A collection of sparkling gems commissioned for Queen Victoria by her husband Prince Albert are to go on show at Kensington Palace.
The exhibition of historic Royal jewellery will be part of the Victoria Revealed exhibition, which reopens at the west London Royal residence on Friday, March 30th.
The exhibition includes Queen Victoria’s famous diamond and emerald tiara which Prince Albert personally designed himself especially for her. She was presented the tiara back in 1845, five years after marrying Albert.
The tiara, designed by Queen Victoria’s jeweller Joseph Kitching, is set with cushion-shaped diamonds and step-cut emeralds. It is also surmounted by a graduated row of 19 inverted pear-shaped emeralds, the largest weighing 15 carats.
Queen Victoria wrote in her journal about her husband’s “wonderful taste” and her delight at wearing the tiara that was designed “by my beloved Albert”.
Also on show at the exhibition will be its matching emerald suite: a necklace formed of nine oval emerald clusters each set within a border of cushion-shaped diamonds, pendant earrings and a 20-carat emerald and diamond brooch. Queen Victoria wore the tiara and the other items for Franz Xavier Winterhalter’s intimate 1846 painting of the royal family.
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were known for exchanging spectacular gifts from their engagement in 1839 and throughout their 21-year marriage. Many of these gifts will be joining the diamond and emerald tiara at the exhibition, being seen for the first time.
Queen Victoria’s children and grandchildren continued the tradition of giving gifts of jewellery. The Fife tiara, which was presented to Queen Victoria’s granddaughter Princess Louise on her wedding day by her husband the Duke of Fife, is one of the pieces which will be on show.
The Fife tiara is made of hundreds of diamonds, ranging in weight from one to 10 carats, and also features a row of pear-shaped swing set diamonds.
The exhibition Victoria Revealed will run at Kensington Palace throughout 2018.