This month, we have been marking the Bicentenary of the Birth of Queen Victoria by featuring her Top 20 Jewels, one for each decade since the Birth of 2nd-longest reigning British Monarch, in the 20 days leading up to the Anniversary itself, and today’s feature is her Turkish Diamond Parure-
In 1838, Queen Victoria received many diamonds from Sultan Mahmud II of Turkey, which she used to commission a necklace, featuring three diamond rosettes connected by three strands of diamonds, and elaborate earrings from Rundell & Bridge, which she referred to as “my Turkish diamond necklace and earrings.” The Turkish Diamond Parure was a favourite of Queen Victoria, worn for a plethora of important occasions, including her Wedding, the christenings of some of her children, and some of their weddings, as well as many official portraits throughout her reign. At some point during her lifetime, Queen Victoria gave the earrings to her elder daughter-in-law, the future Queen Alexandra (they are now in the Norwegian Royal Family), and the necklace to her third and favourite son Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn.
Queen Victoria’s Turkish Diamond Necklace was notably worn by the Duchess of Connaught at the Coronation of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia in 1896, the Coronation of King Edward VII in 1902, and the Coronation of King George V in 1911, and after her death in 1917, it was inherited by her only son, Prince Arthur of Connaught
The Turkish Diamond Necklace was not pictured on his wife, Princess Alexandra, Duchess of Fife, whose nephew and heir, the 3rd Duke of Fife inherited it in 1959, and eventually auctioned the Necklace at Sotheby’s in 1970, when it sold for £23,000. The current location is unknown.