Saturday, June 2, 2012

Queen Victoria’s Jubilee Diamonds

Queen Victoria portrait for Diamond Jubilee, 1897
Photo Source: The Telegraph

In the official portrait for her Diamond Jubilee, Queen Victoria sits regally, wearing a black silk dress fashioned with panels of grey satin and black net accented by silver embroidery. The skirt of the dress is nearly completely shrouded in a beautiful white or gray lace. In this portrait she wears a delicate crown with alternating cross pattee and fleur-di-lis, in similar fashion to the George IV diadem.

The entire crown is paved in diamonds and features larger diamonds that appear to float around the perimeter of the band. Rising from the cross pattee, diamond-paved arches meet in the middle beneath a diamond paved monde, with a central cross pattee sitting in state atop the monde. It appears in her portrait that the arches and central cross pattee were removed (or they had not yet been placed), as she wears the simple circlet upon her head.

In addition to the dainty yet majestic crown, Victoria wears a stunning diamond necklace with matching diamond earrings. The Queen had this necklace made in replication of Queen Charlotte’s necklace, ordered to be returned to the Hanoverian family in 1858.

In order to complete the piece, she requested the Royal Jewelers to remove twenty-eight diamonds from a sword hilt and a couple of Garter badges. Each of the diamonds was set in a collet, a coronet-shaped claw that holds an individual stone. The pendant stone on this striking replica is the famous Lahore Diamond, which also served as the central pendant on the Timur Ruby Necklace.

The Queen's earrings were made in the fashion of the day, with a large brilliant cut diamond against the ear and a smaller brilliant just below it. The two large pear-shaped drop diamonds were also “borrowed” from the Timur Ruby necklace. These beautiful diamonds were originally set as side stones in the Koh-i-Nur armlet.

1. The Free Dictionary by Farlex. "Collet." Accessed May 29, 2012.
2. The Royal Collection. "Queen Victoria's diamond necklace and drop earrings." Accessed May 29, 2012.
3. Penhorwood, Claire. "Victoria and Elizabeth: A tale of 2 Diamond Jubilees." CBCnews World. Last modified May 28, 2012. Accessed May 29, 2012.

4. Hughes, Kristine and Victoria Hinshaw. "The Longest Reigning Monarchs." Number One London Blog. Posted May 19, 2012. Accessed May 29, 2012.
5. Queen's 60 Diamond Jubilee. "The Royal Collection." Accessed May 29, 2012.

*Victorian clip art courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

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