Friday, November 23, 2012

Prince Albert's Sapphire Brooch: Queen Victoria's Wedding (Part 9)

Prince Albert's Sapphire Brooch
Photo Credit: Barton Cottage

At her elegant scooped neckline, Queen Victoria fastened her new sapphire brooch centered over her heart, creating a v-line with the Honiton lace. The royal couple spent an hour together the night before their wedding, at which time Prince Albert presented his Bride with one of her most cherished gifts, this sapphire and diamond cluster brooch.* She would favor this brooch, wearing it often until that fateful day in 1861, when her beloved husband died.

At the center of this splendid piece rests a large oblong blue sapphire surrounded by twelve round diamonds. The origins of the brooch are not known for certain. The folks at the Royal Collection surmise that Prince Albert may have purchased it from Kitching & Abud, or from Mortimer & Hunt.

Albert frequently patronized both London jewelers during the early years of their marriage. The experts also leave room for the possibility that he purchased it in Germany, perhaps in Hanau, a 250 km trip from his home in Coburg. {45}

Competing fiercely with the elegant brooch are the Queen’s dazzling “Turkish jewels,” a pair of diamond earrings and necklace comprised of strands of diamonds and diamond rosettes. Given to the Queen as loose stones in 1838, by Sultan Mahmud of Turkey, these stones were fashioned by Rundell, Bridge, & Rundell into what became her wedding jewelry suite.

The earrings, made entirely of diamonds, are at least 4” in length and dangle past her hairline so that they appear to touch her equally stunning necklace.

*Now known as Prince Albert’s Sapphire Brooch, this piece was gifted to the Crown by the Queen upon her death in 1901.

Read Part 8

Read Part 10


  1. Fantastic series on Queen Victoria's wedding finery!

    1. Thank you so much, Pearl! I'm so glad you have enjoyed it. I am working hard on completing it for this month and will begin my next series on Princess Alexandra's wedding.