Sunday 3 June 2012

    pageantry, pomp and ceremony

     

    Steeped in centuries old tradition, Britain is having a BIG year of Royal pageantry. In great pomp, Queen Elizabeth II, resplendent in diamonds, officially opened British Parliament on May 9, 2012.

    HISTORY :: tradition & colour

    Before the Queen travels to Parliament from Buckingham Palace, formally to open each new session of Parliament, certain historical “precautions” are observed.

    The Yeomen of the Guard, the oldest of the royal bodyguards known as “Beefeaters”, armed with lanterns, searches the cellars of the Palace of Westminster. The tradition dates back to the Gunpowder Plot of November 5, 1605, when Guy Fawkes attempted to blow up the building and King James I with it. This is followed by a more rigorous police search. Another tradition sees a government whip held “hostage” at the Palace to ensure the Queen’s safe return. The hostage is released upon the safe return of the Queen.

    This tradition stems from the time of Charles I, who had a contentious relationship with Parliament and was eventually beheaded in 1649 at the conclusion of a civil war between the monarchy and Parliament. In 1642 Charles I stormed into the House of Commons in an unsuccessful attempt to arrest five of its members for treason. Since that time no British monarch has been permitted to enter the House of Commons, which is why the opening is conducted in the House of Lords.

    Before the arrival of the sovereign, The Regalia – the Imperial State Crown, the Cap of Maintenance and Sword of State travel from the Victoria Tower in their own carriage, ahead of the monarch, escorted by Members of the Royal Household.

    The Queen travels from Buckingham Palace in the horse-drawn Australian State Coach to Westminster, escorted by the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment. As she arrives, the Union Flag of the U.K. will be lowered and her Royal Standard raised over Parliament.

    Black Rod :: At 11:30 a.m., once Her Majesty arrived and was seated on the Throne, her official messenger who has the title Yeoman Usher of the Black Rod will march to the House of Commons, the lower, elected, chamber. His job is to summon lawmakers to hear the queen, who will be waiting in the House of Lords. By tradition, the door of the Commons is slammed in Black Rod’s face to symbolise the independence of the Members of the Parliament. To be let in, he was required to pound on the door three times with his rod.

    This ritual symbolizes the independence of the Commons from the Crown: no British monarch has entered the lower house since 1642, when King Charles I tried to arrest five members in the run-up to a civil war that ended with his execution in 1649.

    After “Black Rod” has knocked on the door of the Commons, lawmakers process to the House of Lords. Seated on a gilded throne next to her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Elizabeth delivers a speech unveiling the government’s legislative program.

    The Queen reads a prepared speech, known as the “Speech from the Throne” or the “Queen’s Speech”, outlining her Government’s agenda for the coming year. The speech is not written by the Queen, but rather by the Cabinet, and reflects the legislative agenda for which they seek the agreement of both Houses of Parliament. It is traditionally written on goatskin vellum or parchment, and presented for Her Majesty to read by the Lord Chancellor.

    {Images: via Daily Mail. Wonderful collage photo by Loren Cooper.}

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    Friday 1 June 2012

    Lego Queen Elizabeth II gets diamond crown

     

    Lego models of Queen Elizabeth in a real diamond-encrusted silver crown with the royal family at Buckingham palace has gone on display in time for the diamond jubilee.

    The 10-centimetre high figure of the Queen was revealed at the Legoland theme park in Windsor, just a few miles from Windsor Palace. It depicts the monarch dressed in white, wearing a blue sash — the Garter Riband, and the crown {designed by jeweller Dinny Hall} with 48 real diamonds sitting atop her grey curls.

    This is not the first time that Lego has depicted the queen and other members of British royalty. The toy company took on the Royal Wedding in 2011, creating figures of Prince William and Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge, along with a more toned-down figure of the Queen dressed in a yellow suit and hat. Lego models of distinguished guests included the Beckhams, Sir Elton John, and Sir Paul McCartney.

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    Friday 21 October 2011

    a little curtsy to the enduring fashion influence of her majesty

     

    From pastel princess to classic style queen ~ Queen Elizabeth II has enduring style.

    God Save Our Fashionista Queen.

    Queen Elizabeth II has put on a regal display of fashion during her Australian visits over the years.

