Crown Jeweller

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The Crown Jeweller is a member of the Royal Household appointed by the British monarch. He or she is responsible for the maintenance and, when they leave the Tower of London, security of the regalia and plate that make up the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.

History[edit]

The post was created in 1843 by Queen Victoria, who issued a royal warrant to Garrard & Co., and the title of Crown Jeweller was vested in an employee of the company.[1] Until then, Rundell & Bridge, who advertised themselves as Crown jewellers,[2] had been responsible for maintaining and preparing Jewels for use at state occasions.[3] If the title had existed before 1843, it would have applied to William Jones of Jefferys & Jones (1782–96), Philip Gilbert of Jefferys, Jones & Gilbert (1797–1820), and Rundell & Bridge (1821–43). Before 1782, the work of repairing and making the Crown Jewels was distributed to various goldsmiths and jewellers on an ad-hoc basis.[2]

Except for the monarch, only the Crown Jeweller is authorised to handle the Crown Jewels; others may do so with his or her permission.[4] The office holder is on call day and night, all year round to attend to the Jewels.[5] William Summers, the sixth incumbent (1962–91), poetically said of his job: "Where the Crown goes, there go I".[4]

To celebrate Garrard & Co.'s 150th anniversary as the warrant holder, a banquet attended by Anne, Princess Royal, was held at Goldsmiths' Hall, London, in 1993.[4] In 2007, Buckingham Palace announced that Garrard & Co.'s services were no longer required, the reason cited being that it was time for a change.[6] The company had been acquired by a private equity firm in 2006.[7] Harry Collins of the family business G. Collins & Sons, who is also Queen Elizabeth II's personal jeweller, was appointed as the new Crown Jeweller.[8] In 2012, Collins stepped down from the role and Martin Swift of Mappin & Webb became the ninth Crown Jeweller.[9]

List of office holders[edit]

See also[edit]

Keeper of the Jewel House

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Sebastian Garrard died in November 1870 aged 72.[11]
  2. ^ Shirley Bury notes that Whitford "began to attend to [Queen Victoria's] requirements in the early years of her widowhood".[12] Prince Albert died in 1861.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Vivienne Becker (28 March 2012). "Jewellery duty". How To Spend It. Financial Times. Retrieved 15 May 2016. 
  2. ^ a b H. D. W. Sitwell (1960). "The Jewel House and the Royal Goldsmiths". Archaeological Journal. 117 (1): 131–155. doi:10.1080/00665983.1960.10854161. 
  3. ^ Gordon Campbell (2006). The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts. Oxford University Press. p. 409. ISBN 978-0-19-518948-3. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Diana Scarisbrick (1993). "Diana Scarisbrick on Garrard's 150 years". Country Life. Vol. 187 (48–51 ed.). p. 53. 
  5. ^ a b Christopher Middleton (2 June 2012). "How the Queen's man about crowns brought sparkle to her celebrations". The Telegraph. Retrieved 20 May 2016. 
  6. ^ James David Draper (2008). Cameo Appearances. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art. p. 55. ISBN 978-1-58839-282-4. 
  7. ^ "Garrard to lose Royal Jeweller role". Evening Standard. 10 February 2007. Retrieved 30 May 2016. 
  8. ^ a b Julia Robinson (18 July 2007). "Family firm fit for the Queen". The Telegraph. Retrieved 30 May 2016. 
  9. ^ a b Richard Eden (15 July 2012). "The Queen appoints new Crown Jeweller". The Telegraph. Retrieved 8 December 2015. 
  10. ^ "Garrard & Co". Royal Collection Trust. Retrieved 20 December 2017. 
  11. ^ John Culme (2000). The Directory of Gold & Silversmiths, Jewellers & Allied Traders 1838-1914. Antique Collectors' Club. p. 172. ISBN 978-0-907462-46-0. 
  12. ^ Shirley Bury (1991). Jewellery 1789–1910: The International Era. Antique Collectors' Club. p. 496. ISBN 978-1-85149-104-9. 
  13. ^ Staff writer (18 July 2002). "Obituary: William Summers". The Telegraph. Retrieved 20 December 2017. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]