Elizabeth Locket Ring

Elizabeth I had a very special piece of jewellery commissioned in around 1575, a piece that would mean so much to her that she would wear it on her finger until it was taken off her body after her death. What am I talking about? I am talking about Elizabeth I’s famous locket ring.

Why is this ring so important?

Quite simply because it is the only real evidence of how important Elizabeth’s mother Anne Boleyn was to the Queen. It is said that Elizabeth I hardly mentioned Anne Boleyn, the mother who had been executed for adultery and treason when Elizabeth was just 2 years old, although she may have reminisced with her good friend Blanche Parry or the Boleyn relatives she surrounded herself with. But, it was too risky for Elizabeth to mention Anne in public, to draw attention to the fact that she was the illegitimate daughter of a woman known as a whore or witch, a woman who was said to have betrayed the King of England. Elizabeth could only grieve for Anne in private and this ring showed how important Anne’s memory was to her daughter.

The Locket Ring

The original ring, which still exists today, was made from a ring of mother of pearl which was embossed with tiny diamonds and rubies. The ring setting, or the front of the locket attachment, was set with 6 diamonds which formed the letter “E” over a blue enamel “R” for “Regina”. The ring top also had a beautiful pearl. What was ingenious about this ring is that it had a secret locket compartment which opened to reveal two miniature portraits – one of Elizabeth and one of a woman with a French hood and with features remarkable similar to Elizabeth’s. It could only be Anne Boleyn.

21 thoughts on “Elizabeth Locket Ring

  1. That’s a wonderful article and all sounds very nice.
    But I can’t help but wonder if it isn’t actually just two portraits of Elizabeth… one of the young Elizabeth and one of Elizabeth in her later years.
    It’s just that the hair of the ‘younger’ portrait is really, really light – like, blondish red… And I know, that Anne had really dark, almost black long hair. So…how could it be her?
    Would be wonderful but I really doubt it.

  2. I second Sway. Although I love the idea of it being Anne Boleyn, is there really proof that the picture isn’t just a young Elizabeth?

  3. In looking at the two pictures it looks to me like the upper half of the ring overlaps
    And hides the lower half …if the pictures were to be secret that would make sense.
    I think if you could modify the design to do so it would only enhance the design and the value of the ring

  4. A lot of the links/images throughout the website are broken. Does no one monitor the site any longer? 🙁

    1. Hi Tracy,
      I try to monitor the site as much as I can but The Anne Boleyn Files is my main priority and this is no longer an active site really. We haven’t been able to work out why the links and images keep breaking. I keep fixing them and then they break again. Sorry about that.

  5. I think it’s lovely that she had it commissioned it proves that she did revere her mother after all, besides which Anne wasn’t around to explain her side of the story so all Elizabeth had ever heard about her was conjecture and gossip from her enemy’s, it’s nice that she had her mothers relations with her as they knew her and would have told Elizabeth a very different story, I hope they told her that Anne kept her with her at all times and bought her lovely clothes and visited her as much as possible, I’m sure they must have done, they would have told her her mother loved her dearly, I’m glad she wore that ring all the time, I like to think before she got into bed every night she would have kissed the portrait of Anne and said, ‘goodnight mum’ !

  6. I’d like to see the locket ring of Elizabeth I. I think is very interesting and lovely. Only God knows how much Elizabeth suffered; all the prejudices she had to hear; and how lonely she felt, because really I don’t think Henry VIII was a loving father.

  7. Queen Elizabeth I is one of my favourite Queens. I am new to this site that I visit once or twice to gain information. I am currently looking for a Pendant or Locket to add to my chain and I will search the site for a Crown, Tudor Rose, ect. Thankyou so much for putting in so much effort.

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