Jewel of the day: Queen Victoria’s Small Diamond Crown

Canada is probably unique in still celebrating with some gusto Queen Victoria’s birthday. The statutory holiday, known as Victoria Day, heralds the start of spring and cottage country weekends and is usually marked as a holiday on her birthday, May 24. This year, because of the way legislation affecting the marking of the holiday changed in the 1950s, it falls somewhat oddly on May 18. I’m fairly sure this is no longer even a bank holiday in the UK, but hey, we will take our stat holidays how we get them!

In her honour, here is Victoria’s small diamond crown. It was worn by her after she became a widow, because it was much lighter than the state crown and unlike it, could be worn atop her mourning veil. It is made of silver, with 1,187 diamonds Victoria repurposed from a necklace she owned. Although it was her personal possession, she willed it to the crown upon her death. It has not been worn since Queen Mary and remains on show in the Tower of London.

So happy birthday Your Majesty, and thanks for the long weekend.

Victoria small diamond crown 87


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