Preparations for the coronation of King Charles III. begin when St. Edward’s Crown is removed from the Tower of London

King Charles’ coronation will take place at Westminster Abbey on Saturday May 6, where he will be crowned alongside Queen Consort Camilla. And preparations have already begun – with the crown, which will be the centerpiece of the ancient ceremony, being removed from its home in the Tower of London in readiness.

The St Edward’s Crown, with which the sovereign is crowned during the coronation, is now ‘modified’ ahead of the May service. The crown, which is part of the Crown Jewels, is placed on Charles by the Archbishop of Canterbury during the investiture during the coronation ceremony. It will then be removed and replaced with the Imperial State Crown, which Charles will wear to leave the Abbey and appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

Described as “the most important and sacred of all crowns” by Historic Royal Palaces, who administer the Tower of London, it weighs 2.23kg with a solid gold frame and 444 jewels. Like many of the current crown jewels, it was made for the coronation of King Charles II in 1661, after the monarchy was restored in 1660. The original set of jewelry was destroyed on the orders of Oliver Cromwell when the monarchy was abolished and King Charles I executed in 1649. The original St. Edward’s Crown is believed to date from the 11th century.

Queen Elizabeth wears the St. Edward Crown during her coronation at Westminster Abbey.

PA images//Getty Images

“The crown was commissioned by the royal goldsmith Robert Vyner in 1661,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement today. “Although not an exact replica of the medieval design, it follows the original in having four cross patterns and four lilies and two arches. It consists of a solid gold frame set with rubies, amethysts, sapphires, garnets, topazes and tourmalines.”

The coronation of the king will contain the core elements of the thousand-year-old ceremony, but should also reflect more modern times. Queen Consort Camilla will be crowned alongside him, but it has not yet been confirmed which crown she will wear. The crown worn by the Queen’s last consort – the Queen Mother – when she was crowned in 1937 has caused controversy because it contains the Koh-i-Noor diamond. This was presented to Queen Victoria during the heyday of the British Empire, but its ownership is a much contentious issue with everyone in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan claiming the gem.

Other regalia used at the coronation include the Cullinan diamond, found in South Africa in 1905. This marks both the scepter and the Imperial State Crown and its possession sparked controversy when it appeared on Queen Elizabeth’s coffin as she lay in state.

Preview the royal family's most luxurious jewels

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *