Monday, April 14, 2014

Gifts of Grandeur: Queen Victoria's Engagement Bracelet, 1839

Queen Victoria's Engagement Bracelet
November, 1839
Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection 
Image Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

This gold bracelet is constructed of flat, tapering links—each engraved with tendrils and volutes. The centerpiece consists of a lovely amethyst which has been carved as a double heart. Behind this is a glass locket—now empty—which is engraved with a V monogram and the date: 23 Nov. 1939.

This attractive bauble was one of several elegant and costly engagement gifts given to Queen Victoria(1819-1901) upon the announcement to the Privy Council of her impending marriage to Prince Albert in 1839. The bracelet was given to the Queen by The Duchess of Kent, Her Majesty’s mother with whom she had, at best, a rather rocky relationship. 

Upon the Queen’s 1901 death, at her previous request, this bracelet was one of a group of jewels which was put on display in the “Albert Room” at Windsor Castle. This was the room in which Prince Albert had died in 1861. Victoria insisted that the room remain untouched and just as he left it—and, so it did until her own death. After Queen Victoria’s death, the group of jewels which she had specified be displayed in the Albert Room were to remain there and, she insisted, not passed on to her family. 

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