by Amanda

Queen Elizabeth I's Locket Ring

Part of the allure of antique jewellery is the story behind it. It is always wonderful to learn about a beautiful piece! One piece that I find particularly interesting is Queen Elizabeth I's locket ring. The Queen had this very special ring commissioned in 1575. It was made from mother-of-pearl and adorned with rubies. Also, the letter ''E'' was set in diamonds on the top.

Queen Elizabeth I

The ring was apparently breathtaking, but was even more incredible when opened up - the top of the ring opened to reveal a tiny locket that housed two portraits; one that was clearly Elizabeth herself, and the other with features remarkably similar to her own, believed to be her mother, Anne Boleyn.

Anne Boleyn was the condemned second wife of King Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth's father. Anne was charged with treason, adultery and witchcraft by her husband, and, not having produced a male heir, was beheaded in 1536. Because of her mother's tarnished reputation in the eyes of the monarchy, Queen Elizabeth rarely spoke of her mother, and did very little to associate herself with her.

Despite this, there are stories that suggest that The Queen loved her mother dearly, and honoured her memory in private through diary entries - although there is no accessible evidence to these. The ring, therefore, is the single symbol of The Queen's desire to remember her mother.

Elizabeth wore the ring until the day that she died, and the locket section was only discovered after her passing. For this reason, no-one was able to confirm that the other woman in the locket was, in fact, her mother! (There are rumours that say that the picture may have been a younger Elizabeth, or even her stepmother, Katherine Parr).

Today, the ring belongs to the Trustees of Chequers, the prime minister's residence, and goes on display every now and then.

Even though Anne was executed when Elizabeth was only 2 years old, The Queen seemed to have cherished her mother dearly. Having kept this fact, and the locket inside the ring, as secrets, Elizabeth inadvertently ensured that the piece would make a very interesting item of jewellery - highlighting a very sad story of a daughter's sacrifice for duty.

View products in the following categories:

Mother-Of-Pearl | Rings | Lockets

View blogs with the following tags:

Antique | Diamonds | Famous | Locket | Ring | Royal
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