Queen Victoria’s Wedding Jewelry

We had a lot of fun talking about Queen Victoria’s wedding dress yesterday, and are really looking forward to it going on display this March at Kensington Palace. Click here for a refresher.

Today, we are going to discuss the gorgeous jewelry that Queen Victoria wore on her wedding day (almost 162 years ago). All in all, Queen Victoria wore rather a lot of jewelry: a serious diamond necklace with matching earrings that she called her “Turkish Diamonds” and a sapphire brooch given to her by the Prince Albert.

Sapphire Brooch aka “Prince Albert’s Sapphire Brooch”

First up is this stunning sapphire brooch. It consists of an oval surrounded by brilliant diamonds and is set in gold. It measures 3.7 x 4.1cm. This piece was a gift from Prince Albert to Queen Victoria; he gave it to her the day before the wedding at Buckingham Palace. Queen Victoria described the brooch as being ‘a splendid brooch, a large sapphire set round with diamonds, which is really quite beautiful’. She sure gave it pride of place on her dress – and talk about a something blue!

Check it out in the portrait of Queen Victoria below:

It is not known where Prince Albert acquired this piece. The Royal Collection conjectures that ‘The brooch may have been supplied by a leading London jeweller such as Kitching & Abud or Mortimer & Hunt, both of whom Prince Albert patronised significantly in the early years of the marriage. If, however, the Prince purchased the brooch abroad, it may be among the unspecified payments to firms in Hanau.’

In her will, Queen Victoria specified that this piece was to be an heirloom of the Crown which is how it is still in the Royal Collection. Queen Elizabeth still wears this brooch, which we are always very excited to see. Here are some examples of the Queen bringing out this particular piece of bling over the years. As you can see, she tends to match it to her blue ensembles:

The “Turkish Jewels”: Diamond Necklace & Earrings

So what are the “Turkish Jewels” that Queen Victoria wore? Queen Victoria was gifted numerous diamonds by Sultan Mahmud of Turkey in 1838. They were then and made up into a necklace and earrings the following year by Rundells & Bridge, a jewellery firm based in London. The firm held the royal warrant from 1797 until 1843.

The necklace featured diamond rosettes and strands of diamonds. The earrings were equally elaborate and must have been very heavy on Victoria’s ears. Take another look at the portrait above to see how large they were – they look like something that Beyonce would wear to an awards show.

It is believed that Queen Victoria left the necklace to her son, the Duke of Connaught, upon her death. Sadly it is no longer a part of the Royal Collection and its whereabouts are unknown (same goes for the earrings).

Please let us know if you have any more information about this necklace and earring set – we’d love to know if it still exists! Fingers crossed that it does and hasn’t been dismantled…

Bridesmaid’s Turquoise Eagle Brooch

To end off, let’s take a look at the bridesmaids gifts that Queen Victoria’s 12 bridesmaids received. This brooch was designed with both Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s input and were manufactured by the London jeweller Charles du Vée.  The brooches feature a turquoise eagle (representing Prince Albert’s Coburg family) with a diamond beak, ruby eyes and pearls in each talon. Not too shabby!

One of these brooches remains in the Royal Collection and the Royal Collection website gives lots of information about this piece. It says,  “According to The Times of 10 February, ‘The whole workmanship [of the brooches] is very superior and exactly in accordance with the directions of the Royal Bride’. The stones used were all highly symbolic: turquoises and pearls representing true love, rubies for passion and diamonds for eternityAfter the wedding ceremony, each train bearer was presented with one of these brooches in a blue velvet box. Several of these survive in the families of their original recipients, for example at Woburn Abbey and at Hatfield House. An example, possibly this one, belonged to Queen Victoria’s granddaughter, Princess Marie Louise (1872-1956).”

What do you make of Queen Victoria’s wedding jewelry?

Advertisements


Categories: British Royal Family, Royal Jewels, Royal Weddings

Tags: ,

6 replies

  1. I have a brooch almost the same but with many rubies on wings and tail, and a ring where something hung – perhaps a heart? I thought the brooches Queen Victorian gave to her bridesmaids had a hanging piece (saw on an Antiques Roadshow) Can you tell me the value or any history?

  2. The turkish delight earrings are worn by the norwgian queen and must have come with queen Maud.

  3. Was very interested to read about Queen Victoria’s wedding jewellery. I do hope that the jewellery that Kate Middleton wore on her wedding day will be preserved, so future generations are able to view them. I think it is unfortunate that Queen Victoria’s earrings have been seen worn by the Queen of Norway. Such significant pieces of jewellery, as worn on a wedding day by a Queen or future Queen, should always remain jewels owned by the crown and not kept as private items. It was good the the brooch given by Prince Albert was kept as a crown piece and we now are able to see the present queen wear it. That should certainly have been the case with Queen Victoria’s wedding jewellery.

Trackbacks

  1. Queen Victoria’s Bridesmaids & Thoughts of her Wedding « The Royal Post
  2. Tiaras Worn in Untraditional Ways: Part One « The Royal Post
  3. Satin, Shine, and Sparkle: The Joys of Wedding Jewelry | Heirloom Finds Blog

Let us know your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: