Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Happy Mother's Day to The Duchess of Cambridge: Claudia Bradby Acorn Pendant

Sunday, March 15, 2015

It is Mother's Day in the UK, which hopefully means that a certain little Prince, with the help of another very particular Duke, fashioned a breakfast tray complete with a posy, and trundled up the stairs to pamper his mummy with breakfast in bed. Well, hopefully, William carried the tray and George brought along the flowers. In her book Celebrate, Pippa reminisced about the mornings when she and her siblings (James and Kate) would surprise their parents with breakfast in bed: "I have funny memories of creeping up the stairs with my brother and sister, carrying a breakfast tray for our parents as a surprise treat; desperately trying not to spill the tea and orange juice or knock over the vase of flowers, stifling our giggles so that they couldn't hear us coming."



George looks like he is old enough to enjoy a little conspiratorial whispering with his Papa. Perhaps, the tray had a special sparkle in the form of a little box, the kind all women know contains big treats. While I do not know if Kate's tray had any new jewelry this morning, we are going to chat about a great Mother's Day gift with a delightful royal connection. Today's Mother's Day focus is Claudia Bradby Jewelry.



I think everyone who loves Kate is familiar with Claudia Bradby. In 2006, Kate was trying to balance being a royal girlfriend and attempting to build some form of a career. She went to work for clothing retailer Jigsaw as an accessories buyer. Her job also included buying for Jigsaw Junior, and when Claudia, apparently, wrote to Kate, the princess-to-be offered to collaborate on a project for teens. Her design was simple, but delicate, just the right flavor for the age demographic. It is interesting that even back then, Kate was focused on providing for the needs of young people. It has been rumored that Kate tried to launch her own children's label after graduation, but I cannot confirm that. If true, it could be another reason Kate's focus was on junior fashion, and would suggest she still harbored aspirations of beginning her own business in children's wear---particularly if her hopes of being a royal duchess were dashed. The piece, now named The Kate Rose Quartz Necklace was re-released and can still be purchased:

Claudia Bradby


As it turned out, Kate's hopes were almost smashed, since the royal couple split five months after Kate began work for Jigsaw, but after a summer apart, William returned to Kate and not long after, she turned in her notice to her boss. The working situation was not practical, and Kate knew she no longer could plan for a normal future. The couple were committed and her path did not include  an average career. So, the budding fashion & jewelry house Chez Middleton never came to fruition, but Kate's stamp of royal approval on Claudia Bradby's company remains. 

Claudia Bradby



Above is the Camellia Rose Quartz and Amazonite Necklace ($305.15/£207) which Kate was very fond of, pictured on the left at the airport with her family heading to Barbados in 2007 and on the right at Cheltenham, also 2007. While both these pieces feature various quartz and silver combinations, Claudia Bradby's real specialty material is pearl. In her About interview, she reveals the origins of her inspiration, and her affinity for pearls:
Having been given a wedding anniversary gift that didn't really suit me, I realised I wasn't a very traditional jewellery person and I didn't want just one item of jewellery to wear every day, or indeed for dressing up/going out in. As I was living in Hong Kong at the time an image of pearls on knotted leather fired my imagination and I set about designing some more relaxed designs, using real materials. I fell in love with pearls as a material.
Her website features beautiful, cultured pearls in a variety of colors and styles. I really love the varied shapes of cultured pearls, and honestly prefer them to their smoother cousins. This brings me to today's star. Claudia Bradby sent me the "Mother and Child Acorn Necklace" featuring a large, white cultured pearl acorn, and a smaller pendant representing the child. The necklace comes with a choice of pink (girl) or silver (boy) baby acorns. 

Claudia Bradby


As lovely as the Kate Rose Quartz necklace is, I prefer the more sophisticated style of this charming pendant necklace. The acorns are, of course, inspired by the Middleton acorn, of which you should be very familiar. The Middleton coat of arms features three small acorns representing the three Middleton children. Oak leaves and acorns are family motifs for the Middletons, alluding to the oak trees around their family home in Berkshire, as well as symbolizing family strength and loyalty, virtues the Middletons have in spades. Kate's earrings on her wedding day were oak leaves with drop acorns, all fashioned of diamonds.  



When I received the necklace, I was struck by how delicate it seemed, and worried I might break it. I wore it to the office, and riding up in the elevator surrounded by mirrors, I realized the chain was glittering in the light. Sometimes the chains on necklaces can be a bit of a letdown, but this necklace could not be lovelier. I have been so pleased with the quality and, of course, the symbolism. This blog, as you have noticed, shares the Middleton acorn, in a tribute to their wonderful family, and this necklace finds a warm welcome in my jewelry box. The fun element is that you can add, for £10, acorns in the gender color of your preference. This is a lovely, lovely Mother's Day, birthday, or just-because gift. Frankly, this would be the perfect gift for Master George to slip onto the tray. Hopefully, the second acorn pendant is pink!! 



