Imperial Crown of Russia
The Imperial Crown of Russia known as the Great Imperial Crown, was used by the monarchs of Russia from 1762 until the Russian monarchy's abolition in 1917. The Great Imperial Crown was first used in a coronation by Catherine the Great, it was last worn at the coronation of Nicholas II, it was displayed prominently next to Nicholas II on a cushion at the State Opening of the Russian Duma inside the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg in 1906, it survived the 1917 revolution and is on display in Moscow at the Kremlin Armoury's State Diamond Fund. By 1613, when Michael Romanov, the first Tsar of the Romanov Dynasty, was crowned, the Russian regalia included a pectoral cross, a golden chain, a barmas, the Crown of Monomakh and orb. Over the centuries, various Tsars had fashioned their own private crowns, modeled for the most part after the Crown of Monomakh, but these were for personal use and not for the coronation. In 1719, Tsar Peter the Great founded the earliest version of what is now known as the Russian Federation's State Diamond Fund.
Peter had visited other European nations, introduced many innovations to Russia, one of, the creation of a permanent fund to house a collection of jewels that belonged not to the Romanov family, but to the Russian State. Peter placed all of the regalia in this fund and declared that the state holdings were inviolate and could not be altered, sold, or given away—and he decreed that each subsequent Emperor or Empress should leave a certain number of pieces acquired during their reign to the State, for the permanent glory of the Russian Empire. From this collection came a new set of regalia, including the Great Imperial Crown, to replace the Crown of Monomakh and other crowns used by earlier Russian Tsars and Grand Princes of Muscovy, as a symbol of the adoption of the new title of Emperor; the court jeweller Ekart and Jérémie Pauzié made the Great Imperial Crown for the coronation of Catherine the Great in 1762. The beautiful crown reflects Pauzié's skilled workmanship, it is adorned with 4936 diamonds arranged in splendid patterns across the entire surface of the crown Bordering the edges of the "mitre" are a number of fine, large white pearls.
The crown is decorated with one of the seven historic stones of the Russian Diamond Collection: a large precious red spinel weighing 398.72 carats, brought to Russia by Nicholas Spafary, the Russian envoy to China from 1675 to 1678. It is believed to be the second largest spinel in the world. In formally adopting the Western term "Emperor" for the ruler of Russia, Peter the Great adopted Western imperial symbols, including the form of the private crowns used by the Holy Roman Emperors, in which a circlet with eight fleur-de-lis surrounds a mitre with a high arch extending from the front to the back fleur-de-lis. In Austria some baroque representations of this type of crown found on statues of the saints had transformed the two halves of the mitre into two half-spheres, this is the type of imperial crown used in Russia. Peter’s widow and successor, Catherine I, was the first Russian ruler to wear this form of imperial crown. In the Great Imperial Crown which the court jewellers Pauzié and J. F. Loubierin made for Catherine II in 1762, these hemispheres are in open metalwork resembling basketwork with the edges of both the hemispheres bordered with a row of 37 fine, white pearls.
They rest on a circlet of nineteen diamonds, all averaging over 5 carats in weight, the largest being the large Indian pear-shaped stone of 12⅝ cts in front, set between two bands of diamonds above and below. Posier showed his creative genius by replacing the eight fleur-de-lis with four pairs of crossed palm branches, while the arch between them is made up of oaks leaves and acorns in small diamonds surrounding a number of large diamonds of various shapes and tints running from the front pair of crossed palms to the back pair of crossed palms, while the basketwork pattern of the two hemispheres are divided by two strips of similar oak leaves and acorns from the two side pairs of palm branches stretching up to the rows of large pearls on their borders. At the center and apex of the central arch is a diamond rosette of twelve petals from which rises a large red spinel, weighing 398.72 carats, one of the seven historic stones of the Russian Diamond Collection, brought to Russia by Nicholas Spafary, the Russian envoy to China from 1675 to 1678.