    British Vogue has declared her one of the world’s most glamorous women, the designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have created an entire collection inspired by her and the British model Agyness Deyn has cited the Queen as a fashion inspiration.

    Queen Elizabeth II marries the Duke of Edinburgh in 1947.

    {Images via Vogue}

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    Friday 21 October 2011

    Queen of block colour

     

    What one wears…

    Queen Elizabeth II showed she is fashionable with her trademark of block colour style when she visited Australia.

    The spry 85-year-old trekked all around the nation looking polished in a rainbow of pastels and florals. She even recycled the sunny yellow outfit she wore earlier this year to grandson Prince William and Catherine Middleton’s royal wedding,

    A ray of colour amongst the uniforms.

    {Images via here}

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    Tuesday 5 July 2011

    Monaco Royal Wedding | Charlene Wittstock & Prince Albert

     

    Princess Charlene looked stunning in a gorgeous, off-the-shoulder Giorgio Armani Privé bridal gown, with pearl and Swarovski crystal embellishment. Prince Albert II of Monaco, married Charlene Wittstock in a lavish ceremony. Petals snowed down on them, and looked so beautiful.

    The Giorgio Armani gown was cut from 130 metres of silk and studded with 40,000 crystals Swarovski crystals, 20,000 mother of pearl tear drops and 30,000 “stones in gold shades”. The Italian designer’s team took 2,500 hours to prepare the gown. For the embroidery, they took another 700 hours.

    Prince Albert II was dressed in the cream summer uniform of Monaco’s palace guards. Its sleeves were decorated with oak and olive leave and the front was glazed with monogrammed golden buttons. His chest was carrying medals representing the Order of Saint Charles, the Order of Grimaldi and France’s Legion of Honour, and a rosette at the top of his firm fabric cap was representing the Crown of Monaco.

    The wedding feast was held at the gala ball and reception at Opera Garnier, the opera house opposite the casino, a site of glamour, at which Princess Charlene wore another stunning off-white Armani outfit with a broad décolletage. This event included the cutting of a spectacular cake decorated with proteas, the South African national flower.

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    Sunday 3 July 2011

    Diana, Princess of Wales

     

    Princess Diana, photographed by Patrick Demarchelier

    A photograph by Patrick Demarchelier of Princess Diana, published in the July 2007 issue of Vanity Fair.

    French photographer Patrick Demarchelier was the first non-British photographer to click the British Royal Family.  In 1989 Patrick Demarchelier became, by request, Her Royal Highness Princess Diana’s official photographer. This relationship lasted until her untimely death in 1997. Patrick Demarchelier shot four beautiful covers of Diana for the British Vogue published in 1991, 1994 and 1997.

    These natural and beautiful Christmas 1994 snaps of Diana with William and Harry. The young Princes are enjoying her company and she’s showing such affection towards them capturing the delight and love she had for them.

    {Images Princess Diana by Patrick Demarchelier; Princess Diana with her sons are unknown.}

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    Saturday 2 July 2011

    forever beautiful

     

    Diana, Princess of Wales ~ remembering her elegant spirit, her grace under pressure and her kindness and desire to help others. Princess Diana would have been 50 on Friday, July 1.

    “When you are happy, you can forgive a great deal.”

    Diana Reborn | Diana, Princess of Wales by Mario Testino for Vanity Fair July 1997

    These iconic images of Princess Diana were taken by Mario Testino five months before her tragic death. The fashion photographer said about the pictures, “[Diana] said to me at the time [that] her children had said to her it was the most ‘her’ they had seen.”.  Mario Testino is also the photographer behind Prince William and Kate Middletons’ engagement pics.

    THE DRESS credited with turning a shy Diana Spencer in to a worldwide fashion phenomenon is set to go under the hammer. The black dress, by David and Elizabeth Emanuel, was worn by a 19-year-old Diana to her first official appearance after her engagement to Prince Charles – and earned her the tabloid nickname “Daring Di” for its low neckline and bare shoulders.

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    Monday 13 June 2011

    Long Live the long weekend {again}

     

    Trooping the Colour, the annual ceremony to mark the Queen’s official birthday.

    The four royal Colonels rode behind the Queen ~ Prince of Wales, Colonel of the Welsh Guards, Princess Royal, Colonel of the Household Cavalry’s Blues and Royals, Duke of Kent – Colonel of the Scots Guards, and Prince William, Colonel of the Irish Guards William who wore the regiment’s scarlet tunic, as he did for his marriage ceremony in April.

