Royal ring: How Queen Victoria had ‘great difficulty’ taking off her ring

QUEEN VICTORIA was a monarch renowned for her voracious appetites, particularly for food and sex. But what embarrassing moment did the long-reigning Queen undergo at the start of her 63 year reign?

Queen Victoria was the longest-reigning monarch of Great Britain until Queen Elizabeth II overtook her four years ago. The second longest-reigning Queen was crowned in a coronation ceremony which took place in June 1838, a little more than a year after she succeeded to the throne. But what shocking event led to the newly crowned Queen feeling “great pain” on the day of her coronation?

Queen Victoria reigned over the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland for 63 years and seven months.

At the time of her birth she was fifth in the line of succession after the four eldest sons of George III, the Prince Regent.

However, King George IV had no surviving children and after his death he was succeeded by his brother William IV.

At the time of King William IV’s death, he had no surviving legitimate children, but was survived by eight of 10 illegitimate children he had with actress Dorothea Jordan.

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Royal ring: Queen Victoria and ring

Royal ring: Why did Queen Victoria's coronation ring cause her 'great pain'? (Image: GETTY)

Royal ring: Royal ring

Royal ring: Queen Victoria's coronation ring (Image: ROYAL COLLECTION TRUST)

King William was the last king and penultimate monarch of Britain’s House of Hanover.

Upon his death in 1837, he was succeeded by his niece Queen Victoria in the UK and King Ernest Augustus in Hanover.

Queen Victoria’s coronation took place on June 28, 1838, at Westminster Abbey.

More than 400,00 visitors came to London for the celebration.

Royal ring: Queen Victoria

Royal ring: Queen Victoria reigned for 63 years and seven months (Image: GETTY)

Royal ring: The Crown Jewels

Royal ring: The Crown Jewels (Image: GETTY)

But what embarrassing incident caused the new Queen “great difficulty”?Part of the coronation ceremony involves presenting the Queen with a ring.

The ring made for Queen Victoria in 1838 was inspired by the one made for her uncle in 1831.

During the coronation ceremony the ring is placed on the fourth finger of the sovereign by the archbishop, as a symbol of ‘kingly dignity’.

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The ring made for Victoria was comprised of an octagonal step-cut sapphire, open-set in gold, overlaid with four oblong and one square rubbies in gold strips forming a cross, within a border of twenty cushion-shaped brilliants in transparent silver collets.

Since the 13th century tradition states that a ruby is included as the principal stone in the ring.

The ring forms part of the investiture of the coronation, which is preceded by the anointing with holy oil, and is followed by the crowning itself.

However, one minor misunderstanding caused “great pain” for the new Queen.

Royal ring: Crown Jewels

Royal ring: Queen Victoria's coronation ring was made to fit her little finger (Image: GETTY)

The traditional wording of the rubric for the coronation was misunderstood by the royal goldsmiths Runder, Bridge &Rundell.

The jewellers subsequently made the ring for the wrong finger of the Queen.

They believed it to be meant for her little finger rather than the ring finger.

Unfortunately, the Archbishop, well-versed in the traditions and customs of coronations, forced the small ring onto her ring finger.

The Queen was forced to later soak her hand in iced water after the ceremony to remove it.

In her journals, Queen Victoria wrote about the incident.

She wrote: “The Archbishop had (most awkwardly) put the ring on the wrong finger, and the consequence was that I had the greatest difficulty to take it off again, which I at last did with great pain.”

But regardless of the pain, she still had the ring inscribed after the ceremony with “Queen Victoria’s Coronation Ring 1838”.