Small Diamond Crown of Queen Victoria
It was perhaps the crown most associated with the queen and is one of the Crown Jewels on public display in the Jewel House at the Tower of London. Under government pressure she came back into view in 1870. The new small crown was created as a substitute, meeting both the duties of a monarch and her own desired form of dress as a widow. It was manufactured in March 1870 by the Crown Jewellers, Garrard & Co, although diminutive, the silver crown follows the standard design for British crowns. It is made up of two arches joining at a monde surmounted by a cross, each of the arches runs from a cross pattée along the rim of the base. Between each cross pattée is a fleur-de-lis, because of its small size –9 cm across and 10 cm high – the crown possesses no internal cap. It contains 1,162 brilliant and 138 rose-cut diamonds weighing 132 carats that were taken from a necklace belonging to the queen. Unlike coloured gemstones, diamonds were seen as acceptable to wear in mourning, the crown weighs 160 g in total.
Queen Victoria first used her new crown at the State Opening of Parliament on 9 February 1871 and she often wore it minus the arches as a circlet or open crown. The crown had belonged to Queen Victoria personally rather than to the Crown, Victoria left it to the Crown in her will. It was subsequently worn on occasions by the consort, Alexandra of Denmark and after her by the next queen consort. After the death of Marys husband, George V, she stopped wearing the crown, Queen Victorias Small Diamond Crown at the Royal Collection
Curtana, known as the Sword of Mercy, is a ceremonial sword used at the coronation of British kings and queens. One of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom, its end is blunt and squared and it is linked to the legendary sword carried by Tristan and Ogier the Dane. The sword measures 96.5 centimetres long and 19 centimetres wide at the handle, about 2.5 centimetres of the steel blades tip is missing. The blade features a decorative running wolf mark which originated in the town of Passau, Lower Bavaria and it has a gilt-iron hilt, a wooden grip bound in wire, and a leather sheath bound in crimson velvet with gold embroidery that was made in 1821. A coronation sword named Curtana is first documented in the reign of Henry III of England as one of three swords employed in the coronation of Queen Eleanor of Provence in 1236. The coronation tradition involving three swords dates back at least to Richard I, though the individual swords meanings have changed over time, Henry IIIs Curtana was said to have been the sword of the legendary knight Tristan.
This connection may have come due to its broken end. A sword named Cortana, etc. was attributed to Ogier the Dane, one of Emperor Charlemagnes paladins in the Matter of France. The 13th-century Prose Tristan states that Ogier had inherited Tristans sword, shortening it and naming it Cortaine, the meaning attributed to Curtana and the other two British coronation swords shifted over time. During the coronation of Henry IV, Curtana was evidently considered to be the Sword of Justice, however, Curtanas blunt edge was taken to represent mercy, and it thus came to be known as the Sword of Mercy. The current sword was made for Charles Is coronation in 1626. Before then, a new sword was made for each coronation. A royal cutler supplied the sword but its blade was created in the 1580s by Italian bladesmiths Giandonato. Together with the two swords and the Coronation Spoon, it is one of the few pieces of the Crown Jewels to have survived the English Civil War intact. It is not clear if the swords were used by Charles II, until the 14th century, it was the job of the Earl of Chester to carry the sword before the monarch at his or her coronation.
Today, another high-ranking peer of the realm is chosen by the monarch for this privilege, when not in use, the sword is on display with the other Crown Jewels in the Jewel House at the Tower of London
Crown of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother
The crown was made by Garrard & Co. the Crown Jeweller at the time, and is modelled partly on the design of Queen Marys Crown, though it differs by having four half-arches instead of eight. As with Queen Marys Crown, its arches are detachable at the crosses pattée and it is the only crown for a British king or queen to be made of platinum. The Koh-i-Noor became a part of the Crown Jewels when it was left to the Crown upon Victorias death in 1901 and it had been successively mounted in the crowns of Queen Alexandra and Queen Mary before it was transferred to The Queen Mothers Crown. It was placed on top of The Queen Mothers coffin for her lying-in-state, the crown is on public display along with the other Crown Jewels in the Jewel House at the Tower of London. Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mothers Crown at the Royal Collection
Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom
Objects used to invest and crown the monarch variously denote his or her roles as Head of State, Supreme Governor of the Church of England, and Commander-in-Chief of the British Armed Forces. Wives of kings are crowned as queen consort with a set of regalia. Since 1831, a new crown has been made specially for each queen consort, the use of regalia by monarchs in Britain can be traced back to its early history. Most of the present collection as a whole dates from around 350 years ago when King Charles II ascended the throne. The medieval coronation regalia and Tudor state regalia had been sold or melted down by Oliver Cromwell. In addition to their use at coronations, a number of items are used at the annual State Opening of Parliament, royal christenings, and a few other state and religious occasions. When not in use, the Jewels are on display, mainly in the Jewel House. Although they are part of the Royal Collection and owned by the king or queen for the duration of his or her reign, following the Roman conquest of Britain in 43 AD, crowns and other symbols of authority continued to be used by the governors of Britain.
By the 5th century, the Romans had withdrawn from Britain, and the Angles, a series of new kingdoms began to emerge. One of the used by regional kings to solidify their authority over their territories was the use of ceremony. The tomb of an unknown king – evidence suggests it may be Rædwald of East Anglia – at Sutton Hoo provides an insight into the regalia of a pre-Christian Anglo-Saxon king. He was buried with a heavy stone sceptre, on top of which is an iron ring surmounted by the figure of a stag, a sword. In 597, a Benedictine monk had been sent by Pope Gregory I to start converting Pagan England to Christianity, the monk Augustine became the first Archbishop of Canterbury. Within two centuries, the ritual of anointing monarchs with holy oil and crowning them in a Christian ceremony had been established, and regalia took on a religious identity. There was still no permanent set of regalia, each monarch generally had a new set made. Edward the Confessor is depicted on a throne and wearing a crown in the first scene of the Bayeux Tapestry, in 1066, Edward died without an heir, and William the Conqueror emerged as king of England following his victory over the English at the Battle of Hastings.
Wearing a crown became an important part of William Is efforts to cement his authority over his new territory, in 1161, Edward the Confessor was made a saint, and objects connected with his reign became holy relics. A crown referred to as St Edwards Crown is first recorded as having used for the coronation of Henry III in 1220
The Koh-i-Noor is a large, colourless diamond that was found near Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, possibly in the 13th century. According to legend, it first weighed 793 carats uncut, although the earliest well-attested weight is 186 carats, in 1852, Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria, unhappy with its dull and irregular appearance, ordered it cut down from 186 carats. It emerged 42 percent lighter as a dazzling oval-cut brilliant weighing 105.6 carats, as the diamonds history involves a great deal of fighting between men, the Koh-i-Noor acquired a reputation within the British royal family for bringing bad luck to any man who wears it. Since arriving in the country, it has ever been worn by female members of the family. Today, the diamond is set in the front of the Queen Mothers Crown, part of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom, and is seen by millions of visitors to the Tower of London each year. The governments of India, Pakistan and Afghanistan have all tried to claim ownership of the Koh-i-Noor and demanded its return at various points in recent decades.
However, the early history is lost in the mists of time. It is however impossible to know where it was found, in the early 14th century, Alauddin Khalji, second ruler of the Turkic Khalji dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate, and his army began looting the kingdoms of southern India. Malik Kafur, Khiljis general, made a raid on Warangal in 1310. He called the stone the Diamond of Babur at the time, both Babur and his son and successor, mentioned the origins of this diamond in their memoirs, thought by many historians to be the earliest reliable reference to the Koh-i-Noor. Shah Jahan, the fifth Mughal emperor, had the stone placed into his ornate Peacock Throne, in 1658, his son and successor, confined the ailing emperor at nearby Agra Fort. While in the possession of Aurangazeb, it was cut by Hortenso Borgia. For this carelessness, Borgia was reprimanded and fined 10,000 rupees, according to recent research the story of Borgia cutting the diamond is not correct, and most probably mixed up with the Orlov, part of Catherine the Greats imperial Russian sceptre in the Kremlin.
