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UK government steps in to save Queen Victoria’s Coronet from exportation

The UK government have placed a temporary export ban on Queen Victoria’s coronet in an attempt to keep it in the country.

Queen Victoria’s sapphire and diamond coronet is at risk of being exported from UK soil unless a buyer can be found for the £5 million piece.

Designed by Prince Albert in 1840, the coronet is considered one of the most important jewels in Queen Victoria’s reign. Goldsmith, James Kitching, was paid £415 to make the coronet.

Following Prince Albert’s death in 1861, Queen Victoria spent a great amount of time in mourning and did not attend the State Opening of Parliament five years later until 1866 where she wore the coronet instead of her coronation crown.

Culture Minister Matt Hancock said: “Queen Victoria’s coronet is stunning. It is one of the most iconic jewels from a pivotal period in our history and symbolises one of our nation’s most famous love stories. I hope that we are able to keep the coronet in the UK and on display for the public to enjoy for years to come.”

The coronet was given as a present to Princess Mary upon her marriage to Viscount Lascelles in 1922 by King George V and Queen Mary. Years later it was sold to a dealer in London, who then sold it to the export licence applicant.

The export licence has however been deferred as a result of the coronet’s close connection with our history and natural life, according to the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA).

RCEWA member Philippa Glanville said: “Key to the self-image of the young Victoria, this exquisite coronet was designed by her husband Prince Albert. Worn in her popular state portrait by Winterhalter of 1842, the year it was made, its combination of personal meaning and formality explains why she chose to wear it in 1866, emerging from mourning for the State Opening of Parliament.

“It evokes vividly the shared romantic taste of the time, and its form has become familiar through many reproductions. Its departure would be a great loss, given its beauty, its associations and its history.”

The export of the Coronet has been deferred until 27 December 2016. This could be extended June 2017 if a serious intention of purchase can be found.

  • Kathleen Ames

    It is quite sad that this particular coronet is not in Royal hands. But in the scheme of things…………

  • Jakki Wetherall

    Why was allowed to be sold in the first place if it was part of the Royal Crown jewels? I thought they weren’t allowed to be sold as they belong to the government.

  • Jakki Wetherall

    Why was it allowed to be sold in the first place if it was part of the Royal Crown jewels? I thought they weren’t allowed to be sold as they belong to the government.

    • RG

      It’s was personal property of the Lascelles family. It was passed down from Queen Victoria to Edward VII and to George V to gave it to his eldest and only daughter, The Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood, as a wedding gift and eventually passed on to her son and heir, the 7th Earl of Harewood (George Lascelles) and eventually the 8th Earl. It was sold mostly likely to raise money to pay for inheritance tax just as Princess Margaret’s children sold the Poltimore Tiara to pay for their inheritance tax.

      • Lady Martha

        Blasted “death duties!” Grrrrr…

  • Baho Puwetmoh

    Let me know if you can’t find a buyer and I’ll give you $20, plus another 35 in Canadian Tire money

  • Lady Martha

    Perhaps several affluent patrons might club together and purchase the coronet and present it to the Crown Jewels collection–with a very nice engraved plaque listing the patrons’ names, of course!

  • Smackmacks

    Why don’t the royals put their hands in their extremely deep pockets and buy it if they think it’s of such importance? I can think of lots of things I’d rather spend 5 million on.

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