18 Jun '17, 4pm

5 minutes with... The Maria Fitzherbert pendant

5 minutes with... The Maria Fitzherbert pendant

On 15 December 1785, the Prince of Wales — the future George IV — secretly married the love of his life, the Catholic Maria Fitzherbert, in the drawing room of her Park Street townhouse in Mayfair. The only two witnesses were her brother and uncle, the service being conducted by the Reverend Robert Burt, whose release from Fleet Prison was orchestrated by the Prince of Wales so that he could marry the pair. No other chaplain would dare marry the couple, for fear of committing an act of treason. George and Maria had met at the opera a year earlier, and although she took some winning over, in his case it seems to have been love at first sight. The trouble was that Maria was both Roman Catholic and lacking a drop of royal blood. ‘There were at least three acts of parliament that forbade a marriage such as theirs,’ says Jo Langston, Head of Miniature Portraits at Christie’s, w...

Full article: http://www.christies.com/features/A-diamond-glazed-portra...

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