Congratulatory address from the City of Adelaide: Illuminated; in carved gilt cabinet with folding doors (catalogue reference: PP 1/636)

24 May 2012

To mark Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee, The National Archives has digitised and displayed a collection of congratulatory addresses presented to Queen Victoria at her Golden Jubilee in 1887, and Diamond Jubilee in 1897, in a new online exhibition.

Sixty Jubilee addresses (decorative messages of congratulations and good wishes) sent to Queen Victoria, preserved in the rarely-seen Privy Purse record series (PP 1), are now available to view for free on The National Archives' website and on Flickr and Historypin*.

Highlights

Highlights from the Jubilee addresses include:

  • an ornate illuminated carved gilt cabinet from the City of Adelaide containing several painted images and a message from the Mayor pledging continued allegiance to the throne (PP 1/636)
  • a parchment scroll, with calligraphy and ink drawings, sent by The National Society for Women's Suffrage signed by the renowned suffragist and feminist, Millicent Fawcett (PP 1/349)
  • a message from the Emperor of China written on paper wrapped in yellow silk complete with an English translation (PP 1/222/4)
  • decorated wooden covers of native design from the British subjects resident at Samoa (PP 1/362)
  • a beaded cushion in the design of the Union Jack sent by the 'Boys on board the reformatory ship Cornwall' (PP 1/47)

Conservation

The PP 1 addresses are the only records of the Privy Purse Office held at The National Archives. As many of the records are around 125 years old, a conservation specialist from The National Archives has used techniques such as mechanical cleaning and pigment consolidation to prepare the delicate records for digitisation. You can view a videocast showing some of the conservation work being carried out.

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