By Melanie Ward


On 6 June, 1907, it was announced that King Edward and Queen Alexandra were to visit Ireland the following month. Arriving by yacht they would attend the races at Leopardstown, visit the Irish International Exhibition and also invest titles on some of their most loyal subjects.

For the investiture ceremony the Irish Crown Jewels would be needed.

These were two star and badge regalia of the Order of St Patrick and five collars belonging to Knights of the Order which comprised over three hundred precious stones – rubies, emeralds and diamonds.
The jewels were held in the Bedford Tower at Dublin Castle and were in the care of the Ulster King of Arms, Arthur Vicars (pictured).

As Ulster King of Arms, Vicars was responsible for tracing aristocratic genealogies and granting heraldic insignia. He was assisted by the Cork Herald, Pierce Gun Mahony, Dublin Herald Francis Shackleton (brother of Ernest, the explorer) and Francis Bennett Goldney.

Until 1905, the jewels had been held in a bank safe, but it was decided they should be moved to Dublin Castle and a safe was constructed for their safekeeping.


Continue reading in this week’s Ireland’s Own