martedì 22 luglio 2014

Kate-Inspired Purchase Review: Catherine Zoraida Double Leaf Earrings

Thought I'd share with you all my opinion on one of the latest items I added to my ever-growing collection of Kate-inspired purcheses: Catherine Zoraida's Double Leaf earrings.

First spotted on the Duchess of Cambrige during the 2012 Diamond Jubilee South Pacific tour, I loved the style of these earrings, although, priced at £140, they were slightly out of my budget. So I postponed buying them, until Catherine wore them again in April on a visit to Uluru, Australia. I fell in love with them all over again and finally gave in and bought them!

Left to right: 13 September 2012, State dinner at the Istana Negara Palace, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; 18 September 2012, traditional singing and dancing event in Tuvalu; 18 December 2013, Buckingham Palace Christmas party; 22 April 2014, visit to the National Indigenous Training Academy at Ayers Rock, Australia.

Priced at £140, plus £18 Royal Mail shipping to my home country, Italy (Catherine Zoraida's website offers worldwide shipping, and also an expedited shipping option via FedEx), you cannot say these come very cheap, but after receiving them and having a chance to observe them up close and wear them, I think they're pretty good value for money.

From the designer's website: "Designed and made in England, these delicate leaf earrings are made in 18ct gold plated silver. Featuring beautifully engraved feather details they measure approximately 6cm and have a wonderfully playful feel to them. These timeless gold earrings are an everyday classic. As seen on The Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton)".

Leaf lenght: 3 cm (1.2 in).

They arrived packaged in a rather luxurious black real-leather box, embossed on the lid with the Catherine Zoraida logo:

The earrings arrived accompanied by a glossy Catherine Zoraida catalogue. Overall, I was very happy with the level of customer service provided: pieces are handmade to order in the UK, and after placing my order I received straight away an email thanking me for my "lovely order" and advising me the earrings would be ready to ship in 3 business days.
I've since worn them many times and I'm really satisfied with my purchase: the earrings have a great shine and you can tell the gold plating is high quality! So, on the whole, a purchase I can definitely recommend!
Should you be feeling flush, Catherine Zoraida has the matching Spread Your Wings bracelet (as worn by the Duchess at the Malaysian State dinner) available for £420.
Should you, on the other hand, like the style of these earrings but not be inclined to spend quite so much money on them, there are plenty of good repli-kates available on Etsy, among them these by TudorShoppe, or DesignsbyNoa often carries Kate-inspired jewellery and is definitely worth checking out (I have her Temple of Heaven earrings repli-kate and they're excellent quality)! You can read a review of the DesignsbyNoa Double Leaf repli-kates on Tatiana's Delights blog here.

Disclaimer: This post is not endorsed or sponsored in any way by Catherine Zoraida.

martedì 8 luglio 2014

The Engagement of Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten

On 9 July 1947, the engagement was announced between Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten:

Court Circular announcing the engagement, 9 July 1947.

Their first publicised meeting had been in July 1939 at Dartmouth Royal Naval College, where Philip was studying. By the mid-1940s, media speculation about a romance was well under way and, in February 1947, Prince Philip, a member of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg, renounced his Greek royal title and became a naturalised British subject, adopting the surname Mountbatten from his maternal grandparents.

A series of photographs to commemorate the event were taken at Buckingham Palace:

Princess Elizabeth was presented by her fiancé with a platinum and diamond engagement ring made by London-based jeweller Philip Antrobus Ltd., using a 3-carat brilliant and smaller stones taken from a tiara given by Prince Philip's mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg.

It was first worn in public by the Princess on 10 July 1947, the day after the announcement of the engagement.
Prince Philip subsequently turned again to Philip Antrobus Ltd. to have a matching platinum and diamond bracelet made as a wedding present to Princess Elizabeth:
Below is a portrait of Princess Alice of Battenberg, circa 1920, wearing the tiara dismantled in 1947 to make both the engagement ring and bracelet for Princess Elizabeth:

Princess Alice's wedding gift to Princess Elizabeth was a diamond tiara in a Greek meander design, given by the Queen to the Princess Royal around 1972 and most recently famously worn by her daughter, Zara Phillips, at her own wedding in 2011:
The Princess Royal wearing the Greek meander tiara at a Guildhall banquet in April 1988 and Zara Phillip on her wedding day, 30 July 2011.
Princess Elizabeth wearing the bracelet and engagement ring in a 1947 photo by Mountstuart William Elphinstone.
 The happy couple is seen leaving Buckingham Palace after the announcement of their engagement: