1000 Rain-drenched Boats and a Parachute Jump for the Queen - The Diamond Jubilee Year of 2012
After the pain of the 2008 recession, by 2012 the UK was ready for a party.
Not only was London hosting the Olympics, but the Queen was reaching the landmark of sixty years on the throne. And unlike Queen Victoria, her only predecessor to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee, Queen Elizabeth II was healthy enough to take a full part in the celebrations, even appearing to parachute into the Olympic opening ceremony!
The pageant on the Thames on 3rd June saw the largest flotilla on the river since the reign of Charles II, but was plagued with torrential rain, and the accompanying Airforce flyover had to be cancelled.
On 5th June, when the photograph above was taken, the Queen appeared on the balcony with members of her family amidst a fusillade of rifle fire from The Queen's Guard and a flypast from the RAF. Appropriately, alongside her favourite pearls she was wearing a diamond brooch.
This is not just any diamond brooch, but possibly the most valuable one in the world, containing two diamonds from the Cullinan stone, the largest diamond ever found. Cut by Joseph Asscher, history's most famous lapidary, it contains several huge stones: the largest found in the Sovereign's Sceptre, one set into in the Imperial State Crown, and two, a square cut diamond and a pear-shaped diamond, seen in the brooch above.
This is a difficult look to achieve on a more modest budget! Diamonds have such extraordinary qualities however, and sparkle whatever the size. One of the most popular pieces is a diamond line bracelet, or 'tennis bracelet', named after Chris Evert, who once stopped a US Open match after hers fell off her wrist during a ferocious rally.
For a Yorkshire-accented piece, the Yorkshire Rose pendant (below left), which is designed and made in Ogden of Harrogate's workshop, will remind the wearer that their heart belongs in the Dales and Moors, wherever in the world they may be. Diamonds can also be paired with other stones, and add a lustrous sparkle to the South Sea pearls on the earrings (below right)
Next time:- The Platinum Jubilee of 2022