The Crown of Mary of Modena

Queen Mary of Modena’s Crown, sometimes called the Queen Consort’s Crown.

Queen Mary of Modena’s Crown, sometimes called the Queen Consort’s Crown.

This small crown of traditional English pattern is designed to be worn on top of the head rather than to fit it. Although sometimes called the Queen Consort’s Crown it has been worn by queens regnant as well as by queens consort.

When originally made for Mary Beatrice of Modena, consort of James II, its appearance was very different.

It was altered and set with the Black Prince’s ruby when Queen Mary II adopted it as her State Crown and it was later refashioned for her sister, Queen Anne. The latter wore the crown in what was very much its present form. It was also the State Crown of George I. (See the Imperial State Crown.)

As George II apparently assumed as his State Crown the old crown of State of Charles II (with the Black Prince’s ruby reset in it), the crown of Mary of Modena became once again a queen-consort’s crown. It was in turn used by his wife, Caroline of Anspach, Queen Charlotte, consort of George III, and probably by Queen Adelaide, consort of William IV. It has not been used since.

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