Along with a host of items, including the Daria-i-Noor, as well as the Peacock Throne. When he finally managed to obtain the stone, and that is how the stone got its name. It is estimated that the worth of the treasures plundered came to 700 million rupees. This was roughly equivalent to £87.5 million sterling at the time, the riches gained by the Afsharid Empire from the Indian campaign were so monumental that Nader Shah made a proclamation alleviating all subjects of the Empire from taxes for a total of three years. After the assassination of Nader Shah in 1747 and the collapse of his empire, the stone came into the hands of one of his generals, Ahmad Shah Durrani, who became the Emir of Afghanistan
It was described by the art historian Sir Roy Strong as a masterpiece of early Tudor jewellers art, and its form has been compared to the crown of the Holy Roman Empire. The centre petals of the fleurs-de-lis had images of Christ, the Virgin Mary and St George, the crown was mentioned again in 1532,1550,1574 and 1597. After the death of Elizabeth I and the end of the Tudor dynasty, both James I and Charles I are known to have worn the crown. Following the abolition of the monarchy and the execution of Charles I in 1649, according to an inventory drawn up for the sale of the kings goods, it weighed 3.3 kg. It can be viewed as part of an exhibition in the Royal Chapel at Hampton Court Palace, imperial State Crown Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom The Making of Henry VIIIs Crown a video by Historic Royal Palaces Download a 3D digital model at Thingiverse
Coronation Crown of George IV
The Coronation Crown of George IV is an elaborate coronation crown made specially for King George IV in 1821. At 40 cm tall and decorated with 12,314 diamonds, the innovative gold and silver frame, created by Philip Liebart of Rundell, Bridge & Rundell, had been designed to be almost invisible underneath the diamonds. As a general rule, the caps in British crowns are made of crimson or purple velvet. Because of the postponement of George IVs coronation due to the trial of his wife, Queen Caroline, the crown was dismantled in 1823 and has not been worn by any other monarch since then. The frame, next to diamonds worth £2 million on loan from De Beers, is on display in the Martin Tower at the Tower of London, George IV State Diadem St Edwards Crown
Crown of Mary of Modena
The Crown of Mary of Modena was the consort crown of Mary of Modena, queen consort of England and Ireland, wife of James VII & II. Traditionally, where a monarch is married, his consort is crowned with him at his coronation. Under Oliver Cromwells rule, all of the ancient English crown jewels had been destroyed, when Charles II was crowned in 1661 he was not married, so there was no need to create a new consort crown. When however his brother, the Duke of York became James II & VII, it was necessary to make a new crown for his queen. In fact, three items of royal headgear were created, a coronation crown state crown, and a diadem or headcovering, Mary of Modenas coronation crown no longer exists. However her state crown and diadem still are held in the Tower of London, the circlet of gold, set with pearls at both edges, is decorated with 20 large diamonds. 4 crosses and 4 fleurs-de-lis, all made of diamonds, alternate above the row of pearls. It contains four half arches above the crosses, one row of pearls on each arch is framed on both sides by two rows of diamonds, a globe sits at the centre, on which sits a cross made of 5 diamonds and 3 pearls.
