A suite of Queen Victoria’s emerald jewels and two tiaras, one of them the Fife Tiara, of royal provenance go on show at Kensington Palace for the first time on 30th March.
An arrangement between HM Government and the estate of the 3rd Duke of Fife has allowed the public to enjoy some of the most significant and beautiful jewels belonging to Queen Victoria and her descendants at Kensington Palace.The Fife Tiara has been accepted in lieu of Inheritance Tax and is now on display at Kensington Palace alongside Queen Victoria’s emerald parure and Princess Louise’s kokoshnik style tiara, jewels last seen many decades ago.
Impressive yet with a touching story, the emerald jewels speak eloquently of the love between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert during their 21-year marriage. And one of the most spectacular yet poignant pieces is the emerald tiara he gave her in 1845, six years on from their wedding.
The tiara was the final flourish to the emerald parure (below) that Prince Albert had given the Queen, comprising of a necklace, brooch, and earrings. Beyond its beauty and value, it is the only tiara designed by a consort for his Queen. Made by the Queen’s Jeweller, Joseph Kitching, Victoria was very taken with Bertie’s gift and 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.’
Jewelry specialist at Sotheby’s Justin Roberts who was involved in the project comments: “The influence of Prince Albert in Victorian jewelry should not be underestimated. Both Victoria and Albert were very interested in art, culture, theatre and of course jewelry.”
The loan of these jewels adds an extra sparkle to the re-opening of Victoria Revealed at the monarch‘s childhood home.