Antiques Roadshow guest speechless over huge valuation of Queen Victoria's bracelet

BBC One's Antiques Roadshow aired a special edition of the show to mark the coronation of King Charles III.

The episode looked back through the archives at some of the items which had royal connections and their staggering valuations.

One look back, in particular, was a trip to the Brooklands Museum Roadshow in Surrey, where a guest was unaware she was the owner of one of Queen Victoria's bracelets.

Touching on how she came across the bracelet, the guest explained: "I literally found it in the street. I have had it for over 20 years.

"I was pushing my daughter in her buggy and I took it to my local police station, I handed it in and they said you know if it's not claimed in three months it's yours.

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"So I went and claimed it back because I never thought it was valuable but I always thought it was interesting.

"I don't think it is gold but I assume that the VR is for Victoria and I just wondered, I would like to know more about it."

Expert Susan Rumfitt revealed: "The fact is, this is an amazing piece of jewellery and it would have originally belonged to Queen Victoria herself."

The guest was stunned and quipped: "You're joking... she didn't lose it in the street in Hinchley Wood!"

Susan continued: "Absolutely not no. No, she didn't. She was renowned for giving out presents to people that she really cared about and who were very important to her and consequently we have this amazing piece.

"It's got her cypher on the front which you rightly thought was related to Victoria, and also we can probably be pretty sure that on the back, in the locket is a lock of her hair.

"[There's] No hallmark, they didn't have to hallmark jewellery in the Victorian period [but] value-wise, because of the association, we'll probably be looking at somewhere between £4,000 and £6,000."

Open-mouthed, the guest exclaimed: "Wow! Ok, that was a surprise."

However, after watching the programme, an eagle-eyed viewer got in touch with a clue as to who it may have belonged to.

Inviting the guest back, she said: "A lady wrote to me and suggested that I have a look in this book, so I purchased it online and inside there is a very interesting chapter."

Fiona Bruce read: "The maids of honour were seriously underemployed, and they filled the long, empty hours following morning prayers with visits to one another's sitting rooms.

"Each of them wore, as a badge of office, a heavy gold bracelet that bore the initials VR in turquoise, and that opened to reveal a lock of the queen's hair.

"How fascinating! That exactly fits the description."

Antiques Roadshow: Royal Treasures is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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