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Queen Charlotte's keeper ring 1761

Gold, diamonds | 0.2 x 2.0 cm (diameter) | RCIN 65429

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  • This ring formed part of a suite of jewels given to Queen Charlotte by the King on their wedding day, 8 September 1761. Charlotte Papendiek records that part of the King’s ‘particular present’ to his bride was ‘a diamond hoop ring of a size not to stand higher than the wedding ring, to which it was to serve as a guard’. She added, ‘On that finger the Queen never allowed herself to wear any other in addition, although fashion at times almost demanded it’. In addition to a ring set with Meyer’s miniature of the King, the Queen also received ‘a pair of bracelets, consisting of six rows of picked pearls as large as a full pea; the clasps - one his picture, the other his hair and cipher, both set round with diamonds; necklace with diamond cross; earrings, and the additional ornaments of fashion of the day’. These personal gifts from the King were additional to the magnificent jewels formerly in the collection of George II.

    The young Queen Charlotte had at her disposal a truly magnificent collection of jewels which made her ‘the first queen since the early seventeenth century to possess jewels rivalling those of Continental royalty’. On her death the Queen’s vast collection was dispersed; her personal jewels, including the famous diamonds given by the Nabob of Arcot, were left to her four youngest daughters who sold many pieces. The Queen’s diamond hoop keeper ring passed to her eldest daughter Charlotte, Princess Royal, Queen of Württemberg, after whose death it passed to Queen Victoria.

    Queen Charlotte’s hereditary jewels, which were bequeathed by her ‘to the House of Hanover, or to be settled upon it, and considered as an Heir Loom, in the direct Line of Succession of that House’, passed to the Prince Regent. Most of these were subsequently lost to the British crown under Queen Victoria when the King of Hanover successfully claimed them as part of his inheritance.

    Catalogue entries adapted from George III & Queen Charlotte: Patronage, Collecting and Court Taste, London, 2004 and "Gold", London, 2014. 
    Provenance

    Presented to Queen Charlotte by George III on their wedding day, 8 September 1761; passed to Charlotte, Princess Royal, Queen of Wurttemberg; after whose death (1828) passed to Queen Victoria (QVIJ, f.359; R&S, case C, no.37a).

  • Medium and techniques

    Gold, diamonds

    Measurements

    0.2 x 2.0 cm (diameter)