In 1831, however the crown out of favour, and was replaced by the Crown of Queen Adelaide for the latters coronation alongside her husband. One official in the Lord Chamberlains office wrote of the crowns very tawdry and it is no longer used in royal ceremonial, but in 1938–9 had its mock pearls replaced with cultured pearls. ^ Anna Keay, The Crown Jewels Historic Royal Palaces,2002, Mary of Modenas Crown of State at the Royal Collection
St Edward's Crown
St Edwards Crown is one of the oldest Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom and the centrepiece of the coronation regalia. Named after Edward the Confessor, it has traditionally used to crown English and British monarchs at their coronation ceremonies. The current version was made for the coronation of Charles II in 1661, Edward the Confessor wore the first crown of this name at Easter and Christmas. It may have incorporated elements of a crown that belonged to Alfred the Great, in 1066, St Edwards Crown was reputedly used at the coronation of William the Conqueror. It was subsequently used for the coronations of William II, Henry I, Henry II, Richard I, at the first coronation of Henry III in 1216, a chaplet was used instead of the crown. From this it was inferred by the German historian, Reinhold Pauli, Arthur Penrhyn Stanley maintained that the original crown and regalia were kept in the Treasury until the time of Henry VIII, and survived until 1642. It was supposedly used in 1533 to crown the wife of Henry VIII.
During the English Civil War in 1642, Parliament sold the medieval St Edwards Crown, the British monarchy was eventually restored in 1661, and in preparation for the coronation of Charles II, a new St Edwards Crown was made by Sir Robert Vyner. It is 30 cm tall and weighs 2.23 kg and its purple velvet cap is trimmed with ermine. In 1671, Colonel Thomas Blood briefly stole the crown from the Tower of London, a new monde was created for the coronation of James II, and for William III the base was changed from a circle to an oval. St Edwards Crown was placed on the coffin of Edward VII for his lying in state, imitation pearls on the arches and base were replaced with golden beads. It was smaller to fit George V, the first monarch to be crowned with St Edwards Crown in over 200 years. When not used to crown the monarch, St Edwards Crown was placed on the altar during the coronation, however, it did not feature at all at the coronation of Queen Victoria. Before 1649, it was usual for a monarch to be crowned with the original St Edwards Crown, images based on the crown are used in coats of arms, badges and various other insignia throughout the Commonwealth realms to symbolise the monarchs royal authority.
In these contexts, it replaced the Tudor Crown in 1953 by order of Queen Elizabeth II, use of the crowns image in this way is by permission of the monarch. Coronation crown Canadian royal symbols St Edwards Crown at the Royal Collection, the Crown Jewels at the Royal Family website
Mirror of Great Britain
The Mirror of Great Britain was a piece of jewellery that was part of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom during the reign of James I of England and VI of Scotland. The jewel was created around 1604 to mark Jamess Union of the Crowns of England and Scotland and it was created in gold with five main stones set into it, four diamonds and a ruby. The ruby and one of the diamonds were table-cut, while two further diamonds were lozenges, one of them was known as the Stone of the letter H of Scotland or the Great Harry and had belonged to Jamess mother, Queen of Scots. The final diamond was the Sancy Diamond which is believed to have previously owned by the Burgundian crown. The jewel was decorated with two pearls and a number of smaller diamonds, the diamond used in the piece from the Great Harry appears to have been a gift to Mary, Queen of Scots from Henry II of France. In 1625, James pawned the jewel, and it was split up, the pearls remained in royal possession for another year but were also pawned.
The Sancy Diamond was reclaimed but again pawned in 1654 and subsequently part of the French Crown Jewels. The Sancy Diamond is now in the collection at the Louvre, the National Galleries of Scotland collection includes a 1604 portrait by John de Critz of James I and VI wearing the Mirror of Great Britain on his hat
The Cullinan Diamond is the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever found, weighing 3,106.75 carats, discovered at the Premier No.2 mine in Cullinan, modern-day South Africa, on 26 January 1905. It was named after the chairman of the mine, Thomas Cullinan and it was the largest polished diamond of any colour until the discovery in 1985 of the Golden Jubilee Diamond, from the Premier Mine. Cullinan I is mounted in the head of the Sovereigns Sceptre with Cross, the second-largest is Cullinan II or the Second Star of Africa, at 317.4 carats it is the fourth-largest cut diamond in the world, and is mounted in the Imperial State Crown. Both diamonds are part of the Crown Jewels which belong to the monarch in right of the Crown, at approximately 1 1⁄3 pounds,3 7⁄8 inches long,2 1⁄4 inches wide and 2 5⁄8 inches high the diamond was twice the size of any previously discovered. Wells immediately took it for examination, Sir William Crookes performed an analysis of the Cullinan diamond, ascertaining a weight of 3,106 carats.
