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A silver and gold-lined diadem with an openwork frame set transparent with diamonds; narrow band edged with pearls, surmounted by four crosses-pattée, the front cross set with a pale yellow brilliant, and four sprays representing the national emble

Dazzling pieces of jewellery, insignia and other works of art

Garrard & Co

Queen Victoria's Small Diamond Crown

RCIN 31705

Jewel House, Jewel House

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In 1870, Queen Victoria commissioned a diamond crown small enough to be worn above her widow's cap, as she continued to mourn her late husband, Prince Albert. The resulting piece was an openwork silver frame set with 1,187 diamonds. The queen's criteria of lightness and comfort seem to have been met as she frequently used the crown on state occasions and to receive guests, having first worn it at the opening of Parliament in 1871. The crown was also her choice for many of the portraits of her later reign, sometimes worn without the arches. By the time of her death, it had become so closely associated with her image that it was placed on her coffin at Osborne.