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Victoria's dazzling collection of jewellery to go on show at palace

A conservator prepares the diamond and emerald diadem for display
A conservator prepares the diamond and emerald diadem for display

By Laura Elston

A piece of glittering jewellery commissioned for Queen Victoria by her beloved consort Prince Albert is to go on show at Kensington Palace.

The exhibition of historic royal jewels includes the diamond and emerald diadem which Albert personally designed for his wife.

Created by the Queen's Jeweller, Joseph Kitching, the tiara is set with cushion-shaped diamonds and step-cut emeralds, and surmounted by a graduated row of 19 inverted pear-shaped emeralds, the largest of which weighs 15 carats.

Victoria wrote in her journal of her husband's "wonderful taste", and her delight at wearing this "lovely Diadem of diamonds and emeralds designed by my beloved Albert". She was given the tiara in 1845 - five years after she married Albert. The piece will form a new part of the Victoria Revealed exhibition, which reopens at the west London royal residence this Friday.

Also on show will be its matching emerald suite - a necklace formed of nine oval emerald clusters each set within a border of cushion-shaped diamonds, pendant earrings and a 20carat emerald and diamond brooch.

Victoria and Albert became known for their love of fine craftsmanship, together commissioning and purchasing some of the 19th century's finest artworks.

They exchanged spectacular gifts from the moment of their engagement in 1839 and throughout their 21-year marriage, and some are going on show for the first time at Kensington Palace, Victoria's childhood home, throughout 2018.

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