The stone was named after Sir Thomas Cullinan, the owner of the diamond mine. Crookes mentioned its remarkable clarity, but a spot in the middle. The colours around the spot were very vivid and changed as the analyser was turned. According to Crookes, this pointed to internal strain, such strain is not uncommon in diamonds. Because one side of the diamond was perfectly smooth, it was concluded that the stone had originally been part of a larger diamond. Crookes pronounced the Cullinan a fragment, probably less than half, of an octahedral crystal. The discovery became a sensation, with the developments being followed avidly by the press. Wells was awarded £3,500 for the find and the diamond was purchased by the Transvaal Colony government for £150,000 and insured for ten times the amount. Prime Minister Louis Botha suggested that the diamond be presented to King Edward VII as a token of the loyalty and attachment of the people of Transvaal to his throne, a vote was staged in order for the government to find out what should be done with the diamond.
In the aftermath of the Boer Wars the Boers voted in favour of presenting the king with the diamond, the final vote was 42 against and 19 in favour. In the wake of the vote, the British prime minister of the time, Henry Campbell-Bannerman, future prime minister Winston Churchill eventually managed to persuade the king to accept, to which Edward VII finally agreed. Churchill was presented with a replica of the diamond, which he delighted in showing off to friends. In 1905, due to the value of the Cullinan
Imperial State Crown
The Imperial State Crown is one of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom and symbolises the sovereignty of the monarch. It has existed in various forms since the 15th century, the current version was made in 1937 and is worn by the monarch after a coronation ceremony and during his or her speech at the annual State Opening of Parliament. It contains 2,901 precious stones, including Cullinan II – the second-largest clear cut diamond in the world. St Edwards Crown, used to crown English monarchs, was considered to be a relic, kept in the saints shrine at Westminster Abbey. The Tudor Crown had more pearls and jewels than its predecessor, and the centre petals of each of the fleurs-de-lis had images of Christ. The crown weighed 3.3 kg and was set with 168 pearls,58 rubies,28 diamonds,19 sapphires and 2 emeralds. Following the abolition of the monarchy and the execution of Charles I in 1649, upon the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, a new state crown was made for Charles II by Sir Robert Vyner.
About 10 versions of the crown have existed since the restoration, the one made for Queen Victoria in 1838 is the basis for todays crown. At the State Opening of Parliament in 1845, the Duke of Argyll was carrying the crown before Queen Victoria when it fell off the cushion, Victoria wrote in her diary, it was all crushed and squashed like a pudding that had sat down. The gems in the crown were remounted for the coronation of George VI in 1937 by Garrard & Co, the crown was adjusted for Queen Elizabeth IIs coronation in 1953, with the head size reduced and the arches lowered by 25 mm to give it a more feminine appearance. The Imperial State Crown is 31.5 cm tall and weighs 1.06 kg and its purple velvet cap is trimmed with ermine. The frame is made of gold and platinum, and decorated with 2,868 diamonds,273 pearls,17 sapphires,11 emeralds, and 5 rubies. In 1909, the 104-carat Stuart Sapphire, set in the front of the crown, was moved to the back, three of the pearls belonged to Elizabeth I. The crown is worn by the monarch on leaving Westminster Abbey at the end of his or her coronation ceremony and it is worn at the annual State Opening of Parliament.
When not in use, it is on display with the rest of the Crown Jewels in the Jewel House at the Tower of London. Kenneth J. Mears, Simon Thurley, Claire Murphy, the Imperial State Crown at the Royal Collection. The Crown Jewels at the Royal Family website