On 25 February 2016, a solemn ceremony took place in the Armory chamber - a unique object - the Victorian chain of Nicholas II from the Royal Collection Trust was given for long-term loan to the Moscow Kremlin Museums. This chain has been discovered among other valuable insignias in the collection of Professor A.L. Khazin during the preparation of the exhibition "European Orders of Knighthood", held at the Moscow Kremlin Museums from 24 April to 30 August 2015. A thorough study of this object by experts from the Moscow Kremlin Museums, as well as consultations with colleagues from the Royal Collection (Windsor), allowed to come to a conclusion that the chain belonged to the last sovereign of the Russian Empire. According to the rules, after the death of the knight, the chain should have been returned to the state, that had awarded the knight. However, the Royal Victorian Chain was sold by the Bolsheviks after the dismantled and evacuated treasures from the Armory Chamber had been transferred to the State Depository for Precious Metals in 1922. Then the trace of it was lost.
After the exhibition was closed the owner of the Victorian chain Professor A. L. Khazin sent an official appeal to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with a proposal to return the chain to the rightful owner. In response, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II sent a letter informing of her decision to let the Victorian chain, after it becomes part of the historical Royal Collection, be as a long-term loan at the Moscow Kremlin Museums in order to allow numerous visitors of the Armory Chamber the opportunity to see this magnificent and unique piece.
The Royal Victorian Chain
(1902 - until today)
Royal Victorian Chain, established in 1902 by King Edward VII, is an exclusive award which does not belong to the Royal Victorian Order. It is granted to foreign monarchs, princes and heads of states, as well as royal family members and elected representatives of the society of a very high rank (such as the Archbishop of Canterbury).
Chain of the Order consists of three English roses with five petals (Tudor Roses), two Scottish thistles, two Irish clover shamrocks and two Indian lotuses, interconnected by two rows of anchor chain. The center of the chain is decorated with a medallion in the shape of a golden laurel wreath with the imperial crown above and the royal monogram in red enamel at the centre: ERI (monogram changed depending on the ruling kings of Great Britain). Attached to the central medallion could be a badge identical to the Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order.
Knights wear the chain on their shoulders and dames wear the badge of the Order on the bow, made from the ribbon of the Royal Victorian Order with the elements that make up the Royal Victorian Chain sewed on. The elements are the following: the Tudor Rose on the right side of the bow, shamrock clover under the rose; on the left side in the same manner - thistle, below - the lotus, interconnected by two rows of chains that converge in the center of the bow to the royal monogram beneath a crown.