All the Queen’s Jewels, 1445-1548

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The jewellery worn by queens consciously reflected both their gender and their status as the first lady of the realm. Jewels were more than decorative adornments; they were an explicit and unmistakeable display of wealth, majesty and authority. They were often given to queens by those who wished to seek her favour or influence, and were also strongly associated with key moments in their life cycle. These included courtship and marriage, successfully negotiating childbirth (and thus providing dynastic continuity), and their elevation to queenly status or coronation.

This thesis will examine the ceremonial and personal jewellery collections of the ten queen consorts of England between 1445-1548. It will investigate the way in which queens acquired jewels, whether via their predecessor, their own commission or through gift giving, as well as the varying contexts in which queens wore jewels. In so doing this thesis will establish what jewels reveal about queens as individuals, their images as consorts, and their relationships with their husbands, household and court.
Date of Award5 Feb 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Winchester
SupervisorEllie Woodacre (Supervisor) & James Ross (Supervisor)


  • Queens
  • jewels
  • goldsmiths
  • court
  • coronation
  • gift giving
  • inventories

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