It’s that time of year again! For the few days leading up to the New Year, we have a series of ‘Year in Review’ articles, compiling and featuring the Royal Highlights of 2022! We publish around a hundred articles every month, and the planning and logistics behind them is a tiring but fascinating task so today’s feature is an exclusive look at our personal highlights and the structuring of the over a thousand articles published on the Royal Watcher in 2022!
(as always, click on the link/image to get to the detailed article on each event)
Unlike previous years, in 2022, I was not only covering royal events at hope but also got the opportunity to visit and cover many royal events in person.
In late May, I went to London for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations, beginning my visit by seeing the Duke of Cambridge at Colonel’s Review of Trooping the Colour before going to see the Sotheby’s Platinum Jubilee Exhibition: ‘Power & Image: Royal & Aristocratic Tiaras’.
Then I got to see and cover the Trooping the Colour Ceremony, the Platinum Jubilee Service at St Paul’s Cathedral, the Platinum Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace, and the Platinum Jubilee Pageant, when I saw the late Queen on the Balcony of Buckingham Palace for the final time.
In June, the highlight of the royal jewel was Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway’s 18th Birthday Banquet which had three future Queens making their Tiara debuts, with Princess Ingrid Alexandra wearing Princess Ingeborg’s Boucheron Pearl Circle Tiara, Duchess of Brabant wearing the newly acquired Vestey Tiara, while the Princess of Orange was in the Dutch Diamond Star Tiara.
In September, I was back in London enroute to Denmark, when I had the coincidence to be visiting the Exhibition inside Buckingham Palace when the Queen died, a memory that will remain with me till the end of my life.
I had received media accreditation and was on the red carpet as the Royals arrived for Queen Margrethe’s Golden Jubilee Gala in Copenhagen, and after a Tour of Danish Castles the next day, I also saw the Royals arrive for Queen Margrethe’s Golden Jubilee Banquet.
After being in the Palace when the Queen’s passing was announced, it will be a lifelong memory of mine to have seen her Coffin leave Buckingham Palace for the last time to go to the Palace of Westminster. — The Royal Watcher (@saadsalman719) September 15, 2022
🔗 https://t.co/BnMSYlbtb8 pic.twitter.com/tSSooWKxE6
After being in the Palace when the Queen’s passing was announced, it will be a lifelong memory of mine to have seen her Coffin leave Buckingham Palace for the last time to go to the Palace of Westminster.
🔗 https://t.co/BnMSYlbtb8 pic.twitter.com/tSSooWKxE6
Back in London, I saw the Coffin of Queen Elizabeth II adorned with the Imperial State Crown when being transported from Buckingham Palace to the Lying-in-State at Westminster Hall, ahead of the Funeral at Westminster Abbey, which gave me the opportunity to personally pay my respects to the late Queen before my return ahead of the Funeral.
Royal Jewellery Articles are the most well performing every year, and 2022 was no exception, so thus that gives the us opportunity to write about some of the jewels and tiaras we covered this year.
In Britain, we covered many of the biggest Jewels of the late Queen, including the Imperial State Crown, the Burmese Ruby Tiara, the Brazilian Aquamarine Tiara, and the Belgian Sapphire Tiara, as well as the Queen’s Three-Strand Pearl Necklace, the Greville Diamond Chandelier Earrings, the Duchess of Gloucester’s Pendant Earrings, the Queen’s Diamond Fringe Necklace, the King George VI Sapphire Suite, Queen Adelaide’s Diamond Brooch, the Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II, and the Wedding Gifts of Queen Elizabeth II.
By a strange coincidence, we also covered all the Tiaras worn by the now Queen Camilla; The Greville Tiara, the Cubitt-Shand Tiara, the Delhi Durbar Tiara, and also the Belgian Sapphire Tiara and King George VI Sapphire Suite she has worn after the King’s Accession. We also featured the Queen Mother’s Rock Crystal Brooch and the Crown of Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother which will likely be worn by her to the Coronation next year.
To mark the 40th Birthday of the now Princess of Wales, we did a series of articles on the Jewels of the Princess of Wales, which included the Queen’s Japanese Pearl Choker and the Nizam of Hyderabad Necklace, while she debuted the Queen’s Emerald Tassel Suite and the Cambridge Pearl Brooch this year.