    This year the event marked the 85th birthday of the Sovereign who has reigned over the country since 1952.mFor decades the Queen has been the focus of the ceremony staged every June in London’s historic Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall.

    The Queen’s first duty was to inspect the long line of troops – wearing their famous red tunics and bearskins – from four of the five Foot Guards regiments of the Household Division taking part – the Welsh, Grenadier, Scots and Coldstream Guards. The Colour being paraded on Horse Guards this year was the flag of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards.

    Trooping the Colour originated from traditional preparations for battle. Colours, or flags, were carried, or “trooped”, down the ranks so that it could be seen and recognised by the soldiers as they were used as rallying points in the confusion of fighting. In the 18th century, guards from the Royal palaces assembled daily on Horse Guards to “troop the colours”, and in 1748 it was announced that the parade would also mark the Sovereign’s official birthday. The celebrations ended with the traditional fly-past over the Palace. The aerial parade of more than 20 aircraft featured vintage machines and modern fighters.

    More Trooping the Colour & Queen Birthday here.

    {Images via Mail online}

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    Sunday 1 May 2011

    the Middleton fashionistas

     

    more frocks :: the fashion parade continued at an evening wedding reception hosted by The Prince of Wales.

    The evening dress was created by Sarah Burton, a strapless white satin gazar gown with a circle skirt and diamante embroidered detail round the waist, and a white angora bolero cardigan worn over.

    Pippa Middleton wore a long emerald green sleeveless dress with a jewelled embellishment on the front and a plunging neckline designed by Alice Temperley.

    Mrs Middleton wore a black capped sleeve dress, cut low at the front and back

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    Saturday 30 April 2011

    The Windsor Knot

     

    Princess William of Wales, Duchess of Cambridge was a classic beauty in an ivory lace gown for sweet William.

    Royal Wedding of HRH Prince William to Kate Middleton,

    the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

    Marriage should transform as husband and wife make one another their work of art. It is possible to transform so long as we don’t harbor ambitions to refault (ph) our partners. There must be no coercion if the spirit is the flow. Each must give the other space and freedom.

    Chaucer, the London poet, sums it up in a pithy phrase.

    “When mastery cometh, the god of love anon beated his wings. And farewell, he is gone.”

    Wedding Address by DR. RICHARD CHARTRES, LORD BISHOP OF LONDON

    Catherine Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge, stepped out of the car in a long white gown with long white lace sleeves, reminiscent of the one that the actress Grace Kelly wore to wed the Prince Ranier III of Monaco.

    The long white gown designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen was made of ivory and white satin gazar, the skirt resembled “an opening flower” with white satin gazar arches and pleats.

    The lace appliqué on the bodice and skirt was hand-made by the Royal School of Needlework. Individual flowers were hand-cut from lace and hand-engineered onto ivory silk tulle.

    Kate’s bridal flowers contained a touching tribute to her husband

    ~ her bouquet includes sweet William, lily-of-the-valley, hyacinth &

    studded with a traditional sprig of myrtle grown from the original bush of Queen Victoria’s wedding bouquet.

    Miss Middleton chose British brand Alexander McQueen for the beauty of its craftsmanship and its respect for traditional workmanship and the technical construction of clothing.  Miss Middleton wished for her dress to combine tradition and modernity with the artistic vision that characterises Alexander McQueen’s work.  Miss Middleton worked closely with Sarah Burton in formulating the design of her dress.

    The design

    The lace appliqué for the bodice and skirt was hand-made by the Royal School of Needlework, based at Hampton Court Palace.  The lace design was hand-engineered (appliquéd) using the Carrickmacross lace-making technique, which originated in Ireland in the 1820s.  Individual flowers have been hand-cut from lace and hand-engineered onto ivory silk tulle to create a unique and organic design, which incorporates the rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock.

    The lace work was carried out at the studios of the Royal School of Needlework (RSN), at Hampton Court Palace by embroiderers aged from 19 to in their 70s. They had to wash their hands every 30 minutes to keep the lace and threads pristine, and the needles were renewed every three hours, to keep them sharp and clean.

