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Openwork silver frame lined with gold and 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 emblems of the Un

Dazzling pieces of jewellery, insignia and other works of art

Rundell Bridge & Rundell

The Diamond Diadem 1820

Diamonds, pearls, silver, gold | 7.5 cm (whole object) | RCIN 31702

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1,333 diamonds are set in silver and gold on this diadem, which incorporates the national emblems of the thistle, rose and shamrock.  It was created for George IV to wear on his coronation day in 1821.The diamonds were hired, rather than purchased, for the coronation, as was conventional at that time. However, George IV decided to keep the diadem after the event, and settled the bill for a little over £8,000.

In the following reign the diadem was worn regularly by Queen Adelaide, consort of William IV, and this established a tradition of feminine wear. Queen Victoria wore the piece for many paintings and photographs – as well as on several early postage stamps, including the Penny Black.  The diadem has since passed via Queen Alexandra, Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth to Her Majesty The Queen, who memorably wore it on the way to Westminster Abbey for her coronation in June 1953.

  • Creator(s)

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    Rundell Bridge & Rundell (jeweller)

    Philippe Liebart (designer)

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    Garrard & Co (jeweller)

    England (place of production)

  • 7.5 cm (whole object)

    19.0 cm (at base of object)

  • George IV's Circlet

  • Made for George IV, 1820 (£8,216, adjusted to £7,126; RA GEO/25994)

    • Organisation
      • Emblems
        • Emblems-British (rose, thistle, shamrock, daffodil)
    • Natural Sciences & Mathematics
      • Botany
        • Systematic botany
          • Flowering plants
            • Roses
            • Thistles
            • Clover
              • Shamrock
    • Social sciences
      • Ethnology
        • Public life
          • Coronations