Queen Mary II's ruby coronation ring

What's On

Museum Talk: Coronations and the Collection

with Dr Fiona Clapperton
Saturday 29 April + Friday 5 May

Join us for a free gallery walk and talk Dr Fiona Clapperton, Education and Engagement Manager and historian.

Taking place before the coronation of the new King Charles III, this tour will focus on objects displayed in the Portland Collection with links to previous coronations.

Hear the story of how Bess of Hardwick’s daughter and stepson entertained James I for a week at their Worksop residence, helping the new King to break his journey on his way down to London for his coronation. The week-long festivities were staggeringly expensive, and the couple had to ask local guests to bring their own food!

The tour will also introduce visitors to the coronation ring of Queen Mary II. Attendees will hear all about this fascinating part of the coronation ceremony which dates back to the medieval period. According to tradition, a ring is placed on the fourth finger of the sovereign’s right hand by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Known as the ‘wedding ring of England’, the presentation of the ring forms part of the investiture of the coronation, and it is followed by the act of crowning the new monarch!

Dr Fiona Clapperton

Fiona is a historian and Education and Engagement Manager for the Harley Foundation.

She has a PhD the social history of Country Estates, and her experience includes working at Chatsworth, English Heritage, and the Wallace Collection.


Image: Queen Mary’s ruby and diamond coronation ring, around 1677. © Harley Foundation, The Portland Collection

Booking Information

Tickets to this talk are free.


Due to popular demand we are running an additional date for this talk.

Saturday 29th April, 11am

Friday 5th May, Midday – FULLY BOOKED


This event is partially funded by Inspire: Libraries, Museums and Culture.

All participants are required to complete a short registration form on booking.

Meet for this talk in the Harley Museum.