Royal Collection opens In Fine Style: The Art of Tudor and Stuart Fashion at The Queen’s Gallery

The Royal Collection presents In Fine Style: The Art of Tudor and Stuart Fashion at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, an exhibition on view 10 May – 6 October 2013.

Hans Eworth, Elizabeth I and the Three Goddesses, 1569. Royal Collection Trust / © 2013, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Hans Eworth, Elizabeth I and the Three Goddesses, 1569. Royal Collection Trust / © 2013, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.


The exhibition includes over 60 portraits from the Royal Collection, as well as rare surviving contemporary examples of clothing and accessories. A number of works go on display for the first time.

For the Tudors and Stuarts, jewellery was the ultimate in conspicuous consumption. Although relatively little survives from the period, two important pieces will go on display for the first time in the exhibition. One of these is a gold and diamond signet ring bearing the royal coat of arms and the cypher of Henrietta Maria, given to the young Queen by her husband Charles I in around 1628, three years after their marriage. Also on display for the first time is a pendant of gold, rubies and diamond, incorporating a miniature of Elizabeth I. It was possibly presented to a courtier by the Queen as a sign of favour and worn as an earring. Earrings became an increasingly popular accessory for men towards the end of the 16th century, and it was fashionable to wear them in one ear only.

Some of the most important jewels of the period are recorded in portraits in the exhibition. Weighing 58.5 carats, ‘La Peregrina’, meaning ‘The Wanderer’, was the largest pearl in existence at the time of its discovery. This famous pear-shaped jewel is seen in portraits of both Mary I (c.1554–59), who received it as an engagement gift from Philip II of Spain, and of Margaret of Austria (c.1605), who was given the pearl when it reverted to the Spanish crown on Mary’s death. ‘La Peregrina’ was presented to Elizabeth Taylor by Richard Burton on Valentine’s Day 1969.

Tickets and visitor information: www.royalcollection.org.uk, T. +44 (0)20 7766 7301.

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