A lovely complement to the necklace is the Heritage Silver Charm bracelet, created in tribute to the royal wedding. It includes three charms: a crown, an acorn matching the necklace, and the quartz cluster Kate designed...gorgeous:


Interestingly, when William and Kate got engaged, William specifically requested Tom Bradby, Claudia's husband, be the one to interview the new royal couple. The Guardian noted at the time:

Prince William's press secretary, Miguel Head, in a press note to media organisations, said: "The couple asked to record this interview specifically with Mr Bradby, whom they have both known for some time."
William trusted Tom and wanted Kate's first interview to be as relaxed as possible. Tom and William's friendship actually may have kicked off the News of the World phone hacking scandal, cementing the trust and friendship between the newsman and the royal. It began in 2005...
Bradby at that point had borrowed some home videotapes from Prince Harry and edited them together into a humorous piece of business about Harry's "gap year" post-high school. Harry loved it and so did William. Bradby of course offered to make a similar tape for the future king. "So I said, 'Listen, just give me a ring next time you're in London and we'll meet up and I'll get your tapes..."

Eventually, Bradby and William exchanged phone messages about an editing deck that was to be picked up at a certain date and time. Soon after this phone conversation, an item about their arrangement appeared in the News of the World, a British newspaper.

Prince William, always leery of the media, wanted to know if Bradby had told anyone. He said he hadn't, neither had William and only a couple of others knew of the arrangement. Bradby said he told William, "When I was royal correspondent, [phone hacking] was kind of an open secret and I remember having chats with tabloid hacks about how phone hacking is, you know, kind of rife."
Ultimately, Tom urged William to contact the police and the rest is history...and jail time.  So, that is the skinny. Browse Claudia's full, and stunning, collection here, and pick up a piece of royal history!





In any event, even if Kate doesn't get anything sparkly, she is due for something any mom with a second child on the way would relish: a housekeeper. William and Kate have placed an advertisement in UK magazine The Lady:
The Prince of Wales and the Queen Mother are both believed to have recruited servants via the classified adverts section of The Lady...Now it seems that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have resorted to placing an advert for a new housekeeper at their country home, Anmer Hall, in the pages of the illustrious magazine.
Below are their exact requests:

The Lady
A final comment. Reader Jenifer tipped me off to a special treat at Fortnum & Mason. The company released a special tea blend to commemorate Prince George's christening, and it is still available. 



First created to mark the christening of HRH Prince George of Cambridge, this very special tea is perfect for happy occasions.The celebratory notes of muscatel from peak second flush Darjeeling are lifted with bergamot tones to create an elegant and fragrant twist on classic Earl Grey. 
This seems the perfect flavor for a Mother's Day tea as we toast HRH the Duchess of Cambridge. Kate had had an active day; the family were spotted at a play centre making sand castles:



As she prepares to give birth to her second child, I am sure this is a "holiday" that is filled with particular joy and contentment. Kate's first Mother's Day with her new Anmer Hall home complete, her bubbly George toddling in the garden, and William always near her side, the most prominent Princess of the United Kingdom has come a long way from the Jigsaw days of uncertainty and heartbreak. With the blessing of new life, the fairy-tale just gets better and better...







26 comments:

  1. You're right, the mother and child acorn necklace is so beautiful! I was really surprised, I didn't know yet that they were interviewed by a person they knew... really interesting :)

    This must be a very special day for kate, now that george is older and more likely to understand the meaning of that day.

    Do you think we will see George accompanying William to the hospital to visit/pick up Kate after the birth of baby cambridge no. 2?

    Sonja

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a great question. I think it will be hard for William to decide, because the natural desire is to take your child to see mummy and the baby, BUT, I cannot imagine them exposing him to that bank of cameras all pointed at him and clicking furiously. I could be wrong--he has seen cameras before, but I think the Lindo Wing situation is more intense. It isn't tradition for elder children to appear out front. More likely George will visit through a back door, but only William and Kate know how it will ultimately play out.

      Delete
    2. Sonja, I hadn't thought of that but, yes, wouldn't it be wonderful if George made an appearance at the hospital. :) As young parents, I'm sure they would want to include him in the process, but I could also see the media aspect of it being a consideration. Hmmm...one more thing to wonder about! :))

      Jane, AMEN to your last paragraph. :)) I hope Kate is enjoying a very nice Mother's Day. And I hope a very special mother/grandmother is looking down and smiling with peace in her heart.

      Delete
    3. I don't think george will visit and then leave kate - wouldn't he cry? Coming with william to pick kate and the baby up seems more likely to me... But you're right, all the cameras seem to be a little bit too much...

