A Royal Love Story
With summer weddings and anniversary celebrations approaching, love is truly in the air! As June is one of the most celebrated months for anniversaries, what better way to celebrate then to look back at one of the most coveted love stories in history? Let’s travel back in time to the mid-1800s, the beginning of the Victorian Era, where fashion, art and love all came together!
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert personified a true royal love story. They had an arranged marriage, which normally wouldn’t seem romantic, but Victoria was essentially smitten with her new husband. She thanked her uncle, Leopold, who spearheaded the whole arrangement saying, “The prospect of great happiness you have contributed to give me in the person of dear Albert. He possesses every quality that can be desired to make me perfectly happy.” Victoria described her wedding day as ‘the happiest day of my life!’
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were the epitome of lavish gift givers and essentially started the gift giving tradition when Albert had given Victoria an engagement ring. Continuing this act of giving, they gave and then expected gifts at every wedding anniversary, birthday and Christmas celebration. They loved gifts in the forms of paintings, sculptures and of course, jewelry!
They also would often surprise each other with secret gifts. Queen Victoria had a rather scandalous painting of herself done by German artist, Franz Winterhalter, where her shoulders were bare and her hair was down in beautiful waves. This was definitely not the common “Royal” painting, so of course, it was Prince Albert’s favorite picture of his wife.
Queen Victoria painted by Franz Winterhalter
In this particular painting, it also looks like she is wearing a special locket of some kind, holding her favorite photos or notes from Prince Albert, perhaps?
Prince Albert had given Queen Victoria some of the most meaningful gifts over the years. And what better way to show his love than with jewelry? Jewelry is always the perfect gift for any anniversary, birthday or celebration. It creates your story together and brings sentimental value to every piece you give. Prince Albert had given her a charm bracelet that he added to over the years. Each charm representing each one of their nine children in the shapes of different colored hearts.
He had also gifted Queen Victoria with a “locket” like bracelet. The bracelet has a case at the end with Prince Albert’s picture in it. Queen Victoria adored the bracelet, she said, “It is his own exquisite taste & one of the loveliest things I ever saw. How I shall value it, & what extreme pleasure it gives. I put it on at once, & it was much admired.'
What’s in her locket? Queen Victoria actually had a lock of hair on one side and a picture of Prince Albert on the other. This piece is a gold memorial locket with a diamond star center and a blue enamel inscription “Die reine Seele schwingt sich auf zu Gott', which translates too 'The pure soul flies up above to the Lord'. The locket was also engraved on the back with a special message.
In the spirit of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, we’ve put together an Anniversary Gift Guide, so you can give or receive the perfect gift!