Month: June 2017

Canadian Maple Leaf Royal Brooch

The Canadian Maple Leaf Royal Brooch is perhaps the most iconic and recognizable brooch in the Queen’s collection. Its clean crisp natural shape and dazzling diamond composition makes it a favourite within the royal family as well as of the public. Indeed, the Royal Collection sells a paste version of the brooch for 85 pounds ($145) Royal Brooch Composition A dramatically large brooch (5.5 cm x 5 cm) in the  shape of the leaf of a sugar maple (Acer saccharum), Canada’s national tree and a symbol of Canada since the mid 1800s. The brooch’s brilliant- and baguette-cut diamonds are...

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The big question facing Prince Charles: Will Camilla be queen?

On June 29, Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, arrive in Nunavut to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. It’s his 18th visit since he was a 22-year-old university student in 1970. Then, his parents, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, introduced him and sister, Anne, 20, to Canada. Their two-week tour was marked by voracious blackflies in the Northwest Territories as well as driving winds and cold rains in Manitoba. Now, back for a much shorter visit—three days in Nunavut, Ontario and Quebec—Charles and second wife, Camilla, will represent his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, 91, at the...

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A new biography brings the ‘blurry figure’ of Prince Charles into focus

Prince Charles was always on author Sally Bedell Smith’s radar as she researched and wrote a succession of royal biographies, but the heir to the British throne (and those of 15 other nations, including Canada) was never her focus, until now. “I’ve just been accumulating questions about him over the years,” she explained in a wide-ranging interview recently. She first met him in June 1991, just before Charles and Diana separated. “There were all kinds of mean stories in the tabloids about him, yet he was kind of relaxed, and informal, not at all buttoned up,” she recalls. “I...

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Queen Elizabeth II’s gift of a Chapel Royal in Toronto

Massey College’s chapel is a beautiful, quiet space, its roof arcing low over 40-odd seats. Baptisms, weddings, services and musical performances are held in the interfaith chapel in the heart of the University of Toronto. Today St. Catherine’s Chapel got a major title upgrade as Queen Elizabeth II bestowed it with a rare honorific: it is now a Chapel Royal. The idea came from a conversation that John Fraser, then master of Massey, had with his daughter, Clara, about Indigenous-settler relations. “What can we do to heal the scabs in this country?” Fraser recalls his daughter asking. Clara Fraser...

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Kate goes wild for dramatic earrings

When Kate Middleton first entered public life, she wore discreet earrings: Nothing flashy, nothing too large, often small drops hanging from diamond hoops, mostly created by Kiki McDonough, a London jewellery designer whose shop is tucked behind Kate’s favourite department store—Peter Jones of Sloane Square. Though each set costs well in excess of US$1,600 or 1,000 pounds, they do nothing to draw attention. Flash forward six years, and the Duchess of Cambridge’s new jewellery style is emerging. She still favours delicate necklaces in daytime (rarely wearing anything at the neckline in the evening), and dons a brooch when it’s...

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