Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Crowning glories

We takes a fresh look at the Crown Jewels

Written by Katy Pearson

To celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the Tower of London has just unveiled a major re-presentation of the Jewel House.

St Edward’s Crown

When Queen Elizabeth II took to the throne on 2 June 1953, she was crowned with the St Edward’s Crown (dating back to 1661). Also known as the Coronation Crown, it weighs 2.23kg and is made of solid gold. Each monarch has worn this crown only at the moment of their coronation – it is exchanged within minutes for the Imperial State Crown.

The Imperial State Crown

The current crown is the third replacement since 1660, weighing in at 0.91kg. Made in 1937, it is set with 2,868 diamonds, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, five rubies and 273 pearls. Worn by the Queen on formal occasions, it also makes an appearance at the State Opening of Parliament.

Crown Jewels

Queen Victoria’s small diamond crown

This is 9.4cm tall, set with 1,000 diamonds and weighs 145g. The Queen wore it over her widow’s cap following the death of Prince Albert.

Ampulla and Coronation Spoon

The oldest item in the regalia is the Coronation Spoon, which dates back to the 12th century and is the only item to survive the overthrow of the monarchy. It was bought by Clement Kynnersley, who served in both Charles I’s and Cromwell’s wardrobes, and he returned it at the Restoration.

The Sovereign's Sceptre

Also known as the Sceptre with the Cross, this was made for the coronation of Charles II in 1661. It was redesigned in 1910 to include the Cullinan 1 diamond, which weighs over 530 carats. The Sceptre symbolises the temporal authority of the monarch under the cross

The Royal Collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

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