Kensington Palace – Victoria Revealed
The love story between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert is as famous as their love of fine craftsmanship. Together they spent many years purchasing some of the nineteenth century’s finest artworks, porcelains and objects d’art to fill their homes. Among the most personal treasures were the spectatucalr gifts exchanged between the two.
Comprising a magnificent diamond and emerald diadem, emerald necklace, earrings and brooch, this matching suite of jewels – showcases both the exquisite workmanship of nineteenth century goldsmiths, and Prince Albert’s own flair for design. Albert was fascinated by jewellery, and personally designed this dazzling headpiece for his wife. Victoria, clearly delighted with the gift, wrote in her journal of her husband’s ‘wonderful taste’, and her delight at wearing this ‘lovely Diadem of diamonds and emeralds designed by my beloved Albert”.
The majestic Fife tiara, given to Queen Victoria’s granddaughter Princess Louise on her wedding day, is today considered one of the finest works produced by celebrated Parisian jeweller Oscar Massin, and represents the very zenith of tiara design. A gift from Louise’s husband the Duke of Fife, it comprises hundreds of diamonds ranging in weight from one to ten carats, and features a spectacular row of pear shaped ‘swing set’ diamonds, which would have dazzled onlookers when worn.
Another of Louise’s jewels the Fringe Tiara, takes inspiration from the cockscomb style headdresses of the Romanov court, and reflects the familial web created by Queen Victoria’s descendants throughout Europe; Louise could count the Emperor and Empress of Russia as cousins, while among her aunts were both the Dowager Empress and a Grand Duchess. A gift from her parents the Prince and Princess of Wales (later King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra), its clever construction means it could be worn as a tiara or converted into a necklace, and it became one of Louise’s favourite pieces of jewellery.
Victoria Revealed runs at Kensington Palace throughout 2018.
For more information visit www.hrp.org.uk/Kensington-Palace