giovedì 25 dicembre 2014

Festive in Fuchsia: The Queen Leads Her Family on the Traditional Christmas Day Service at Sandringham

First of all, let me say a big Merry Christmas to all of you who are celebrating today!
We're back with our traditional Christmas Day post here at Books, Birkins & Beauty (you can read about last year's Christmas here), for a recap of what the Royals wore!


The Queen is, of course, spending the holidays as usual at Sandringham with her family, while this year is the first Christmas the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (and Prince George!) get to spend in the nearby, newly-redecorated Anmer Hall.

Anmer Hall.
After an early morning church outing for Holy Communion, the Royal Family were back at St Mary Magdalene Church on the Sandringham estate for the Christmas morning service at 11am.
The Queen, wrapped up warm in a fur coat against the early morning chill, arrives at St Mary Magdalene Church for Holy Communion.
The Royals arriving.
The Queen looked striking in a festive fuchsia ensamble with magenta accents by Angela Kelly, and completed her look with a three-strand pearl necklace, Queen Mary's diamond and pearl earrings and a diamond and coloured stones (and enamel?) brooch in the shape of the Tudor Rose:


Close up of the Tudor Rose brooch from when the Queen wore it to the
Cartier Polo Cup on 15 June 2014.
The Duchess of Cambridge was in a brown outfit, sporting a new and as yet unidentified calf-lenght coat, her "Betty Boop" hat by John Lock & Co. and double leaf gold earrings by Catherine Zoraida:
I really must say, if someone manages to get an ID for this scarf I'd be rushing out to get one, as I absolutely love it!!

Catherine with her father-in-law the Prince of Wales.


The Duchess of Cornwall was sadly unable to attend the service as she's suffering from a bad back. Also absent were Zara and Mike Tindall. Other royal ladies present included Princesses Beatrice in a Valentino striped coat:
And Eugenie:
The Countess of Wessex:
With her daughter Lady Louise:

The Princess Royal, looking very festive in red:

And her daughter-in-law Autumn Phillips:

Of course, today was also the day of the Queen's Christmas Broadcast. This year's theme was "Reconciliation", and the Queen had words of praise for medics fighting Ebola in West Africa, and remembered her and Prince Philip's visit to the Field of Remembrance at the Tower of London in October. You can view a video of the broadcast here.
The Queen wore a lilac dress by Angela Kelly, previously worn on 2 May 2012 on a visit to Somerset and Devon as part of her Diamond Jubilee tour of the UK and later that same year on Day 4 of the Ascot races.

Previously paired with her amethyst bouquet brooch, the Queen accessorised the dress for today's appearance with the striking Duchess of Cambridge pearl and diamond brooch (more on the brooch in my blog post here).
I'll leave you for now, wishing you all once again a very happy Christmas!

domenica 21 dicembre 2014

Woodland Charm Necklace Repli-Kate Review

Hello, everyone! It's been a while since my last post, apologies for the long silence, but I've been snowed under with studying for my approaching bar exam...

Anyway, just in time for Christmas, here I am with a new repli-kate review of Catherine's Asprey Woodland Charm Necklace by The Looking Glass Shop on Etsy.


The Duchess of Cambridge was first spotted wearing the Asprey necklace on Easter Sunday this year, while on a visit to Taronga Zoo in Sydney, as part of the royal tour of Australia and New Zealand, and she has worn it a number of time since, including on her subsequent visit to the National Indigenous Training Academy at Uluru.

In Sydeny with Prince George, 20 April 2014.
At Uluru, 22 April 2014.
 Anna from My Small Obsessions of Facebook first identified the necklace as a piece from Asprey's Woodland Collection.
The collection features whimsical charms inspired by English woodland flora (you can read more about it here).

Catherine's charms included a mushroom, an oak leaf and an acorn. It is believed the oak reference may be a nod to the Duchess's own coat of arms, which features three acorns with leaves:

The Asprey charms are all made of yellow gold and diamonds and can be bought as part of the Woodland Mini Charm bracelet, which retails for £ 9,400 (approximately $ 14,800 or € 11,800). They aren't available to buy individually at the moment, but originally retailed for £ 2,900 (the acorn), £ 1,950 (the oak leaf) and £ 3,900 (the mushroom).
Of course this places them out of most repli-katers price range, I dare say, therefore I was absolutely thrilled when a gorgeous repli-kate from The Looking Glass Shop on Etsy came up!
Both the necklace and charms are plated in 14k yellow gold (there's also a white gold version) and the charms are accented with clear CZ crystals. The chain is 17 in long, with a 2 in extender and fastens with a lobster clasp.
Processing time at the Looking Glass Shop is longer than at some other Etsy shops - as per shop policies, items are shipped within 3-5 business days after payment is received. That meant my necklace, purchased on 27 November (a Thursday, Thanksgiving), was shipped on the next Wednesday, 3 December. This was still perfectly acceptable to me, and the necklace arrived on 17 December, so still in plenty of time for Christmas anyway, which I wasn't expecting but was a nice plus, but I thought it worth mentioning (I gather rush processing can be arranged by contacting the shop owner).



The necklace arrived in its own box with a handwritten note. The charms are just gorgeous in person, very sparkly, and the gold-plated material is really shiny. On the whole, I'm SO happy with my new repli-kate, especially since I'd been looking around for a decent, affordable copy of this necklace for ages. Now next on my wishlist are these equally gorgoues repli-kate earrings!