Crown of Queen Alexandra

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Queen Alexandra wearing her crown in her coronation photograph. The European-style crown contained more half arches than was usual in British crowns, and had its cap placed lower, allowing a clear view through the crown.

The Crown of Queen Alexandra was the consort crown of Alexandra of Denmark, the queen consort of King Edward VII. It was manufactured for the 1902 coronation.

Background[edit]

Queen Victoria's death in January 1901 brought to an end a gap of sixty-four years when the United Kingdom had been without a crowned queen consort, since Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha had not been crowned as a consort. Traditionally, queens consort had been crowned with the 17th century Crown of Mary of Modena. However in 1831, Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, consort of King William IV of the United Kingdom, was crowned with a 4 half-arched new small crown, the Crown of Queen Adelaide, because the Modena crown was judged too poor in quality, too old and too theatrical.

In 1902 it was decided to use neither the Modena nor Adelaide crowns for the first coronation of a queen consort in seven decades. Instead it was decided to create a brand new consort crown, to be named after Queen Alexandra.

Style[edit]

The crown itself departed from the standard style of British crowns, and was more akin to European royal crowns. It was less upright than the norm in British crowns, and more squat in design, with an unpredecented eight half-arches. Its front arch joined a jewelled cross into which was set the Koh-i-Noor diamond. As with the later Crown of Queen Mary and Crown of Queen Elizabeth, the arches were detachable, allowing the crown to be worn as a circlet.

The Crown of Queen Alexandra was not worn by later queens, with new crowns being created for Mary of Teck in 1911 and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1937. The major stones have been replaced with artificial ones referred to as paste.