Queen Victoria celebrated her Golden Jubilee in June 1887 and it was a landmark occasion as no other British monarch (until Queen Elizabeth II) had reigned for fifty years. To commemorate the occasion, a Jubilee banquet was held at Buckingham Palace with a guest list comprising of foreign rulers and dignitaries.
Since a Golden Jubilee wasn’t an everyday event, a committee known as the Women’s Jubilee Offering was formed to order a suitable gift for the Queen and they decided to sponsor a recreation of a Scottish equestrian statue of Prince Albert which would be placed in Windsor Great Park. The Queen approved the idea and the committee set about raising the necessary funds, however they ended up with too much money and there were rows over what to do with it. The Queen wanted the money to be given to charity, however some of the ladies felt it should be used to purchase a piece of jewellery which would be a more personal gift for the Queen. The matter was finally settled when a decision was made to donate most of the excess money to charity and to keep a smaller portion (around £5,000) to purchase a necklace for the Queen.
The pearl and diamond necklace was commissioned from Carrington and Co., and was presented to the Queen by the Duchess of Buccleuch on 30 July 1888. The impressive necklace featured a central diamond quatrefoil with a pearl in the middle and a crown at the top; four diamond trefoils which graduate in size are one either side of the central quatrefoil followed by a series of smaller links. Like most royal jewellery, the necklace can be adapted for the quatrefoil and trefoil to be used as brooches.
Queen Victoria loved the necklace so much, she bequeathed it to the Crown in her will and it is often worn by her great-great-granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II, for state occasions. Unfortunately, I can’t find a decent photo of Queen Victoria wearing the necklace but there are plenty of our current Queen.