Hello and hi. A temporary export ban has been placed on the magnificent sapphire and diamond coronet that belonged to Queen Victoria-this ban has been placed to prevent the coronet from being sold abroad. A coronet is a small, simple crown. It is often worn by lesser royalty and peers/peeresses. It is not to be confused with a Corenetto-which is an ice cream.
The coronet was designed by Prince Albert for his wedding in 1840 to Queen Vic-he designed it, while he himself was actually eating a Corenetto-hence the name. All true people, I deal in truth. Anyway, the coronet is at risk of being exported unless a UK buyer matches the £5m asking price. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
The temporary ban was imposed after the owner applied for an export licence. Yikes, good luck with that, mate. That coronet is staying put in England. Truth. Matt Hancock, Culture Minister-who imposed the ban said that coronet symbolised one of the UK’s “most famous love stories”…well, after Posh and Becks, that is. Pictured below are our Posh and Becks. Wow, they look so different now. See, how money ages you? Stay poor and good looking I say. Yes.
The coronet is 11.5cm wide and mounted with 11 sapphires, which are all set in gold, with diamonds set in silver. According to the BBC, experts consider it to be one of THE most important jewels of Queen Victoria’s reign. Our Victoria received a matching sapphire and diamond brooch given to her by Albert the day before their wedding. Lucky girl.
When Queen Victoria’s beloved Albert died, she refused to attend the State Opening of Parliament until 1866, when she wore the coronet. Both the coronet and brooch are also featured in perhaps the most famous official portraits of the young Queen Victoria, in 1842, by Franz Xaver Winterhalter.
The coronet was later given by King Geroge V and Queen Mary to Princess Mary on her marriage to Viscount Lascelles in 1922. It was later sold to a dealer in London, who then sold it to the export license applicant.
The temporary ban followed a recommendation by the reviewing committee on the export of works of art and objects of cultural interest (which is administered by the Arts Council). My sources tell me that when the committee met, they were served sparkling water along with corenettos-seriously folks, you can’t even make this stuff up. No, no you can’t. The reviewing committe recommended that the coronet’s “close connection with our history and national life, and its outstanding significance for the study of the young Queen Victoria”. Watch this space to see what happens next regarding our Vic’s coronet.