|Photo of Queen Victoria by Bassano, 1882. Public Domain.|
|Victoria's original Imperial State Crown, created in 1838. Public Domain|
|Coronation Portrait by George Hayter, 1843. Public Domain|
To work around those problems, the Crown Jewelers, Garrard & Co., created a new, small crown which met her requirements and would be appropriate for her ceremonial duties. The openwork silver frame was set with 1,187 brilliant-cut and rose-cut diamonds, and the band supports four crosses-pattée and four fleurs-de-lis, with half-arches surmounted by a monde and a further cross-pattée. The diamonds were taken from a necklace belonging to Her Majesty (white, unlike colored gemstones, were considered appropriate for mourning.)
The crown weighs six ounces, is four inches across and high.
|Queen Victoria wearing the Small Diamond Crown, 1887. Public Domain.|
Because the crown was crafted of her personal diamonds, it was her property, not part of the Crown Jewels. However, she bequeathed it to the Crown in her will, and it passed into the collection of Crown Jewels at her death in 1901.
Her daughter-in-law, queen consort Alexandra, wore it on occasion, as did the next queen consort, Mary of Teck. However, once Mary became a widow, she ceased wearing it. The next queen consort, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, mother of Queen Elizabeth II, did not wear it, so her husband, King George VI, had it sent to the Jewel House at the Tower of London, where it is currently on display.
Susanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she's the award-winning author of over a dozen historical romances who's seen her work on the ECPA and Publisher's Weekly Bestseller Lists for Inspirational Fiction. Married to a pastor and the mom of two, Susanne lives in California and enjoys fancy-schmancy tea parties, genealogy, the beach, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama and a plate of nachos. Learn more about her and her newest novel, A Mother for His Family, at www.susannedietze.com.