    Hand-cut English lace and French Chantilly lace has been used throughout the bodice and skirt, and has been used for the underskirt trim.  With laces coming from different sources, much care was taken to ensure that each flower was the same colour.  The whole process was overseen and put together by hand by Ms Burton and her team.

    The dress is made with ivory and white satin gazar.  The skirt echoes an opening flower, with white satin gazar arches and pleats.  The train measures two metres 70 centimetres.  The ivory satin bodice, which is narrowed at the waist and padded at the hips, draws on the Victorian tradition of corsetry and is a hallmark of Alexander McQueen’s designs.  The back is finished with 58 gazar and organza covered buttons fastened by Rouleau loops.  The underskirt is made of silk tulle trimmed with Cluny lace.  Her shoes of satin with hand-embroidered lace were also made by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen.

    The veil is made of layers of soft, ivory silk tulle with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers, also by embroidered by the Royal School of Needlework.  The veil is held in place by a Cartier ‘halo’ tiara, lent to Miss Middleton by The Queen. The ‘halo’ tiara was made by Cartier in 1936 and presented to Princess Elizabeth (now The Queen) by her mother on the occasion of her 18th birthday.

    The Bride’s earrings, by Robinson Pelham, are diamond-set stylised oak leaves with a pear shaped diamond set drop and a pavé set diamond acorn suspended in the centre.  Inspiration for the design comes from the Middleton family’s new coat of arms, which includes acorns and oak leaves.  The earrings were made to echo the tiara.  The earrings were a personal gift to the Bride from her parents for her Wedding Day.

    Robinson Pelham also designed a pair of diamond earrings for Miss Philippa Middleton.  These earrings are more floral in nature to compliment the headpiece worn by Miss Philippa Middleton during the Service. A tourmaline and diamond pendant and matching earrings have been designed and made for Mrs. Carole Middleton.  Two gold stick pins, one with a single gold acorn at the head and the other with an oak leaf, are also worn respectively by the Father of the Bride, Mr. Michael Middleton, and the Bride’s brother, Mr. James Middleton.

    The bouquet ~ Kate’s shield-shaped bouquet was designed by Shane Connolly and symbolises a collaboration of special meaning for the Royal family and the Middleton family. The significance /meaning of the blooms chosen: Lily-of-the-valley – Return of happiness; Sweet William – Gallantry; Hyacinth – Constancy of love; Ivy – Fidelity; marriage; wedded love; friendship; affection; Myrtle – the emblem of marriage; love.

    Sister and maid of honor Pippa wore a cream fluid silk dress by Sarah Burton for McQueen, with a cowl neck and a row of small buttons running down the back. The Bridesmaids’ dresses were created using the same fabrics as the Bride’s dress and hand-finished with delicate English Cluny lace, visible under the skirts, and four layers of net underskirt.  The puff sleeves and neckline are trimmed with the same English lace as the Bride’s underskirt.  The backs have been finished with the same button detail. As a special memento, the Bridesmaid’s name and the date of the wedding have been hand-embroidered onto the lining of each dress. In case the day was cold, waist-length capes were made from ivory Yorkshire wool, edged in fine English lace and tied at the front in the same satin gazar as the dresses. The classic Mary Jane style shoes were  made made by Devon-based Rainbow Club from satin and finished with a Swarovski crystal buckle.

    The Queen: Her Majesty The Queen wore an Angela Kelly designed single crepe wool primrose dress with hand sown beading at the neck in the shape of sunrays. Matching double crepe wool tailored primrose coat. She designed the matching crepe hat with hand made silk roses and apricot coloured leaves. Jewellery:  Queen Mary’s True Lovers Knot broach.

    The Mothers: Mrs. Carole Middleton is wearing a sky blue wool crepe coatdress with matching satin piping and passementerie at the waist and cuff over a sky blue silk shantung ‘Sydney’ day dress with short pleated sleeves and pleated pockets.  The dress and coatdress are by Catherine Walker.  Mrs. Middleton’s hat is by Berkshire-based Jane Corbett. Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall is wearing a champagne silk dress and a duck egg blue and champagne coat designed by Anna Valentine

    {Images via Daily Mail, The Telegraph, Telegraph Fashion. Official photos taken in Buckingham Palace’s throne room. by Hugo Burnand/Clarence House}

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