Queen Victoria's Jubilee Cockades

For 63 years and 7 months, the sun never set on the British Empire ruled by Queen Victoria. She was the second longest reigning British monarch in history (the current Queen Elizabeth has reigned two years longer). She was the last monarch of the House of Hanover - the reigning family from whom America inherited her black military cockades.

Victoria's rule spanned a time of great innovation and change. Steam power superseded horse power, machinery of all types took the place of cottage handcrafts, railways and telegraphs criss crossed the world and made it smaller than it had ever been. As the British Empire grew in technology, it also grew in size. By the end of Victoria's life, it had become the largest world empire ever known, covering more than a quarter of the world's population.


Jubilee Celebrations

So it was only natural that when Victoria's 50th and 60th anniversaries of her accession to the throne rolled around, worldwide celebrations ensued.

One hundred and twenty years ago, in June 1887, a massive Golden Jubilee  commemoration was held. Ten years later, her Diamond Jubilee was celebrated. As an interesting historical note, diamonds were typically associated with a 75th anniversary until Queen Victoria's 60th - at which point diamonds became the symbol for the 60th anniversary as well!

Souvenirs and mementos of all sorts were created during that time, which is what got me started reading about the celebrations. Because of course, there were cockades!

Jubilee celebration days were declared national holidays and the Queen's entourage made a parade of London. Bunting, decorations and flowers blanketed the city. Huge crowds converged on the parade route... and vendors sold ribbons and cockades for the occasion.


Jubilee Badges

Official medals, such as these, were struck but many other designs were also created with ribbons and cockades. Some focused on the fact that she was queen of an empire on which "the sun never sets." Others displayed the three national symbols - a rose for England, a thistle for Scotland and a shamrock for Ireland.

The badge below is one of my favorites, not only because it's a cockade but because of its striking beauty and simplicity. Queen Victoria's picture with the date "1897" - her diamond jubilee - are on the ribbon. "VR" for the Latin form of Queen Victoria (Victoria Regina) and the date form the center emblem.

Since this month is the 120th anniversary of Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, I thought it would be fun to create a limited edition version of this wonderful cockade!

Golden Jubilee Commemorative Cockade. Museum of London.

Honor the Queen

If you'd like to honor Queen Victoria's legacy, you can purchase these cockades from me. I have many more cockades so be sure to check out the rest of my shop as well!

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