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Locket with hair of Charles I c. 1620, with insert 1813

RCIN 43778

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The locket is inscribed: ‘Hair of Charles the First Cut from his head April 1st 1813 Discovered on the Funeral of the Duchess of Brunswick and given to me by the Prince Regent’. During excavations in 1813 in the royal vault at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, the coffin of Charles I was discovered. The Prince Regent had the coffin opened and the contents examined. His physician, Sir Henry Halford, gave an account of what was found, which included an analysis of the hair. George IV was fascinated by Charles I, both as King and collector. His fascination was reflected in his conscious attempt to reacquire paintings that had once belonged to the Martyr King.