Today marks the day 180 years ago when Queen Victoria was crowned. Her coronation on 28th June 1838 at Westminster Abbey was watched by vast crowds enabled by the new railway system which made the journey to London easier. The ceremony cost an astonishing £79,000- today’s equivalent of approximately £10,000,000.
The pomp and ceremony was well documented by numerous first and second hand accounts, including a first-hand report by Queen Victoria herself in her daily journal. The pageant included an extensive coach ride in the Gold State Coach, which was made in 1762 and is still used today. Riding in this magnificent four ton gilded coach with interior lined in velvet and satin was likened to being ‘tossed in a rough sea’ aboard a ship and every monarch to date including our Queen Elizabeth has found it an uncomfortable ride. Having survived the procession, Queen Victoria then had to endure a lengthy five hour service at the Abbey.
The all-important crown was adjusted and recreated for the young Queen who had a decidedly smaller and more delicate head than her predecessor. The Queen commissioned a new Imperial State Crown from the Crown Jewellers Rundell and Bridge at a cost of £112,800; it featured 3,093 gemstones including the Black Prince’s Ruby (a 170.00 carat spinel) and St Edward’s Sapphire taken from a piece of jewellery once belonging to Edward the Confessor. Noticeably absent, the show stopping centrepiece of today’s crown: the infamous Koh-i-noor diamond of over 105.00 carats, had not yet been obtained. On Queen Victoria’s finger was placed her ceremonial Coronation Ring, composed of a sapphire overlaid with rubies forming a cross and all surrounded by a border of diamonds.
Searching for your own sumptuous piece of Victorian jewellery? Look no further than Berganza’s vast collection - all available to view online or in our shop.