It is believed to be the second largest spinel in the world. This spinel, in turn, is surmounted by a cross of five diamonds, representing the Christian faith of the Sovereign, the God-given power of the monarchy and the supremacy of the divine order over earthly power. Except for the two rows of large white pearls the entire surface of the crown is covered with 4936 diamonds and is quite heavy, weighing nine pounds, it was unfinished in time for Catherine's coronation and the original colored stones were replaced with diamonds for the coronation of Paul I in 1797. It was used at every subsequent coronation until that of Nicholas II in 1896 and was last in imperial period at the State Opening of the Duma in 1906. There was a Lesser Imperial Crown similar in style and workmanship to the Great Imperial Crown, only smaller and set with diamonds, made for Empress Maria Feodorovna, the consort of Paul I, used for the coronation of the Tsarina. At the coronation of Nicholas II in 1896, the smaller crown was worn by Dowager Empress
King of the Romans
King of the Romans was a title used by Syagrius by the German king following his election by the princes from the time of Emperor Henry II onward. The title was predominantly a claim to become Holy Roman Emperor and was dependent upon coronation by the Pope; the title referred to any elected king who had not yet been granted the Imperial Regalia and title of "Emperor" at the hands of the Pope. It came to be used for the heir apparent to the Imperial throne between his election and his succession upon the death of the Emperor, their actual title varied over time. During the Ottonian period it was King of the Franks, from the late Salian period it was Roman King or King of the Romans. In the Modern Period, the title King in Germania came into use. Modern German historiography established the term Roman-German King to differentiate it from the ancient Roman Emperor as well as from the modern German Emperor; the territory of East Francia was not referred to as the Kingdom of Germany or Regnum Teutonicum by contemporary sources until the 11th century.
During this time, the king's claim to coronation was contested by the papacy culminating in the fierce Investiture Controversy. After the Salian heir apparent Henry IV, a six-year-old minor, had been elected to rule the Empire in 1056 he adopted Romanorum Rex as a title to emphasize his sacred entitlement to be crowned Emperor by the Pope. Pope Gregory VII insisted on using the derogatory term Teutonicorum Rex in order to imply that Henry's authority was local and did not extend over the whole Empire. Henry continued to use the title Romanorum Rex until he was crowned Emperor by Antipope Clement III in 1084. Henry's successors imitated this practice, were called Romanorum Rex before and Romanorum Imperator after their Roman coronations. Candidates for the kingship were at first the heads of the Germanic stem duchies; as these units broke up, rulers of smaller principalities and non-Germanic rulers were considered for the position. The only requirements observed were that the candidate be an adult male, a Catholic Christian, not in holy orders.
The kings were elected by several Imperial Estates in the imperial city of Frankfurt after 1147, a custom recorded in the Schwabenspiegel code in about 1275. All noblemen present could vote by unanimous acclamation, but a franchise was granted to only the most eminent bishops and noblemen, according to the Golden Bull of 1356 issued by Emperor Charles IV only the seven Prince-electors had the right to participate in a majority voting as determined by the 1338 Declaration of Rhense, they were the Prince-Archbishops of Mainz and Cologne as well as the King of Bohemia, the Count Palatine of the Rhine, the Saxon duke, the Margrave of Brandenburg. After the Investiture Controversy, Charles intended to strengthen the legal status of the Rex Romanorum beyond Papal approbation. Among his successors only Sigismund and Frederick III were still crowned Emperors in Rome and in 1530 Charles V was the last king to receive the Imperial Crown at the hands of the Pope; the Golden Bull remained effective as constitutional law until the Empire's dissolution in 1806.
After his election, the new king would be crowned as King of the Romans at Charlemagne's throne in Aachen Cathedral by the Archbishop of Cologne. Though the ceremony was no more than a symbolic validation of the election result, it was solemnly celebrated; the details of Otto's coronation in 936 are described by the medieval chronicler Widukind of Corvey in his Res gestae saxonicae. The kings received the Imperial Crown from at least 1024, at the coronation of Conrad II. In 1198 the Hohenstaufen candidate Philip of Swabia was crowned Rex Romanorum at Mainz Cathedral, but he had another coronation in Aachen after he had prevailed against his Welf rival Otto IV. At some time after the ceremony, the king would, if possible, cross the Alps, to receive coronation in Pavia or Milan with the Iron Crown of Lombardy as King of Italy, he would travel to Rome and be crowned Emperor by the Pope. Because it was possible for the elected King to proceed to Rome for his crowning, several years might elapse between election and coronation, some Kings never completed the journey to Rome at all.
As a suitable title for the King between his election and his coronation as Emperor, Romanorum Rex would stress the plenitude of his authority over the Empire and his warrant to be future Emperor without infringing upon the Papal privilege. Not all Kings of the Romans made this step, sometimes because of hostile relations with the Pope, or because either the pressure of business at home or warfare in Germany or Italy made it impossible for the King to make the journey. In such cases, the king might retain the title "King of the Romans" for his entire reign; the title Romanorum Rex became functionally obsolete after 1508, when the Pope permitted King Maximilian I to use the title of Electus Romanorum Imperator after he failed in a good-faith attempt to journey to Rome. At this time Maximilian took the new title "King of the Germans" or "King in Germany", but the latter was never used as a primary title; the rulers of the Empire thereafter ca
Battle of Agincourt
The Battle of Agincourt was one of the greatest English victories in the Hundred Years' War. It took place on 25 October 1415 near Azincourt in northern France. England's unexpected victory against a numerically superior French army boosted English morale and prestige, crippled France, started a new period in the war during which the English began enjoying great military successes. After several decades of relative peace, the English had renewed their war effort in 1415 amid the failure of negotiations with the French. In the ensuing campaign, many soldiers died due to disease and the English numbers dwindled. Despite the disadvantage, the following battle ended in an overwhelming tactical victory for the English. King Henry V of England participated in hand-to-hand fighting. King Charles VI of France did not command the French army himself, as he suffered from severe psychotic illnesses with moderate mental incapacitation. Instead, the French were commanded by Constable Charles d'Albret and various prominent French noblemen of the Armagnac party.
This battle is notable for the use of the English longbow in large numbers, with the English and Welsh archers making up nearly 80 percent of Henry's army. Agincourt is one of England's most celebrated victories and was one of the most important English triumphs in the Hundred Years' War, along with the Battle of Crécy and Battle of Poitiers, it forms the centrepiece of the play Henry V by William Shakespeare. The Battle of Agincourt is well documented by at least seven contemporary accounts, three from eyewitnesses; the approximate location of the battle has never been in dispute and the place remains unaltered after 600 years. After the battle, Henry summoned the heralds of the two armies who had watched the battle together with principal French herald Montjoie, they settled on the name of the battle as Azincourt after the nearest fortified place. Two of the most cited accounts come from Burgundian sources, one from Jean Le Fèvre de Saint-Remy, present at the battle, the other from Enguerrand de Monstrelet.
The English eyewitness account comes from the anonymous Gesta Henrici Quinti, believed to be written by a chaplain in the King's household who would have been in the baggage train at the battle. A recent re-appraisal of Henry's strategy of the Agincourt campaign incorporates these three accounts and argues that war was seen as a legal due process for solving the disagreement over claims to the French throne. Henry V invaded France following the failure of negotiations with the French, he claimed the title of King of France through his great-grandfather Edward III, although in practice the English kings were prepared to renounce this claim if the French would acknowledge the English claim on Aquitaine and other French lands. He called a Great Council in the spring of 1414 to discuss going to war with France, but the lords insisted that he should negotiate further and moderate his claims. In the following negotiations Henry said that he would give up his claim to the French throne if the French would pay the 1.6 million crowns outstanding from the ransom of John II, concede English ownership of the lands of Normandy, Anjou and Flanders, as well as Aquitaine.
