The Watford Observer has teamed up with Watford Museum and its curator Sarah Priestley to take a journey back to the town’s past through items or places of historical significance.

The 23nd item in ‘a history of Watford in 50 objects’ are two of the most glamorous objects in the museum's collection - the coronets of the Earl and Countess of Essex.

Sarah said: "These small crowns with rich velvet and trimmed with ermine would have been worn for the coronation of a new monarch.

"Only those of the title of baron/baroness or above are entitled to wear a coronet, and you can tell these were specifically made for an earl and countess because of the decoration of strawberry leaves and ‘pearls’.

"The title of Earl of Essex was granted to Arthur Capell in 1661 by Charles II after the restoration of the monarchy. We think these coronets date from the early 20th Century and were donated to Watford Museum by the current Earl of Essex, Paul Capell, in 2014 along with coronation robes.

"Despite leaving Watford after Cassiobury House was put up for rent in 1908, it is wonderful that the connection with the Capells and Watford still continues to this day."

Watford Museum is currently closed under lockdown restrictions but you can still pay it a virtual visit at or find the museum on Facebook and Instagram @watfordmuseum