Today marks the Anniversary of the Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, who were crowned at Westminster Abbey on this day in 1937. Since we have already covered the coronation, today we are taking a look at one of it’s most glittering mementos; Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation Rivière.
Originally composed of 40 old-cut diamonds, the Diamond Rivière was probably made in the mid-nineteenth century, and given as a gift from King George VI to Queen Elizabeth to celebrate their Coronation in 1937. This Rivière came just months after she was given another Diamond Rivière by her husband, the then Duke of York, which is called the Duchess of York’s Collet necklace, and when she gained possession of the historic Coronation Necklace, the most important Rivière in the collection.
Queen Elizabeth wore her Coronation Rivière at the Coronation and for a plethora of events afterwards, often layered with the Coronation Necklace, with its distinctive Lahore Diamond Pendant, during her time as Queen. As Queen Mother, she wore her Coronation Rivière with the York Collet necklace and a longer, Duchess of Teck, collet necklace at her daughter’s coronation, and usually wore the Coronation Rivière with the former her widowhood, though it wasn’t seen much after the 1960s.
After her death in 2002, the Coronation Rivière was inherited by the Queen and exhibited at her famous White Wardrobe Exhibition at Buckingham palace before being loaned to the Duchess of Cornwall, after being shortened to 31 diamonds. The Duchess usually wore the Queen Mother’s Coronation Rivière for events in the mid- to late 2000s, most notably her 60th Birthday, and it has not been worn for a few years at this point, though hopefully, it might make a reappearance.