Henry would marry Catherine, the young daughter of Charles VI, receive a dowry of 2 million crowns. The French responded with what they considered the generous terms of marriage with Catherine, a dowry of 600,000 crowns, an enlarged Aquitaine. By 1415, negotiations had ground to a halt, with the English claiming that the French had mocked their claims and ridiculed Henry himself. In December 1414, the English parliament was persuaded to grant Henry a "double subsidy", a tax at twice the traditional rate, to recover his inheritance from the French. On 19 April 1415, Henry again asked the Great Council to sanction war with France, this time they agreed. Henry's army landed in northern France on 13 August 1415, carried by a fleet described by Shakespeare as "a city on the inconstant billows dancing / For so appears this fleet majestical", it was reported to comprise 1,500 ships, but far smaller. The army of about 12,000, up to 20,000 horses besieged the port of Harfleur; the siege took longer than expected.
The town surrendered on 22 September, the English army did not leave until 8 October. The campaign season was coming to an end, the English army had suffered many casualties through disease. Rather than retire directly to England for the winter, with his costly expedition resulting in the capture of only one town, Henry decided to march most of his army through Normandy to the port of Calais, the English stronghold in northern France, to demonstrate by his presence in the territory at the head of an army that his right to rule in the duchy was more than a mere abstract legal and historical claim, he intended the manoeuvre as a deliberate provocation to battle aimed at the dauphin, who had failed to respond to Henry's personal challenge to combat at Harfleur. The French had raised an army during the siege; this was not a feudal army, but an army paid through a system similar to the English. The French hoped to raise 9,000 troops. After Henry V marched to the north, the French moved to block them along the River Somme.
They were successful for a time, forcing Henry to move south, away from Calais, to find a ford
The Delhi Durbar was an Indian imperial style mass assembly organised by the British at Coronation Park, India, to mark the succession of an Emperor or Empress of India. Known as the Imperial Durbar, it was held three times, in 1877, 1903, 1911, at the height of the British Empire; the 1911 Durbar was the only one that George V, attended. The term was derived from the common Mughal term durbar. Called the "Proclamation Durbar", the Durbar of 1877, for which the organisation was undertaken by Thomas Henry Thornton, was held beginning on 1 January 1877 to proclaim Queen Victoria as Empress of India by the British; the 1877 Durbar was an official event and not a popular occasion with mass participation like durbars in 1903 and 1911. It was attended by the 1st Earl of Lytton—Viceroy of India, maharajas and intellectuals; this was the culmination of transfer of control of British India from the East India Company to the Crown. Inside the Victoria Memorial in Calcutta is an inscription taken from the Message of Queen Victoria presented at the 1877 Durbar to the people of India: We trust that the present occasion may tend to unite in bonds of close affection ourselves and our subjects.
The Empress of India Medal to commemorate the Proclamation of the Queen as Empress of India was struck and distributed to the honoured guests, the elderly Ramanath Tagore was raised to the status of an honorary Raja by Lord Lytton, viceroy of India. It was at this glittering durbar that Ganesh Vasudeo Joshi, wearing "homespun spotless white khadi" rose to read a citation on behalf of the grass roots native political organization, the Poona Sarvajanik Sabha, which organization presaged the rise of the Indian National Congress. Joshi's speech put forth a demand couched in polite language: Her Majesty to grant to India the same political and social status as is enjoyed by her British subjects. With this demand, it can be said that the campaign for a free India was formally launched, the beginning of a great transformation for India; the durbar would be seen as controversial because it directed funds away from the Great Famine of 1876–78. The durbar was held to celebrate the succession of Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark as Emperor and Empress of India.
