Tell me about…The Queen Consort’s Sceptre

Made for Mary of Modena and used by all Queens Consort since

When James II’s Queen Consort, Mary of Modena, was crowned in 1685, she needed her own set of regalia. Charles II married the year after his coronation, meaning a consort’s set was not created at the same time as the main Crown Jewels after the Interregnum.

Her set of regalia included The Queen Consort’s Sceptre. It’s a piece that has been used by every Queen Consort since and we will see Camilla be given the Sceptre during the Coronation ceremony in May.

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We’ve taken a look at this piece of regalia that is nearly 400 years old.

The sceptre consists of a gold rod split into three sections, which stems from an orb and an arc of moulded gold set with quartzes. It has a cross above mounted at the top with rose-cut and shaped quartz. The entire piece measures just a little over 65cm and weighs 720 grams.

The Queen Consort’s Sceptre. (RCT)

Originally, the quartzes would have been diamonds and other precious stones, but as these were hired, and not owned, they were later replaced with rock crystals.

The monde (sphere) sits in a bracket of quartz-set petals, which represent a fleur-de-lis, and the piece gently tapers to the top.

The sections of the rod are joined by collars (raised bands) mounted with rose-cut stones; the lower section features silver openwork set with stones that have been arranged in a scroll motif. The round bottom end of the sceptre – the pommel – has a silver band set with table-cut quartzes.

It is housed in the Tower of London and was designed by goldsmith, Sir Robert Vyner, who is also responsible for St Edward’s Crown and the Monarch’s Orb and Sceptre.

A close up of the Queen Consort’s Sceptre (RTC)

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