Crown of Queen Adelaide

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The Crown of Queen Adelaide was the consort crown of Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, wife and Queen consort of King William IV of the United Kingdom. It was used that the coronation of William and Adelaide in 1831. It was emptied of its jewels soon afterwards, was not worn again by Queen Adelaide, and has never been worn since.


[edit] Reasons for creation

Since the 1690s English and British queens consort had been crowned with the Crown of Mary of Modena, first made for the wife of King James II. However criticism of the continued use of this crown had mounted, for reasons of age, size, state of repair and because it was seen to be too theatrical and undignified. In the preparations for the coronation in 1831 it was ruled that the Modena crown was "unfit for Her Majesty's use".[1] Plans were made for the creation of a new consort crown.

[edit] Design

The new crown following British crown tradition in having four half arches, meeting a globe, on top of which sat a cross. The Queen had objected to the standard practice of hiring diamonds and jewels for a crown prior to its use. Instead diamonds from her own private jewellery were installed in her new crown. Following the coronation, the diamonds were all removed, and the crown stored as a shell.

[edit] Subsequent history

Since Queen Adelaide, all British queens consort have had their own special consort crown made for them, rather than wearing the crowns of any of their predecessors. Later consort crowns were made for Alexandra of Denmark (1902), Mary of Teck (1911) and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (1937).

It is unclear, given the current plan for Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, the wife of the current Heir Apparent to the British throne, Charles, Prince of Wales, to be Princess Consort of the United Kingdom rather than queen consort, whether she will require any crown, and if so whether she will have a new crown made, or instead opt to use any of the previous crowns. If it is decided that she needs a crown, and it is judged too controversial for her to use either the relatively contemporaneous Queen Mary or Queen Elizabeth crowns, she could, theoretically, use one of the two consort crowns of largely forgotten consorts of earlier centuries, the Modena crown or the crown of Queen Adelaide.

[edit] Footnote

  1.   Anne Keay, The Crown Jewels (Historic Royal Palaces, 2002) p.58.

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See also: Coronation | Crown Jewels | Heir Apparent | Heir Presumptive | King | Monarchy | Queen | Regalia | Royal Family

Crown of Queen Adelaide

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