Among other members of the British Royal Family, we featured Princess Anne’s Cartier Aquamarine Pineflower Tiara, the Duchess of Gloucester’s Emerald Necklace, the Teck Crescent Tiara, Teck Diamond Hoop Necklace and Princess Margaret’s Diamond Star Earrings, as well as the Harewood Fringe Tiara and Princess Mary’s Emerald Necklace, Princess Marina’s Diamond Girandole Earrings and Princess Marina’s Cartier Flower Brooch, the Duchess of Windsor’s Emerald Necklace, Princess Louise’s Diamond Floral Tiara, Princess Marie Louise’s Diamond Star Brooch and Princess Helena Victoria’s Cartier Stomacher, the Royal Order of Victoria and Albert, and Royal Tiaras in Season 5 of The Crown.
The British Aristocratic Tiaras featured included the Marlborough Tiara, the Northumberland Tiara, the Manchester Tiara, the Leicester Tiara, the Duchess of Argyll’s Diamond Shamrock Tiara, the Sutherland Diamond Rivière, the Duchess of Norfolk’s Sapphire Necklace, the Duchess of Beaufort’s Diamond Tiara, the Bath Tiara, the Cartier Essex Tiara, the Glenconner Tiara, the Duchess of Wellington’s Diamond Tassel Earrings, the Duchess of Portland’s Diamond Necklace, Countess Mountbatten’s Diamond Wave Brooch, the Duchess of Argyll’s Cartier Ruby Brooch, the Spencer Diamond Rivière, the Spencer Diamond Earrings, Countess Spencer’s Tourmaline Brooch, and the Duchess of Devonshire’s Insect Brooches.
In Denmark, we covered the Danish Emerald Parure as well as Queen Margrethe’s Pearl and Diamond Corsage in addition to A Queen’s Jewellery Box Exhibition. We also covered the Jewels of Crown Princess Mary of Denmark to mark her 50th Birthday, including the Danish Ruby Parure, her Wedding Tiara, her Diamond Necklace Tiara, and the Midnight Tiara.
We covered the Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg Fringe Tiara, Queen Sofia’s Pearl and Star Tiara, and Princess Benedikte’s Amethyst Suite as well as Queen Alexandrine’s Diamond Meander, Princess Margaret of Bourbon-Parma’s Pearl Earrings, Queen Désirée’s Lava Parure, Queen Desiree’s Ears of Wheat Tiara, and Princess Anne of Denmark’s Diamond Necklace, while the Jewels of Princess Elisabeth of Denmark were sold at Auction.
Though this year’s major Swedish Royal Jewels feature was the Jewels of Princess Madeleine of Sweden on her 40th Birthday, we continued to feature the Swedish Royal Family’s major Tiaras, like the Leuchtenberg Sapphire Parure, the Connaught Diamond Tiara, the Napoleonic Amethyst Parure, the Swedish Aquamarine Kokoshnik Tiara, Princess Sofia’s Wedding Tiara, the Modern Fringe Tiara, and Aquamarine Bandeau Tiara as well as the Swedish Processional Necklace, Queen Josefina’s Five Pearl Brooch, Queen Louise’s Sapphire Spray Brooch, Duchess of Albany’s Sapphire Bracelet, Countess Kerstin Bernadotte’s Diamond Necklace Tiara, Countess Madeleine Kogevinas’ Sapphire Suite and Countess Alice Trolle-Wachtmeister’s Tiara.
We also did in-depth articles on Tiaras in the Norwegian Royal Family, like Queen Maud’s Pearl Tiara and the Vifte Tiara, also covering Queen Alexandra’s Turquoise Tiara and the Vasa Tiara for Princess Astrid’s 90th Birthday, as well as Crown Princess Märtha’s Pearl Earrings which was worn by the Crown Princess only a few months later.
After a big feature for Queen Maxima’s Birthday last year, we covered just the Dutch Mellerio Ruby Tiara and the Dutch Emerald Parure this year, as well as the Dutch Emerald Pendant, Queen Emma’s Diamond Stomacher, and the Dutch Pearl and Diamond Stomacher.
In Belgium, the Crown Princess wore the Vestey Tiara, while we also featured Queen Elisabeth’s Diamond Bandeau and Queen Paola’s Diamond Necklace Tiara alongside the Princess de Réthy’s Cartier Flower Tiara and Queen Marie Henriette’s Pearl Tiara, as well as the Ligne de La Trémoïlle Tiara and Princess Armand d’Arenberg’s Diamond Earrings.
