The Coronation Rings

coronation rings
The three Coronation Rings. Top: Queen Victoria’s Ring; Centre: Queen Consort’s Ring; Bottom: Sovereign’s Ring.

The three Coronation Rings. Top: Queen Victoria’s Ring; Centre: Queen Consort’s Ring; Bottom: Sovereign’s Ring.

The Sovereign’s Ring was made for William IV and has been used at the coronation of every succeeding sovereign with the exception of that of Queen Victoria. In the centre of the ring is a large sapphire with a surround of diamonds. Over the sapphire are laid five rubies represent­ing the cross of St. George.

The Queen Consort’s Ring was made for Queen Adelaide, wife of William IV, in 1831. It is set with a fine ruby surrounded by diamonds and has a band of small rubies around the hoop.

Queen Victoria’s ring was specially made for her because her tiny fingers could not retain the larger coronation ring. Engraved within the shank are the words: “Queen Victoria’s Corona­tion Ring 1838”.

An ancient tradition says that the tighter the ring fits the royal finger at the coronation, the longer and more successful will be the reign. This was certainly true of the reign of Queen Victoria, which lasted for sixty-four years. The ring was made for her little finger, but the Archbishop insisted on following the rubric and forced the ring on to the fourth finger.

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