With the future fate of Queen Victoria's Sapphire Coronet hanging in the balance, I began to wonder about her other jewels and tiaras. What were they and what happened to them?
In 1838, Sultan Mahmud of Turkey gifted Queen Victoria a large number of diamonds that she used to make a necklace and matching earrings that she referred to as her "Turkish diamond necklace and earrings".
"Queen Victoria was given a personal gift of a large number of diamonds by Sultan Mahmud of Turkey in 1838. The following year, the Queen commissioned Rundell & Bridge, the firm that held the royal warrant at the time, to create a necklace and earrings using some of the diamonds. Because of the provenance of the stones, Victoria referred to the set as "my Turkish diamond necklace and earrings".
The necklace featured three diamond rosettes, one large and two smaller ones, connected to each other by three strands of diamonds. At the back, two large oval diamonds connected via two rows of diamonds to the smaller rosettes on one side, and to the clasp on the other. The clasp itself featured a massive diamond in a frame of smaller stones.
The earrings were equally elaborate and featured two small rosettes connected to each other with three rows of diamonds. Victoria was fond of the set and wore it to some of the most important occasions in her life, including her wedding and christenings of some of her children." (source: http://artemisiasroyaljewels.blogspot.fr
Victoria's bridal portrait, wearing both the Turkish Diamond Necklace and Earrings.
According to history, Victoria gifted the necklace to her favorite son Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn. He married Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia, as the Duchess of Connaught she wore the necklace to several important events, including the coronation of Nicholas II in 1896 and the coronation of George V in 1911.
Louise Margaret, the Duchess of Connaught, in her will left items to her daughters, Margaret of Connaught, who became Crown Princess of Sweden and Patricia of Connaught, who became Lady Ramsay. The bulk of her estate she left bequeathed to her son Prince Arthur "?all my property real and personal?to my son for his absolute use and benefit in the hope but without intending to create any trust that as regards certain articles of jewellery and furniture he will distribute them in accordance with a memorandum I shall leave for him."
So the Turkish Rosette necklace was was likely in the items she bequeathed to her son Prince Arthur who later married Princess Alexandra, (the 2nd Duchess of Fife) a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria. The necklace may have been worn by his wife however, we have no portraits of Alexandra wearing her great grandmother's necklace.
When Prince Arthur died in 1938, Alexandra inherited the Turkish Diamond Necklace and she outlived her son Alastair Arthur, who was unmarried and without children, and her sister Princess Maud. Alexandra bequeathed most of her fortune and her jewels to her nephew James Carnegie, who was also her heir to the Dukedom of Fife.
In July 1970, the necklace was auctioned in London, as "From the collection of his Grace the Duke of Fife" for £23 000.
There is no record of the location or fate of earrings.
While we are considering the jewellry Queen Victoria wore on her wedding day we should mention the wedding present she received from her groom, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
The day before their marriage Prince Albert presented Queen Victoria with a Sapphire and Diamond brooch.
This gorgeous oblong sapphire is surrounded by 12 diamonds and Victoria left this lovely brooch to the Crown. It has been worn by Queen Alexandra, Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) and appears to be a favorite of Queen Elizabeth II.