Queen Adelaide’s Fringe Necklace

(public domain)

Queen Adelaide’s Fringe necklace has “sixty brilliant-set graduated bars, the central bars terminating in cushion-cut and pear-shaped stones, divided by 60 graduated brilliant-set spikes; an extra six small graduated bars and five spikes detached; tiara fittings removed.”1

It was created on the orders of King William IV, using diamonds removed from various items belonging to George III and Queen Charlotte.

Upon the death of King William IV, Queen Victoria inherited the Queen Adelaide fringe necklace, as it was considered Crown property. Queen Adelaide did not die until 1849. Queen Victoria liked the necklace as a tiara and wore it early in her reign during a visit to the theatre and at the opening of the Great Exhibition. After her husband died, she may have worn it as a border to the neckline of her dress.2

Queen Alexandra wore it as a girdle around her waist for her 1902 coronation. Queen Mary had it reset as a tiara on a new frame and wore it a bit more horizontally than Queen Victoria had done. After that, it passed to Queen Elizabeth (later the Queen Mother), and she had it turned into a necklace once more. It then passed to Queen Elizabeth II in 2002.


  1. The Queen’s Diamonds by Hugh Roberts p.28
  2. The Queen’s Diamonds by Hugh Roberts p.28

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