Coronets of Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret
Once King George VI and Queen Elizabeth had decided that they would allow their children, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, to participate in the coronation, they decided to commission two golden coronets for them. The royal jewellers at the time came up with an elaborate design of golden coronets with crimson velvet and ermine edges. Replicas of the design were brought to the palace for the princesses to try on and their parents to approve. The King and Queen, along with Queen Mary, decided that the designs were too decorative to be appropriate for children of their age. Queen Mary then came up with the idea of simple gold coronets, without jewels, ermine or velvet and in the style of medieval crowns. Crosses pattée and the fleur de lys were used in the design, as is traditional in British crowns.
The princesses were said to have placed the coronets upon their heads at the same time as their mother had her crown placed upon her head during the ceremony. Queen Mary later wrote in her diary, 'Lilibet and Margaret looked too sweet in their lace dresses and robes, especially when they put on their coronets'. Marion Crawford, the governess to the princesses, noted in her memoirs that Princess Margaret bounced around out of excitement that her coronet fell down over one ear, at which point Princess Elizabeth reprimanded, 'Be quiet, Margaret'.
The current whereabouts of the coronets is unknown. It has been speculated that they remain tucked up in a vault somewhere in Buckingham Palace.
- Fields, Leslie (2002). The Queen's Jewels: The Personal Collection of Elizabeth II. London: Harry N. Abrams, Inc ISBN 0-8109-8172-6.