Eye Need To Know: Famous Lover Eye Lockets


In the late 1700s, during the Revolutionary War, George IV of England was smitten by a twice divorced woman named Maria Fitzherbert. While he asked and she accepted his marriage proposal, it was not legal for various reasons 1.) The King George III has to approve and consent to the marriage of any heir to the throne. The woman was Catholic, twice widowed and 6 years older than him.


On November 3, 1785, the Prince of Wales again proposed marriage and sent a Lovers Eye Brooch (can’t find an image) instead of an engagement ring. The Postscript says:  “ P.S., I send you a Parcel…and I send you at the same time an Eye, if you have not totally forgotten the whole countenance.  I think the likeness will strike you.”

Found on royalcollection.org.uk
Found on royalcollection.org.uk

Maria Fitzherbert eventually did secretly marry the Prince of Wales on Dec. 15, 1785 and she commissioned Richard Cosway (the celebrity portrait painter of the day) to paint a portrait of her own eye that she presented to the future King. (See Above)

Claire Goldsmith MidPage