Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mastery of Design: Queen Victoria's Christmas Bracelet, 1839

Queen Victoria's "Padlock" Bracelet
Given by Prince Albert, 1839
Gold, Emerald, Diamonds
Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
Image Courtesy of
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
On Christmas Day, 1839, Queen Victoria wrote in her journal, “Received to my inexpressible delight a dear, charming letter from dearest Albert, accompanied by a lovely little bracelet.” The “lovely little bracelet” in question was a combination Christmas gift and symbol of their recent engagement.

The bracelet of gold, diamonds and emeralds was testament to their romance. The gold is engraved with a pattern of hearts and knots, the diamonds are a symbol of eternity and the emerald signifies hope. The “padlock” charm was meant to represent the “locking away of the heart’s secrets.”

Queen Victoria specified that after her death, this bracelet along with several other pieces of personal jewelry, should not be passed down to the family and, instead, should be locked away in “Albert’s Room” at Windsor Castle. And, so, it was. In 1901, this bracelet and a few other jewels were displayed in the room in which Prince Albert had died—a room which had not been disturbed since his passing.

Click on image to enlarge.  

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