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Assorted regalia from the Crown Jewels

The Crown Jewels are the most complete collection of royal regalia in the world

Sir Robert Viner, 1st Baronet (1631-88)

Mary of Modena's Diadem 1685

Gold, silver, quartz crystal, pearls, velvet and ermine | 8.0 cm | RCIN 31708

Jewel House, Jewel House

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The tradition for queens consort to wear diadems or circlets in the coronation procession dates back to the fourteenth century.  This diadem was ordered only six weeks before the coronation of James II and his wife Mary in 1685, and was delivered on 22 April, the day before the ceremony.  It was originally encrusted with 177 diamonds which were provided on loan, but these have subsequently been replaced by quartz crystal. 

Mary of Modena's step-daughter, Mary II, wore the diadem in 1689 and it was again worn by Queen Anne in 1702.  It may also have been worn by George II's consort, Queen Caroline, although it is difficult to confirm this from contemporary accounts. For George III's coronation in 1760, Queen Charlotte was provided with her own crown and the diadem does not appear to have been used again.