      I just hope that he won't be jealous (even though most toddlers are..)

      But, my gosh, I would love to see George again! He's so cute, it seems to mr that we haven't seen him for ages... In my opinion, it would be great if there was a playdate (similar to that in New Zealand) in Britain soon :) or a visit to the zoo? I love to see William and Kate with george!

      Can't wait fot the baby to be born! I'm already excited what Kate will wear leaving the hospital ;)

      Sonja

      Delete
    4. William arrived with his father to visit Diana and the new-born Harry in hospital....

      Delete
    5. He visited, yes, but did not accompany his parents in the "presentation" photocell. I think Kate will want George to visit, but I think it will be hard for William to allow his to be photographed. We will have to wait and see how it plays out... George hasn't been out for an event yet in Britain. Something to consider in favor of his showing up.

      Delete
  2. Faith from BostonMarch 15, 2015 at 8:04 AM

    They might bring him to see Kate. William was brought to see Harry when he was born but he was a little over two years old then. Really pretty pendant btw. Don't usually like mother/child jewelry but this is different. Very nice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He was a little older, but Charles also had a different attitude toward the press than William does. I feel like George must come, but I am not sure he will come through the front door. Certainly, not the photo-call on the steps with the new baby.

      Delete
    2. I have a feeling Diana had more to do with William coming to see his baby brother in the hospital and most likely Charles would have been fine with him not being included. I don't mean that as a negative against Charles; I just think there were *certain* decisions where Diana did make the call.

      William has a different history with the press. Very different. And I do believe that he will be the decision maker on this one. In this situation, Kate may want George to visit, but she will go along with William's preference. And as someone here pointed out, it's not like she will be in the hospital for very long. If mother and child are doing well, she will go home the next day.

      Delete
    3. P.S. If George doesn't go to the hospital, it would be good PR for them to release a family photo sooner rather than later. My two cents..... :))

      Delete
    4. Not expecting PG to be at the photocall either but the optomist in me is hoping that he will go in the front doors prior. I know its a long shot but William surprised us all by going down to the press and speaking with them for as long as he did. I agree with you royalfan. A timely family portrait would be a beneficial move.

      Delete
  3. ...is The Lady the magazine that they placed an advertisement in to replace Mrs. O'Brien in Downton Abbey? Please say yes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my gosh! Haha. What episode was that? I will have to pull it up. I have to know now...

      Delete
    2. Yes you're right! I've already told my sister but she didn't believe me haha :D Now she has to!

      I think it was the ladt episode in season 1. Violet is looking for a new maid and cora writes an annonce in the lady for her but o'brien thinks that cora wants so replace her.

      Sonja

      Delete
  4. Maybe it's just because I'm pregnant (in fact, that's probably why) but the image of little George taking his mummy a breakfast tray brings happy tears to my eyes. I might make my husband read this post in the hopes that he files away some useful future information. ;)
    -TMM

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am pregnant as well with my second and I was thinking the same thing. I will need to spell it out for my husband...... He forgot last year on my first mothers day.

      Delete
    2. Good luck ladies... I will post a reminder close to our Mother's Day. :)

      Delete
  5. You chose my favorite photo of Kate with George! My thought is they will let George meet his new sibling in the comfort of his own home. Kate will be home so quickly that it won't be hard for them to wait until she comes home and then they can all relax and enjoy the moment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh good! This is such a beautiful shot, isn't it! He loves his mummy. <3

      Delete
  6. OOOOH I WANT THAT JOB! WOULDNT THAT BE AMAZING

    ReplyDelete
  7. My goodness, how fun it would be to respond to that ad! Provided one had the correct experience, of course. Wonderful that they would reach out to the public for such an important, and intimate role in their home. Someone will be lucky! On a different note: does anyone have any idea about Kate's due date? Besides "in April"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mid to late April. Did you see this form the DA post? http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/03/11/kate-middleton-is-set-for-a-full-moon-birth.html?via=desktop&source=twitter It is pretty thorough. I am pretty excited. ;) I just hope it doesn't happen the 29th...no mixing holidays for me.

      Delete

The rules for commenting are simple: be polite. Please be respectful of the BRF/Middletons, even in criticism; please be respectful of your fellow readers, even in disagreement. Vulgarity will disqualify a comment.

Debate is welcome, direct and personal insults are not. Topics we tend to avoid here: "does Kate work enough?" and "Is Kate too skinny?" Everything is subject to approval.

I (Jane Barr) moderate all comments. If a comment is live, I approved it. If you find something offensive, or think my approval was an error, please email me at princesskateblog(at)gmail.com.

At times, an acceptable comment just goes missing. If you felt your comment should have been approved, but did not show up within five hours, again, pop an email to the above address.

Happy chatting!