Drumroll, please! The winner of our inaugural British Royal Necklace Contest is…
In our final match of the necklace contest, the Coronation Necklace won the day easily, bringing in 60.89% of your votes. Queen Alexandra’s Wedding Necklace is our runner-up, finishing up in this round with 39.11% of the vote.
The Coronation Necklace was made by Garrard in 1858. The piece was designed to replace a similar necklace that had been lost by Queen Victoria to her German cousins in the Hanoverian Claim. The pendant that hangs from the necklace is the Lahore Diamond.
Queen Victoria loved the necklace and its coordinating earrings, and she wore them in portraits (like this one, taken to celebrate her Golden Jubilee in 1887) throughout the rest of her long reign. When she died in 1901, she designated the necklace and earrings as Heirlooms of the Crown, earmarking them for the use of future monarchs and consorts.
Since then, the necklace has been worn at each subsequent coronation. Queen Alexandra wore it (without the pendant) in 1902. Queen Mary (pictured above in her coronation portrait) wore it for hers in 1911. And the Queen Mother wore the necklace (also without the pendant) for her coronation in 1937. Queen Elizabeth II wore the necklace at the most recent British coronation, which took place in 1953, nearly 70 years ago.
The necklace is easy to pair with other pieces of jewelry, making it an easy and lovely choice for all sorts of portraits. Here, in 1937, the Queen Mother layers it with her own diamond coronation necklace, a gift from her husband, King George VI.
The Queen has paired the necklace with numerous other royal jewels during the past seven decades. Here, she wears the necklace with Queen Victoria’s Pearl Drop Earrings and Queen Alexandra’s Kokoshnik in 1957.
You can read much more about our winning necklace in our previous lengthy article on the piece over here! Thanks to everyone who voted in this jewelry tournament!