From Victoria R - the Royal gifts of Hughenden

Discover the stories behind the gifts given to Benjamin Disraeli by Queen Victoria in our new top floor Manor exhibition.

Queen Victoria's favourite Prime Minister

Benjamin Disraeli was amongst the closest friends of Queen Victoria. Over the course of more than 20 years she showered him with gifts, letters and keepsakes.

This exhibition charts the development of the special relationship from initial dislike to the Queens’s second great heartbreak at the loss of her dear Earl of Beaconsfield.

Included in this exhibition are some of Hughenden’s most treasured objects including the Garter Jewel.

Order of the Garter 1878

After Disraeli’s return from the Congress of Berlin in 1878, the diplomatic meeting of the major European powers following the Russo-Turkish War, Queen Victoria sent her Private Secretary to Downing Street with a large bouquet of flowers from Windsor. Included in the gift was a suggestion that Disraeli might be created a Knight of the Garter. 

The Order of the Garter is the oldest and most prestigious order of British chivalry.  It can only contain 24 knights at a time and is granted as the personal gift of the sovereign. 

Disraeli commented: “He will not trust himself now in endeavouring to express what he feels to your Majesty’s kindness.  He thinks that he is ennobled through your Majesty’s goodness quite enough, though with infinite deference to your Majesty’s gracious pleasure, he would presume to receive the Garter; but, as he always feels, your Majesty’s kind thoughts are dearer to him than any personal distinction, however rich and rare.  The belief that your Majesty trusts, and approves of, him is more precious than rubies!”

Visit today and discover more about the fascinating objects that Benjamin Disraeli regarded as ‘more precious than rubies’.  The exhibition runs until November 2019.

The Garter Jewel gifted to Benjamin Disraeli by Queen Victoria 1878
The Garter Jewel gifted to Benjamin Disraeli by Queen Victoria 1878
The Garter Jewel gifted to Benjamin Disraeli by Queen Victoria 1878