We featured the rest of the Greek Royal Family’s major Tiaras last year, so only the Antique Corsage Tiara and Queen Ingrid’s Diamond Earrings as well as Queen Marie’s Cartier Sapphire Pendant were featured from the main line, though we also wrote about Queen Olga’s Diamond Rivière, Queen Frederica’s Emerald Pendant, Princess Irene’s Diamond Circle Necklace, Crown Princess Margareta’s Diamond Earrings, Princess Marie Bonaparte’s Diamond Star Tiara, Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna’s Sapphires, Princess Katherine of Greece’s Pearl Earrings the Greek Turquoise Parure, Princess Olga’s Diamond Earrings, and Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirova’s Crown Brooch.
In Luxembourg, the biggest articles were on the Belgian Scroll Tiara and the Grand Duchess Adélaïde Tiara, while we also covered the Habsburg Fringe Tiara in Liechtenstein. From Monaco, we wrote about the Cartier Pearl Drop Tiara and Princess Grace’s Van Cleef & Arpels Diamond Tiara.
We finally got to cover the Jewels of Queen Sirikit of Thailand to mark her 90th Birthday in August, which included the Thai Diamond Fringe Tiara, Queen Sirikit’s Diamond Tiara, Queen Sirikit’s Sapphire Suite, Queen Sirikit’s Diamond Bandeau Tiara, the Thai Emerald Necklace, Queen Sirikit’s Diamond Bird Brooches, and Queen Sirikit’s Diamond Bracelets.
In Spain, we didi a big feature on the Jewels of Queen Letizia of Spain to mark her 50th Birthday (which funnily coincided with our visit to Spain), among them were the Spanish Fleur-de-Lys Tiara, the Prussian Diamond Tiara, the Spanish Floral Tiara, the Joyas de Pasar, Queen Victoria Eugenie’s Diamond Earrings, Queen Victoria Eugenie’s Diamond Bracelets, and Queen Sofia’s Omani Diamond Suite, while Queen Victoria Eugenie’s Cartier Garland Bandeau, Queen Victoria Eugenie’s Chaumet Tiara, Infanta Beatriz’s Bulgari Diamond Necklace, Infanta María Cristina’s Diamond Tiara, the Franco Emerald Tiara and the Countess of Romanones’ Emerald Necklace Tiara were also featured.
This year we covered almost all of the Bulgarian Royal Family’s Tiaras, beginning with the Bulgarian Fleur-de-Lys Tiara, followed by Queen Marie-Amélie’s Diamond Parure, and then Queen Giovanna’s Pearl Tiara as well as the Bulgarian Fringe Tiara.
From the Asian Monarchies, we wrote about the Japanese Pearl Sunburst Tiara and Princess Hitachi’s Pearl and Diamond Fringe Tiara, as well as Queen Soraya’s Emerald Tiara, Maharani Gayatri Devi’s Cartier Emerald Suite, the Maharaja of Patiala’s Cartier Diamond Choker, Princess Neslişah’s Ottoman Diamond Parure. We also wrote about the Jewels of Queen Liliʻuokalani of Hawaii and Jackie Kennedy’s Diamond Sunburst Brooch.
There were also quite a few Jewels from the German Royal Families, including Crown Princess Cecilie’s Fabergé Tiara (which I unexpectedly in person a few weeks later) and Princess Victoria Melita’s English Rose Brooch from Prussia, the Hesse Medieval Emerald Tiara, the Hesse Fleur-de-Lys Tiara, and the Hesse Amethyst Tiara from Hesse, the Duchess of Brunswick’s Köchert Diamond Devant-de-Corsage and Hanoverian Topaz Parure from Hanover, as well as Grand Duchess Hilda’s Diamond Tiara, the Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg Emerald Tiara, the Oldenburg Star Tiara, the Fürstenberg Tiara, the Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach Sapphire Tiara, the Mecklenburg-Schwerin Amethyst Tiara, the Schaumburg-Lippe Tiaras, the Mecklenburg-Schwerin Fabergé Aquamarine Tiara, Princess Margarita of Baden’s Tiaras, and the Thurn und Taxis Emerald and Ruby Choker.
We wrote about Empress Elisabeth’s Diamond Stars and Archduchess Eilika’s Aquamarine Pendant, as well as Queen Marie Antoinette’s Pearl Necklace, the Orléans Sapphire Earrings, and Princess Lalla Meryem’s Tiara. Queen Geraldine’s Diamond Goat Tiara and the Tiaras of Princess Sarvath of Jordan were also covered. From Italy, we featured Queen Margherita’s Savoy Knot Tiara and the Duchess of Aosta’s Musy Pearl Tiara.
