Today marks the 60th Anniversary of the Death of Princess Alexandra, Duchess of Fife, a granddaughter of King Edward VII who inherited the title in her own right, married Prince Arthur of Connaught, a grandson of Queen Victoria, served as the Viceregal Consort of South Africa, and even pursued a career in nursing. Since we have already taken as look at her Fife Tiara, Fife Fringe Tiara, and Connaught Fringe Tiara, we will be featuring another heirloom jewel worn by the Duchess- Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee Chain:
Made by Carrington and Co in 1897, the long diamond chain featuring a clasp of an imperial crown with the dates of ‘1837’ and ‘1897’ was a Diamond Jubilee Gift from the Duke and Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Duke and Duchess of Connaught, Prince and Princess Christian, Princess Louise and the Marquess of Lorne, Princess Henry von Battenberg and the Duchess of Albany to Queen Victoria, presented in a case with the inscription “In Memory of the Diamond Anniversary 1837-1897, by Alfred and Marie, Arthur and Louse Margaret, Helena and Christian, Louis and Lorne, Beatrice and Helen”. Queen Victoria wore the chain for the drive through the City of London and the Thanksgiving Service outside St. Paul’s Cathedral (discovered by the spectacular Beth of HFJCMB).
Her daughter-in-law, Queen Alexandra, notably wore the Diamond Jubilee Chain at the wedding of her granddaughter, Princess Alexandra, Duchess of Fife in 1913, with her Maltese Circlet Tiara. Queen Alexandra gave the Chain to her daughter, Princess Louise, Duchess of Fife who soon gave it to the aforementioned Princess Alexandra soon after.
In the early 1920s, around the time her husband was appointed Governor General of South Africa, the Duchess of Fife paired Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee Chain, in a shortened version with four bracelets made from the leftover pieces, with the Connaught Fringe Tiara for an Official Portrait, and also wore the piece to a Ball in 1926 (Beth at RJWMB). Since her only son tragically predeceased her, the Duchess’ heirs were her two nephews, but the Diamond Jubilee Chain went to her cousin and sister-in-law, Lady Patricia Ramsay, and was sold for £12,480 at the 1974 auction of the latter’s Jewels at Sotheby’s. Its current location is unknown.