection.  She seems to be wearing pieces that have come from the Queen Mother's Collection, to great effect.

Is it known if the Duchess of Cambridge likes jewellery?  Thus far her jewellery has been very restrained and smaller in scale than some of the pieces worn by other royal ladies, perhaps reflecting her understated style and youth.  It would be nice to think that some day we may see this amazing collection of jewellery gracing her person at formal occasions....

The Windsors / Re: Windsor Jewels Pt 7
« on: August 02, 2012, 07:43:42 AM »
I think that the other thing to add is that the scale of the crown may not work with the Queen's hairstyle.

As CountessKate points out, the last person to wear the crown was Alexandra (with great style it must be added) and it worked with her hairstyle, sitting atop her coiffure, which had largely remained the same style-wise since the 1880's.

In terms of the Queen choosing to wear something lighter as opposed to the Imperial State Crown, I'm not sure what the protocol would be.....thinking of the State Opening or Parliament etc?

Queen Mary of course had a new tiara made for her later years, perhaps finding some of her other pieces too heavy?  In the book there is a description of this jewel, and the jewels that were used to make it.  It would appear that she used the pendant Cambridge emeralds as spikes on this new lighter tiara (obviously also using them on the Vladimir tiara).

The book also gives new and interesting information about the Cambridge emeralds.  It also clears up the confusion about the fringe tiaras as well as giving interesting new information about how Queen Mary had new pieces created quite economically from existing jewellery in her collection.  The book only hints at what she may have acquired in the 20's when it appears that she really cashed in on the royal jewellery that was appearing for sale.  There are also some great pieces that belonged to Queen May which have languished unworn in the collection of the late Queen Mother, such as her diamond 'Love Trophy' collar, an exquisite jewel of wondrous workmanship, which has not been seen for years and years.  I think that many will find the information about the Greville collection quite interesting as well.  The photography is excellent and totally justifies the rather high purchase price of the book.

The Windsors / Re: Windsor Jewels Pt 7
« on: July 19, 2012, 07:55:55 AM »
Just to pick up on something the Countesskate said earlier about QV's small diamond crown.  This particular jewel is featured in the current diamond exhibition at BP (which does also include jewellery set with pearls and diamonds, and the Delhi Durbar emerald and diamond necklace by virtue of it having the Cullinan VI marquise pendant).

The crown is minute, delicate and exquisitely crafted.  I think that most photos that show QV wearing it, showing it sitting atop a veil of some description which may have helped to anchor it to her hair.  It's a lovely piece and was apparently created from a diamond fringe corsage ornament, of which only the brooch (sometimes labelled as QV's waterfall brooch) remains.  This brooch was also on display and was a lovely piece, worn by the late Queen Mother most notably in Beaton's portrait of her clad in a black velvet crinoline.

The Windsors / Re: Queen Elizabeth II Part 3
« on: July 19, 2012, 07:36:29 AM »
Granny's chips and more on show at Buckingham Palace:

Anyone been to BP to see this exhibition? 

I went a couple of weeks ago to see it and there is a book that accompanies the exhibition, which is well worth having for anyone with a serious interest in royal jewellery.

The Windsors / Re: Royal Hats
« on: January 14, 2012, 12:34:32 PM »
Zara's notions of style really are quite curious.  That ensemble just doesn't work and the hat is hideous.  She often manages to make herself look indescribably cheap with her fashion choices, quite needlessly really as she has the potential to look great (great figure, nice face and hair).

Still it's hardly as if she has grown up in the palace of haute couture, is it?  I imagine that nowadays she gets a frisson of fear every time she puts on something brand new, as that must have been a rarity of life when she was growing up at at Gatcombe Park with her endlessly recycling mother!!!

I thought that Pippa was exquisite in her maid of honor dress (but I did wonder about lingerie lines - like where were they?) I think she actually upstaged the bride, but then Catherine had to be discrete and "bride like".

I never see the tabloids that you in the UK see all the time, but I am sure that they are much like the ones we have here.  Anything to sell papers.

Hahaha! I am sure many were wondering exactly what she had on under that dress that day!  Seriously though, I doubt that she went 'commando' - imagine the rumpus if it emerged that she had in fact no undergarments on - and there are so many wonderful items of lingerie that one can obtain to wear under just that type of dress, which by its very nature shows every line and bump.  I am sure that all was entirely in order underneath.......

As for the tabloids - well, what can one say.  Their insistence on dumbing down for their readership really says more about the management of these organisations than anything else.  Lucien does have a point though - it is the people who buy this rubbish that keeps them in business.

To some extent, the appellations 'Duchess Kate' and 'Duchess Catherine' may perhaps be viewed as familiar and affectionate; the latent antipathy in the media towards the Duchess of Cornwall may explain why she has never been labelled 'Duchess Camilla'.......

The Windsors / Re: Princess Diana - Part 2
« on: November 07, 2011, 10:54:55 AM »
It's quite clear that both boys display the influences of both parents in their adult characters.  They are a credit ot both parents, despite some youthful highjinks and indiscretions....

Lucien's rather strong opinions of the late Princess make interesting reading but differ largely from the perceptions of others, and in particular, those who had the chance to meet her.

Still that is the essence of this Group - the opportunity to come together and exchange opinions and information, no matter how diverse....

The Windsors / Re: Government starts effort to change succession law
« on: November 07, 2011, 10:42:07 AM »
Anne has many of her mother's qualities - far more of them than any of her brothers - but whether she would have the Queen's patience and tolerance for standing, shaking hands and looking pleasant and interested for hours on end is something I doubt.

I doubt it as well.  She may favour the Queen in some respects, but there are some very strong similarities of character that she shares with her notoriously crusty father, which certainly would not make her the most popular choice of monarch!

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