Nicky’s Queen Elizabeth II Belt Buckle!

Virgins Saints & Angels creates the best and most striking handmade jewellery in Mexico, combining artesanal and gothic elements with religious iconography. Designer Mercedes Hart went back to her London roots however when she crafted this amazing British-themed belt buckle especially for Nicky. Queen Elizabeth with her fave corgis – it’s just gorgeous!

Belt Buckle by VSA Designs

You can find more unique Virgins Saints and Angels jewellery designs on the company’s Facebook and Twitter.

What was it like to be Queen Mum?

We have a very special Royal Roundup for you this week: a glimpse at the Queen Mother’s moving and cheerful thoughts about her life at the heart of the British Establishment. Extracts from ‘Counting One’s Blessings’ – private letters and journals from all 10 decades of her life – were published this week to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

British royals (from left foreground) Queen Elizabeth, Princess Elizabeth, Princess Margaret and King George VI after his coronation in 1937.

Via The Daily Telegraph.

The letters reveal her dilemma over whether to marry the Duke of York, who later became king. In January 1923, following a three-year courtship by the Duke, the then Elizabeth Bowes Lyon wrote to one of her closest friends of feeling “terrified” at the prospect of marrying into the Royal family, having finally accepted the Duke’s proposal.

They also reveal her subsequent blissful enjoyment of marriage and motherhood, including many letters in which she writes affectionately of her young daughters, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose.

In a letter to Anne Beevers, her midwife and maternity nurse, written in October 1926 when Princess Elizabeth was six months old, she described her firstborn daughter as “sharp as a needle”.

Another letter to her mother, Lady Strathmore, written the same month, said: “She is going to be very wicked, and she is very quick I think …”

In 1936, following her sudden elevation to Queen Consort after Edward VIII abdicated to marry the American divorcee Wallis Simpson, Queen Elizabeth wrote to her brother-in-law that she and her husband were “overcome with misery” at being unexpectedly thrust on to the throne.

The letters also convey her heartbreak at the untimely death of her husband in February 1952, following a battle with lung cancer. In a letter to her mother-in-law, Queen Mary, she wrote of her devastation at losing “Bertie”, who she described as “my whole life”.

Read More Here.

The Queen & Prince Phillip Wedding Photos

While we don’t want to overdo all this monarchy business, we thought these photos of the marriage of The Queen and Prince Phillip were so fabulous, it was safe to share them so close after the Queen’s Jubilee. Especially as they come with a fantastic story: according to the Queen’s nanny, the young Elizabeth lost her heart to Phillip while slow dancing to tunes from the musical Oklahoma! They’d fit in perfectly in the West Village.

The official wedding portrait.

King George VI and The Queen Mother returning to Buckingham Palace through Trafalgar Square. Notice conspicuous lack of cell phones in hands!

On the balcony and still perfecting the wave. From left to right: Princess Margaret, Lady Mary Cambridge, the Royal couple, and the Queen Mother.

Beautiful!

The best man to the left of Elizabeth, bridesmaids (including Princess Margaret Rose), right, beside Prince Philip, and the page boys. Lady Mary Cambridge is third from left, Princess Alexandra of Kent, is fourth from left.

You can read the full account of the romance according to Queen Elizabeth’s nanny here.

Diamond Jubilee Weekend Celebrations & Memorabilia

God save our gracious Queen, long live the noble Queen, God save the Queen! How happy we are to be celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s 60th year on the throne. And, as you can see, we are doing it in Great British style:

Union Jacks as far as the eye can see!

If you’re in this neck of the woods over the weekend, be sure to stop in and take a look at our range of Diamond Jubilee products, all imported from Blighty:

The full range of commemorative Diamond Jubilee goodies! Perfect for gifts or to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 60th year in style!

One can’t hear you as one seems to have a scone in each ear!

Tea towels: for when One makes a mess.

One seems to have gone slightly to pieces! Customers will recognise this beautiful, one-of-a-kind mosaic of The Queen from the entrance vestibule of Carry On Tea & Sympathy

Our good friends La Belle Epoque on the opposite side of Greenwich Avenue are also getting into the spirit of things, giving pride of place in their window to this gorgeous vintage poster from the 1953 coronation:

Queen’s Jubilee Military Muster

We realise we’ve gone a little monarchy mad of late but with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee just 12 days away, it’s hard to contain our excitement. The official celebrations kicked off back in Blighty on Saturday with a mile-long military parade showing off the best of all three armed forces. A spectacle in its own right, the 2,500 men and women that took part were a blaze of color, rigor and top notch British discipline. And by all accounts, the general public were blown away by the affair as the surrounding streets overflowed with Union Jacks and jubilant crowds. Bring on June 2nd!

Here are some of our favorite snaps from the day.

This one made us chuckle… Here’s Queen Silvia of Sweden looking on as King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden snaps some pics on his cell phone. How very modern!

Colman’s Mustard: British Pantry

Blimey, anyone else noticed all this heritage malarkey doing the rounds? Distressed wallpaper in restaurants little more than six months old, half the city dressing like their grandparents, and people sipping cocktails not seen since before Prohibition. Well, we’ve got just the brand to tickle NYC’s vintage taste buds. Colman’s mustard is Blighty’s oldest food brands, “invented” in 1814 by a Norfolk miller who mixed white and brown mustards…. genius!

It has since become a quintessential British condiment, the striking yellow of the mustard itself matched by the distinctive packaging, complete with bull’s head. It received the Royal Warrant (denoting its use in the regal household) from dear old Queen Vicky, back in 1866 and has remained a firm favorite in Buckingham Palace’s store cupboard ever since.

One does hope there's Colman's. It was granny's favorite, you know.

Not as sweet as American mustard, Colman’s has an unapologetic kick to it. Much like wasabi, it is important to use sparingly if you want to avoid a nasal firestorm and streaming eyes! A classic adornment to a ham sandwich, or dabbed on a pork pie (we recommended Myers‘), or Cornish pasty.

Myer's of Keswick (www.myersofkeswick.com) are located just around the corner from us at 634 Hudson Street. They serve the best British meat products this side of the Atlantic, and we are very proud to stock their bacon & scotch eggs, as well as pork pies.

We sell Colman’s in-store, or we can ship. Get in touch on 212-989-9735, or by email: info@teaandsympathynewyork.com.

Just remember – we said a dab!