The two full weeks of festivities were devised in meticulous detail by Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India. It was a dazzling display of pomp and split second timing. Neither the earlier Delhi Durbar of 1877, nor the Durbar held there in 1911, could match the pageantry of Lord Curzon’s 1903 festivities. In a few short months at the end of 1902, a deserted plain was transformed into an elaborate tented city, complete with temporary light railway to bring crowds of spectators out from Delhi, a post office with its own stamp and telegraphic facilities, a variety of stores, a Police force with specially designed uniform, magistrate’s court and complex sanitation and electric light installations. Souvenir guide books were sold and maps of the camping ground distributed. Marketing opportunities were craftily exploited. A special Delhi Durbar Medal was struck, firework displays and glamorous dances held. Edward VII, to Curzon’s disappointment, did not attend but sent his brother, the Duke of Connaught who arrived with a mass of dignitaries by train from Bombay just as Curzon and his government came in the other direction from Calcutta.
The assembly awaiting them displayed the greatest collection of jewels to be seen in one place. Each of the Indian princes was adorned with the most spectacular of his gems from the collections of centuries. Maharajahs came with great retinues from all over India, many of them meeting for the first time while the massed ranks of the Indian armies, under their Commander-in-Chief Lord Kitchener, played their bands and restrained the crowds of common people. On the first day, the Curzons entered the area of festivities, together with the maharajahs, riding on elephants, some with huge gold candelabras stuck on their tusks; the durbar ceremony itself fell on New Year's Day and was followed by days of polo and other sports, balls, military reviews and exhibitions. The world’s press dispatched their best journalists and photographers to cover proceedings; the popularity of movie footage of the event, shown in makeshift cinemas throughout India, is credited with having launched the country’s early film industry.
The India Post issued a set of two commemorative souvenir sheets with special cancellation struck on 1 January 1903 – 12 noon, a much sought after item for the stamp collectors today. The event culminated in a grand coronation ball attended only by the highest ranking guests, all reigned over by Lord Curzon and more so by the stunning Lady Curzon in her glittering jewels and regal peacock gown. On 22 March 1911, a royal proclamation announced that the Durbar would be held in December to commemorate the coronation in Britain a few months earlier of George V and Mary of Teck and allow their proclamation as Emperor and Empress of India; every ruling prince and nobleman in India, plus thousands of landed gentry and other persons of note, attended to pay obeisance to their sovereigns. The official ceremonies lasted from 7 December to 16 December, with the Durbar itself occurring on Tuesday, 12 December; the royal couple arrived at Coronation Park in their Coronation robes, the King-Emperor wearing the Imperial Crown of India with eight arches, con
Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles IV, born Wenceslaus, was the first King of Bohemia to become Holy Roman Emperor. He was a member of the House of Luxembourg from his father's side and the Czech House of Přemyslid from his mother's side, he was the eldest son and heir of King John of Bohemia, who died at the Battle of Crécy on 26 August 1346. His mother, Elizabeth of Bohemia, was the sister of King Wenceslas III, the last of the male Přemyslid rulers of Bohemia. Charles inherited the County of Luxembourg from his father and was elected king of the Kingdom of Bohemia. On 2 September 1347, Charles was crowned King of Bohemia. On 11 July 1346, the prince-electors chose him as King of the Romans in opposition to Emperor Louis IV. Charles was crowned on 26 November 1346 in Bonn. After his opponent died, he was crowned King of the Romans. In 1355, he was crowned King of Holy Roman Emperor. With his coronation as King of Burgundy in 1365, he became the personal ruler of all the kingdoms of the Holy Roman Empire. Charles IV was born to King John of the Luxembourg dynasty and Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia of the Czech Premyslid Dynasty in Prague.
He was named Wenceslaus, the name of his maternal grandfather, King Wenceslaus II. He chose the name Charles at his confirmation in honor of his uncle, King Charles IV of France, at whose court he was resident for seven years, he received French education and was literate and fluent in five languages: Latin, German and Italian. In 1331, he gained some experience of warfare in Italy with his father. At the beginning of 1333, Charles went to Lucca to consolidate his rule there. In an effort to defend the city, Charles founded the town of Montecarlo. From 1333, he administered the lands of the Bohemian Crown due to his father's frequent absence and deteriorating eyesight. In 1334, Charles was named Margrave of the traditional title for heirs to the throne. Two years he assumed the government of Tyrol on behalf of his brother, John Henry, was soon involved in a struggle for the possession of this county. On 11 July 1346, in consequence of an alliance between his father and Pope Clement VI, relentless enemy of the emperor Louis IV, Charles was chosen as Roman king in opposition to Louis by some of the prince-electors at Rhens.
