Thursday, April 21, 2011

Twitter Ye Not - The Great Exhibition

Twitter Ye Not - The Great Exhibition

A regular piece for a certain national newspaper about how figures in history might have twittered or tweeted or whatever, had they the chance, inclination and technology.

On the 1st of May 1851 Queen Victoria declared The Great Exhibtion in the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park open, The recently recovered twitter feed of that weekend captures the excitement of the event.

I have shown a not-amused Queen Victoria and her consort (and first cousin) Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha. Albert is looking pompous and proud - the Great Exhibition, after all, was his idea. They are separated by a jardiniere and pot-plant, very mid-Victorian!

Behind Albert, upon a velvet cushion on the floor, is the Koh-i-Noor (a Farsi name, meaning 'Mountain of Light'), the world's largest diamond. It was given to Victoria by Albert, who had it re-cut under his personal supervision to make it more facetted and more brilliant, in 1852. The stone has a curse on it, and it is said that 'only God, or a woman, can wear it with impunity'. Victoria wore it as a broach and after her death the stone was set into the coronation crown of her daughter-in-law Queen Alexandra, and used subsequently by Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth II. Who will wear it next? Queen Camilla? Queen Kate?

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