The Queen Consort’s ring is an item that has been used in royal coronations since 1831, but is a lesser-known piece of jewellery seen at these historic occasions.
What’s the history and detail behind this ring? Will we see Camilla use The Queen Consort’s ring during the coronation in May?
Similar to how The Sovereign’s Ring was made for William IV, The Queen Consort’s ring was made for his wife, Queen Adelaide.
The ring consists an octagonal mixed-cut ruby in a gold setting, within a border of 14 cushion-shaped brilliant diamonds, set transparent in silver collets, which hold the stones in place.
The gold band is set with 14 mixed-cut rubies. Since the 13th century, it has been traditional to include a ruby as the principal stone in the ring.
For Queen Adelaide’s coronation, royal goldsmith Rundell’s created ‘A Ruby and Brilliant Ring for the Queen’ costing £126.
Like all coronation rings until the 12th century, each Monarch and Consort had a bespoke ring, which was not kept with the other coronation regalia, but with the personal jewellery of the Sovereign.
However, when William IV died he left his coronation ring to his widow, Queen Adelaide. She then left both rings to Queen Victoria upon her own death. Victoria had her own ring made for the coronation, since her uncle’s could not be made small enough for her; the design was based on the William’s.
Queen Victoria left both of the coronation rings, and her own coronation ring, to the Crown in 1901. All three were then kept in the Tower of London, alongside the other Crown Jewels, at George V’s suggestion in March 1919.
Since the coronation of Edward VII, all Queens Consorts have used Queen Adelaide’s ring at their retrospective coronations.