In celebration of Valentines Day, let us pay tribute to the love story of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and the majestic jewels it inspired!
Queen Victoria of England was all about a love story and all about the accompanying jewels! She stacked rings on top of rings, wore bangles from wrist to elbow and didn’t shy away from a statement necklace. But it was her marriage to her true love (and first cousin) in 1841 that inspired a romantic movement in Victorian jewelry characterized by motifs of eternal love and fidelity.
Prince Albert proposed to Victoria with a serpent ring adorned with her birthstone, the emerald. (My personal dream ring, but let’s not get off track.) On the night of her wedding she wrote, “I NEVER, NEVER spent such an evening!! MY DEAREST DEAREST DEAR Albert … his excessive love and affection gave me feelings of heavenly love and happiness I never could have hoped to have felt before! He clasped me in his arms, and we kissed each other again and again! His beauty, his sweetness and gentleness – really how can I ever be thankful enough to have such a Husband! Oh! This was the happiest day of my life!”
After twenty years of marriage and nine children, Victoria was utterly heartbroken following the death of her true love in 1861. She did not show her face in public for three years and lived out her remaining forty years in mourning – refusing to wear any color at all, in clothing or jewelry. Her subjects shared their Queen’s sadness, and the jewels of the late Victorian period are sober in color and design; onyx, jet and black enamel replaced the rubies and emeralds of decades prior. She was buried with her serpent ring in 1901 after reinging over England for 63 years, the longest reign of any female monarch in history and the longest reign of any British monarch. May we all find such love and jewels! God save the Queen!
Victoria on her wedding day in a crown of orange blossoms and a sapphire and diamond brooch, which was a gift from sweet Albert. Hers was the first “white wedding” and her white satin gown swayed bridal custom. She gave each of her twelve bridesmaids this turquoise, pearl, ruby and diamond brooch and the ruby and diamond ring was a wedding gift from her half sister, Feodora.
Victorian Jewels for your Beloved
Gold Serpent, Turquoise Serpent and Ruby Serpent all are symbols of eternal love. // An Anchor Locket represents fidelity and might hold a picture or a lock of hair inside. // Onyx Earrings from the “mourning” period with seed pearls to symbolize tears pair nicely with this Jet Necklace. // A Ruby Ring to show your passion. // Another anchor, this Ring has an inscription memorializing an “Affectionate Father” // Twin gold and enamel Bracelets were often a wedding gift, and then passed down to daughters. Or wear them together in a stack of gold bangle heaven! // A gold Locket Ring to hold a love note and a Remembrance Ring for a Mister Radcliffe. // Twin hearts are especially romantic in Emerald and Diamonds. Queen V didn’t like ladies to wear diamonds until they were engaged, but we’re down if you are.