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    Mourning jewellery belonging to Queen Victoria will come up at Sotheby’s in London on March 24 as part of the family collection of Patricia Mountbatten, Victoria’s great, great grand daughter. Over the course of her long reign Queen Victoria suffered many losses spending decades mourning not only her husband Albert, but also her mother and three of her children. During this time, she adorned herself in black crepe and wearable mementos of her loved ones.

    On December 14, 1878, the anniversary of Prince Albert’s death, Victoria’s third child Alice died of diphtheria at the age of 35. Princess Alice’s youngest daughter, Princess Marie of Hesse and by Rhine, had also died of the same disease at the age of four. Three of the brooches mark Alice’s tragic passing including: an onyx and seed pearl button commissioned by Queen Victoria in 1879 with a portrait miniature of Princess Alice (£1,000-1,500), an agate and pearl pendant with a lock of hair inscribed ‘from Grandmama VR’ as gift from the Queen to Alice’s daughter, Princess Victoria (£1,000-1,500) and a hardstone, enamel and diamond cross centring on an onyx heart with Alice beneath a coronet (£2,000-3,000).

    The fourth was commissioned by Prince Albert circa 1861 for Queen Victoria to mark the death of her mother. An agate and diamond pendant, it opens to reveal a miniature photograph of the Queen’s mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, later Duchess of Kent, with an inscription by the Prince Consort (£1,000-1,500).

    The Queen’s own mourning jewellery

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