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15 Europe. 4Contacts with the ' cousinage' and further marriages consolidated shared conven-tions and court etiquette, which spilled out into the wider populace. The Court Circular in The Timesreported fully on the Queen's costume and jewellery, as did the Morning Postand the Morning Chronicle. 5The extensive listings of guests at royal entertainments provide a well-rounded picture of the character of the court. The rapid growth of a print and visual culture was decisive in shaping the direction of an up- to- date monarchy. 6The start of the Queen's reign more or less coincided with the begin-ning of mass media communications, social reporting and the proliferation of women's magazines on fashion and home- making. In its very first issue in 1842 the Illustrated London News, founded by Herbert Ingram and his friend Mark Lemon, editor of Punch, stated its mission to act as a ' chain' connecting the cottage to the palace. 7The incessant flow of intimate personal detail inevitably diminished the mystique of the Crown. The Queen and her family became effec-tively public property, commercially significant in generating a trade in royal style and in souvenirs of royal events. There was no legal control over the use of the royal image or even of the royal arms, resulting in commercial exploitation of every aspect of the reign. Her por-trait featured in advertising across the whole range of consumer goods, even some laughably inappropriate, such as starch and shoe polish. The Queen was much in demand for portraits; she was a willing and co- operative sit-ter and a stern critic of the outcomes. The visual record of her life is extraordinarily rich and informative, with early images emphasizing the glamour and allure of a young unmarried girl appearing in the ' Books of Beauty' popular at this date. The novelty of a young female sover-eign had its effect: as early as February 1839 the Art- Union noted that more than fifty portraits of her were available. 8 For her portrait in the French magazine La Perle ( Fig. 1), her jewellery includes a fashionable ferronnièreand garnet- set brooch and earrings. A similar gold and cabochon garnet brooch of the same date is preserved in the V& A ( Fig. 2). Every new technique was employed for reproductive portraits, from embossing to pro-duce a medallion- like image, to gilding and images in silk- weaving for ribbons ( see Fig. 23). Her coronation and marriage resulted in an avalanche of portraits. 9Press attention reached frenzied levels and opportunist reporters, ' penny- a- liners' as they were known, became so intrusive that a system of appointing royal correspondents was put in place and has remained ever since. Prints of the Queen and the events of her early reign offered as prizes in the lot-tery run by the Art- Unionmagazine ensured their wide distribution to the public. Portraits were issued as pull- out supplements to illustrated periodicals, to be detached and framed. The public in its widest sense was fully informed of the Queen's taste and style and that of her family. With her marriage and growing family, the focus shifted to domestic propriety and maternal responsibilities. The family groups, centred on a Raphaelesque Madonna- like Queen, reinforced the message of the mother as the moral heart of the family ( i. e. the nation). Victoria herself was very interested in the personalities and character of other courts; she collected portrait prints avidly, and, as soon as they became available, photographs, of which she had a vast number. Her familiarity with the European princely families was to prove valuable in her search for spouses for her children. From 1843 Queen Victoria's jewels and those of her children and members of the extended family are revealed in the Crown Jeweller Garrard's royal ledgers. 10These present a virtually complete history of taste and attitudes to jewellery during her lifetime. This unique THE INFLUENCE OF QUEEN VICTORIA AND HER REIGN

picture of Victorian jewellery spans the whole spectrum from the diamond- set Crown Jewels to earrings set with babies' teeth and the Scottish pebbles treasured by Victoria through their association with her husband and her beloved Balmoral estate. With the notable exception of Princess Alexandra of Denmark, who married the Prince of Wales in 1863, the Victorian royal family has been dismissed in terms of fashion. Studies of royal jewellery tend to focus on the celebrated treasures of the Crown, the famous diamonds and suites of precious jew-ellery worn by Victoria and her successors on ceremonial occasions. However, the ledgers present a different story, with the royal family leading the way in popularizing jewellery and fashionable accessories at every level. 11Many typically ' Victorian' jewellery types originated in royal circles. While it would be an exaggeration to say that the royal ledgers chart national progress in the arts, nonetheless the silver and jewellery reflect an aspect of the profoundly serious Victorian attitude to culture. Examination of royal purchases reveals that they were partly motivated by concern for native industrial prosperity and commerce. This tendency probably reflects the Queen's patri-otic and sentimental character and her obsession with associations. It raises the question as to whether royal example affected choices made by the general public, particularly in the case of the ' Celtic fringe', where she actively promoted national and traditional Scottish and Irish ornaments. Victoria's interest in revivalist styles embraced English discoveries in ancient Assyria ( Chapter 8) and the English historical revival in the shape of ' Holbeinesque' jew-ellery. The distinctive ' Elizabethan' or ' Holbein' jewel type was employed in royal circles in the early 1840s ( p. 345). Royal taste in exotic jewels embraced British- ruled India and the expanding empire, but not Persia, China or Japan, apparent confirmation of the patriotic character of her patronage. When Prince Albert received a deputation of Birmingham jew-ellers in a time of recession in 1845 he expressed surprise ' that fashion could perversely persist in going abroad for articles of bijouteriewhen it could command so admirable and exquisite a manufacture of them at home'. 12Royal example could - and often did - reinvig-orate a failing trade; credit for reviving the use of tortoiseshell went to the Queen: Fashion, however, makes a great difference in the consumption of this shell. I was a few years ago at a comb manufactory in Sheffield, where I was informed that an unusual amount of activity was going on after years of depression. On enquiring the cause, I learned that her Majesty had visited the opera with a Jenny Lind comb in her hair, and this had made all the difference between almost starvation and a state of great prosperity to the poor combmakers of Sheffield. 13 Since many of the orders fulfilled by the Crown Jeweller were for presents, royal taste was promoted widely, in court circles in Britain and on the Continent. Royal gifts were matched by official presentations, all duly reported in the press. The great industrialized cities threw up a civic aristocracy that shared royal attitudes to jewellery and its public function; civic offerings to royal brides and at the Queen's two jubilees significantly augmented the Crown Jewels. Royal wedding presents were publicly exhibited and reported in detail, particularly the jewels. Both the Illustrated London Newsand The Graphicissued wedding supplements, fully illustrated, and these were copied abroad, notably in the USA. Victoria was an acute observer and indefatigable diarist and letter- writer. Her taste 16QUEEN VICTORIA: A LIFE IN JEWELLERY