There were also a bunch of articles on Russian Jewels, including Empress Maria Feodorovna’s Pearl Wave Tiara, and her Pearl Drop Tiara as well as Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna’s Pearl Drop Tiara, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Mavrikievna’s Aquamarine Brooch, and Princess Paley’s Pearl Corsage.
Some of the articles I so enjoy writing are the flashback pieces which feature events that happened on that day however many years ago, with a particular focus on the ‘round’ anniversaries.
To mark the anniversaries of major events we have already featured, we have been taking a detailed look at the royal guests (and their jewels) at the event, which included the Royal Guests at the Funeral of King Frederick IX of Denmark, the Royal Guests at the Funeral of King George VI, and the Royal Guests at the Funeral of the Queen Mother as well as the Royal Guests at the Coronation of King George VI , the Royal Guests at the Wedding of Prince Juan Carlos of Spain and Princess Sophia of Greece, the Royal Guests at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Royal Guests at the Wedding of Princess Märtha Louise of Norway, Royal Guests at the Coronation of King Ferdinand and Queen Marie of Romania in 1922, the Royal Guests at the Wedding Gala and the Royal Guests at the Wedding of Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg and Countess Stephanie de Lannoy, as well as the highlight being the Royal Guests at the Wedding of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark.
This year, there was the Wedding Gala of Prince Gustav Adolf of Sweden and Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1932 as part of a series on their wedding 90 years ago, as well as a look at all the different events surrounding the Coronation of King George VI 85 years ago, which included the Presentation Court at Buckingham Palace, Royal Guests at the Coronation, Coronation Gala in London, Dinner at the Dutch Embassy, the State Opening of Parliament, and the Royal Variety Performance, among many other events featured. There was not much to feature 80 years ago except the Christening of Prince Michael of Kent and the tragic Funeral of Prince George, Duke of Kent.
This year also marked the 75th Anniversary of 1947, so we featured the Royal Gala in Athens on the eve of the death of King George II of Greece and the Accession of King Paul, which happened alongside the Death and Funeral of King Christian X of Denmark and the Proclamation of King Frederik IX of Denmark, followed by the Danish Opening of Parliament. There was the Pakistan and India Independence Ceremonies, as well as the Maharaja of Jaipur’s Silver Jubilee. In Britain, the Royal Family went on a long Tour of Southern Africa, before the Wedding Ball and Wedding of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, in the midst of lavish celebrations.
In the year of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the focus was very much on charting the events of the year of the Queen’s accession, begin gin with her departure from England, visit to Kenya, return to England, the Three Queens in Mourning and the Funeral of King George VI, before the Royal Family emerged from mourning at the Badminton Horse Trials, and also sat for her Dorothy Wilding Portraits followed by her first visit to Edinburgh, a Ball at Londonderry House, the Royal Film Performance, State Opening of Parliament, and visit to the Bertram Mills Circus, while the Duchess of Kent went on a Far East Tour and spent some time in her native Athens. There was also a Swedish State Visit to Denmark and Queen Juliana Tour of the United States in 1952.
1957 was a very busy year for the late Queen, including the State Visit to Denmark, State Visit to France, the State Visit to Portugal, and State Visit to the United States before the year ended with the Wedding of Anne Abel-Smith and David Liddell-Grainger at Windsor Castle.
In 1962 (60 years ago), we covered the celebrations surrounding the Wedding of Prince Juan Carlos of Spain and Princess Sophia of Greece, including a Wedding Ball, Royal Party on ‘Cape St. Vincent’ in Athens, Dinner at the Hotel Grande Bretagne, and Wedding Ball, as well as the Wedding of Countess Madeleine Bernadotte and Count Charles-Albert Ullens de Schooten Whettnall, the Norwegian State Visit to Scotland, Princess Alexandra’s visit to Sweden, Funeral of Queen Wilhelmina of The Netherlands.
The year began with a focus on events surrounding the wedding of Wedding of Princess Margriet of the Netherlands 55 years ago, including the Wedding Gala in Delft, Queen Juliana’s 30th Anniversary Gala, and a Gala after the Wedding. There was also the Wedding Ball of Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein and Countess Marie Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau, King Constantine and Queen Anne Marie’s visit to Canada, and the State Opening of Parliament in 1967.