As he had promised to be subservient to Clement, he made extensive concessions to the pope in 1347. Confirming the papacy in the possession of vast territories, he promised to annul the acts of Louis against Clement, to take no part in Italian affairs, to defend and protect the church. Charles IV was in a weak position in Germany. Owing to the terms of his election, he was derisively referred to as a "Priests' King". Many bishops and nearly all of the Imperial cities remained loyal to Louis the Bavarian. Worse still, Charles backed the wrong side in the Hundred Years' War, losing his father and many of his best knights at the Battle of Crécy in August 1346, with Charles himself escaping from the field wounded. Civil war in Germany was prevented, when Louis IV died on 11 October 1347, after suffering a stroke during a bear hunt. In January 1349, House of Wittelsbach partisans attempted to secure the election of Günther von Schwarzburg as king, but he attracted few supporters and died unnoticed and unmourned after a few months.
Thereafter, Charles faced no direct threat to his claim to the Imperial throne. Charles worked to secure his power base. Bohemia had remained untouched by the plague. Prague became his capital, he rebuilt the city on the model of Paris, establishing the New Town. In 1348, he founded the Charles University in Prague, named after him and was the first university in Central Europe; this served as a training ground for lawyers. Soon Prague emerged as the cultural center of Central Europe. Having made good use of the difficulties of his opponents, Charles was again elected in Frankfurt on 17 June 1349 and re-crowned at Aachen on 25 July 1349, he was soon the undisputed ruler of the Empire. Gifts or promises had won the support of the Swabian towns. In 1350, the king was visited at Prague by the Roman tribune Cola di Rienzo, who urged him to go to Italy, where the poet Petrarch and the citizens of Florence implored his presence. Turning a deaf ear to these entreaties, Charles kept Cola in prison for a year, handed him as a prisoner to Clement at Avignon.
Outside Prague, Charles attempted to expand the Bohemian crown lands, using his imperial authority to acquire fiefs in Silesia, the Upper Palatinate, Franconia. The latter regions comprised "New Bohemia," a string of possessions intended to link Bohemia with the Luxemburg territories in the Rhineland; the Bohemian estates, were not willing to support Charles in these ventures. When Charles sought to codify Bohemian law in the Maiestas Carolina of 1355, he met with sharp resistance. After that point, Charles found. In 1354, Charles crossed the Alps without an army, received the Lombard crown in St. Ambrose Basilica, Milan, on 5 January 1355, was crowned emperor at Rome by a cardinal in April of the same year, his sole object appears to have
Black Prince's Ruby
The Black Prince's Ruby is a large, irregular cabochon red spinel weighing 170 carats set in the cross pattée above the Cullinan II diamond at the front of the Imperial State Crown of England. The spinel is one of the oldest parts of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom, with a history dating back to the middle of the 14th century, it has been in the possession of England's rulers since it was given in 1367 to its namesake, Edward of Woodstock. All red gemstones used to be referred to as rubies or "balas rubies", it wasn't until 1783. A red spinel is a compound of magnesia, iron and chromium, while a ruby is a type of aluminium oxide; the rarity of this spinel, however, is that it is the biggest uncut spinel in the world, given that it has only been polished and has never received a proper cut, gemologically speaking. The Black Prince's Ruby enters the "stage of history" in middle of the 14th century as the possession of Abū Sa'īd, the Arab Muslim Prince of Granada. At that time, the rule of Castile was being centralized to Seville and the Moorish Kingdom of Granada was being systematically attacked and reverted to Castilian rule as a part of the Christian Reconquest of the Iberian peninsula.
