This stunning choker is part of a set based on the design of the front cross and shoulder of the small diamond crown of Queen Victoria. Original in the Jewel House.
Silver plated with Swarovski elements.
On the death of her beloved husband, Prince Albert, in 1861, the grief-stricken Queen Victoria retreated into full mourning and, for a time withdrew from public life. In 1870, soon after she resumed some of her public duties, she commissioned this tiny diamond crown from Garrard & Co to wear on top of her widow's veil. The silver frame is set with 1,187 diamonds, which unlike coloured stones - were allowed during mourning. Being of small stature, she found the Imperial State Crown too heavy, and out of proportion to her size. She broke diamonds out of a necklace to create this small head ornament, which measures 9cm across, 10cm high and weighs just 6 ounces. Queen Victoria first wore her small diamond crown at the State Opening of Parliament on 9th February 1871 with the Imperial State Crown being carried on a cushion before her. It was an event she recorded in her diary; 'Wore a dress trimmed with ermine and my new small diamond crown over a veil, on my head'. The small crown, which Victoria wore frequently for the rest of her reign, came to symbolise her. Queen Victoria left the small diamond crown to the Crown; it was occasionally worn by Queen Alexandra and Queen Mary. Despite her advanced age, Victoria continued her duties to the end and on her death in 1901 the small crown was placed on her coffin at Osborn House before it was conveyed to London for the State Funeral.