1972 (50 years ago) was an extremely busy year for the British Royal Family, beginning with a State Visit to Thailand, a State Visit to Singapore, State Visit to Malaysia, and a visit to Mauritius as part of a 2-month Tour on the Royal Yacht Britannia. There was the Dutch State Visit to Britain and the Luxembourg State Visit to Britain, as well as the British State Visit to France which included a visit to the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, before a Holiday at Balmoral and the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh’s Silver Wedding Anniversary.
In mother monarchies, there were Queen Margrethe’s First Official Portraits, the Dutch State Banquet at the Palace of Versailles, Prince Juan Carlos and Princess Sofia’s visit to Ethiopia, the Wedding of Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia and Princess Maria da Gloria of Orléans-Braganza, the Wedding of Sir Geoffrey Shakerly and Lady Elizabeth Anson, the Baptism of the Prince of Venice, King Haakon VII’s Centenary Gala, and the Wedding of Infanta Margarita of Spain.
40 years ago in 1982, Princess Anne visited Denver, there was the Birth and Christening of Prince William, the Dutch State Visit to Britain , and the Queen’s Tour of the South Pacific as well as King Olav V’s Silver Jubilee.
In 1992, we covered the Prince and Princess of Wales’ visit to India, the Queen’s 40th Anniversary Gala, the Prince and Princess of Wales in South Korea, the Brunei State Visit to Britain, and the Danish State Visit to Norway. 2002 was marked by the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Celebrations, and also included a Royal Gala in London as well as the Constantinian Order of Saint George Gala.
In addition to our focus on the Wedding Ball and Wedding of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, we also featured the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh’s Silver Wedding Anniversary in 1972, the Golden Wedding Anniversary in 1997, the Diamond Wedding Anniversary in 2007, and the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh’s 70th Anniversary Dinner in 2017.
This year, I had the delight not only to cover Royal Jewel Exhibitions on the Royal Watcher, but also to go see many of the exhibitions in person in London, Copenhagen and Dallas.
When I went to London to cover the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations, I went to see the spectacular Sotheby’s Platinum Jubilee Exhibition: ‘Power & Image: Royal & Aristocratic Tiaras’, which had over 40 outstanding tiaras of Royal and Noble Provenance on display. Among the Tiaras was the Kent Pearl and Diamond Fringe Tiara, Queen Victoria’s Emerald Tiara, Crown Princess Cecilie’s Fabergé Tiara, the Devonshire Coronet and the Devonshire Tiara, the Westminster Bagration Tiara, the Norfolk Tiara, the Anglesey Tiara, Spencer Tiara, the Rosebery Tiara and the the Primrose Tiara, and the Mountbatten Diamond Floral Necklace/Tiara among a host of several prominent Aristocratic Tiaras.
During my visit to London, I also saw the Fife Tiara, the Fife Fringe Tiara, and Queen Victoria’s Emerald Parure on Display in the Jewel Room at Kensington Palace. I also saw Queen Victoria’s Sapphire Coronet, the Manchester Tiara, the Londonderry Tiaras, and the Dufferin Tiara on display at the Victoria & Albert Museum and Maharani Gayatri Devi’s Cartier Emerald Suite at the British Museum.
In August, I visited the ‘Cartier and Islamic Art: In Search of Modernity’ Exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art, which had a plethora of spectacular Cartier Tiaras and a series of lovely royal jewels on display.
The next month, I was back in London enroute to Denmark, when I had the coincidence to visit Buckingham Palace when the Queen died. The reason for the visit was the Platinum Jubilee Exhibit, which had the spectacular Girls of Great Britain & Ireland Tiara, the Vladimir Tiara set with the Cambridge Emeralds, and the George IV State Diadem, as well as the Cartier Nizam of Hyderabad Necklace, the Delhi Durbar Necklace, and the Queen’s South African Diamond Necklace and Bracelet. The Exhibit was ended that evening and not revived after the Queen’s death, so I may have been one of the last members of the public to see the late Queen’s iconic jewels for who knows how long.
Our friend Kasper shared his experience with us in a detailed guest post in January, but I visited splendid exhibition ‘A Queen’s Jewelry Box/En Dronnings Smykkeskrin‘ at the Amalienborg Palace Museum.
We hope you have enjoyed this look though the highlights of the Royal Watcher this year, and look forward to producing more articles like that in years to come!
The Royal Watcher