The Laings Journal

Regal Reading: The Coronation Crowns

As an exciting weekend approaches, we prepare to celebrate King Charles III and his wife Queen Consort Camilla being crowned the King and Queen of the United Kingdom at their coronation ceremony on Saturday. We look back at the fascinating history of the coronation crowns that will feature on the big day.

St Edward's Crown

One of the most crucial parts of the King’s Coronation ceremony, the St Edward’s crown. The St Edwards crown was made for Charles II in 1661, as a replacement for the medieval crown previously used. It is the centre piece of the crown jewels and coronation ceremony as this crown will be placed on the King’s head as a symbol of the completion of the coronation, the climax of the ceremony. The St Edwards crown is famed for its 2.23kg solid gold frame, with the late Queen Elizabeth II famously commenting on its painful weight in an interview. The solid gold frame is set with rubies, amethysts, sapphires, garnet, topazes, and tourmalines. The crown is then completed with a velvet cap with an ermine band. It was last used when King Charles’ mother was crowned herself in her 1953 coronation.

Imperial State Crown

The Imperial State Crown is not dissimilar in appearance to the St Edward’s crown but is known as the ‘wear crown’. This is likely due to it weighing 1.06kg, less than half of the weight of the St Edwards crown. It is often worn on formal state occasions. King Charles will wear the Imperial State Crown for the final procession from Westminster Abbey back to Buckingham Palace on the Gold State Coach. The Imperial State Crown is formed from an openwork gold frame, mounted with three very large stones, and set with 2868 diamonds in silver mounts, largely table, rose and brilliant-cut, and coloured stones in gold mounts, including 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds and 269 pearls.

Queen Camilla's Crown

Queen Consort Camilla will be wearing a crown constructed from the recycling of Queen Mary’s crown, breaking years of royal tradition of not having a custom-made crown. The crown has been altered to remove the controversial Koh-i-Noor diamond. Instead, in tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II, the Cullinan III, IV and V diamonds, from the late Queen Elizabeth II's personal collection will be mounted on Queen Mary’s crown. Four of the crown’s eight detachable arches will be removed to create a different impression to when the crown was worn by Queen Mary at the 1911 coronation. Queen Consort Camilla will be crowned with this on Saturday and lose ‘Consort’ from her title.


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