Abū Sa'īd in particular was confronted by the belligerency of nascent Castile under the rule of Peter of Castile known to history as Don Pedro the Cruel. According to historical accounts, Abū Sa'īd wished to surrender to Don Pedro, but the conditions he offered were unclear. What is clear is that Don Pedro welcomed his coming to Seville, it is recorded that he desired Abū Sa'īd's wealth. When Abū Sa'īd met with Don Pedro, the King had Abū Sa'īd's servants killed and may have stabbed Sa'īd to death himself; when Sa ` īd's corpse was searched, the spinel was added to Don Pedro's possessions. In 1366, Don Pedro's illegitimate brother, Henry of Trastámara, led a revolt against Don Pedro. Lacking the power to put down the revolt unaided, Don Pedro made an alliance with the Black Prince, the son of Edward III of England; the revolt was put down and the Black Prince demanded the ruby in exchange for the services he had rendered. While historians speculate that this was contrary to Don Pedro's desires, he had just suffered a costly civil war and was in no position to decline.
It can be assumed that the Black Prince took the Ruby back to England, although it is absent from historical records until 1415. During his campaign in France, Henry V of England wore a gem-encrusted helmet that included the Black Prince's Ruby. In the Battle of Agincourt on October 25, 1415, the French Duke of Alençon struck Henry on the head with a battleaxe, Henry nearly lost the helmet, along with his life; the battle was won by Henry's forces and the Black Prince's Ruby was saved. Richard III is supposed to have worn the gemstone in his helmet at the Battle of Bosworth, where he died. Henry VIII's inventory of 1521 mentions "a great balas ruby" set in the Tudor Crown, thought to be the Black Prince's Ruby, it remained there until the time of Oliver Cromwell in the 17th century. With the exception of the Coronation Chair and several other items, Cromwell had the principal symbols of the king's power – the Crown Jewels – disassembled and sold, the gold was melted down and made into coins. What happened to the Black Prince's Ruby valued at £4, during the Commonwealth of England is not clear, but it came back into the possession of Charles II when the monarchy was restored in 1660.
At the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1838, she was crowned with a new Imperial State Crown made for her by Rundell and Bridge, with 3,093 gems, including the spinel at the front. This was remade in 1937 into the current, crown. A plaquette on the reverse of the gemstone commemorates the crown's history
Imperial was the Chrysler Corporation's luxury automobile brand from 1955 to 1975, again from 1981 to 1983. The Imperial name had been used since 1926, but was never a separate make, just the top-of-the-line Chrysler. However, in 1955, the company decided to spin Imperial off as its own make and division to better compete with its North American rivals and Cadillac. Imperial would see new or modified body styles introduced every two to three years, all with V8 engines and automatic transmissions, as well as technologies that would filter down to Chrysler Corporation's other models. For the 1955 model year, the Imperial was launched and registered as a separate marque, apart from the Chrysler brand, it was a product of the new Imperial Division of Chrysler Corporation, meaning that the Imperial would be a make and division unto itself, not bear the Chrysler name. Chrysler Corporation sent notices to all state licensing agencies in the then-48 states that the Imperial, beginning in 1955, would no longer be registered as a Chrysler, but as a separate make.
Chrysler introduced Forward Look Styling by Virgil Exner, who would define Imperial's look from 1955 to 1963. As early as in 1954, Chrysler Corporation ads at the time began to visibly and consciously separate The Imperial from the Chrysler Division car line in the eyes of the public, to prepare for the big change coming in 1955. Once the "Imperial" brand was introduced, Cadillac no longer used the "Imperial" name for its top-level limousines starting in 1955; the 1955 models are said to be inspired by Exner's own 1952 Chrysler Imperial Parade Phaeton show cars. The platform and bodyshell were shared with that year's big Chryslers, but the Imperial had a wheelbase, 4.0 inches longer, providing it with more rear seat legroom, had a wide-spaced split eggcrate grille, the same as that used on the Chrysler 300 "executive hot rod", had free-standing "gunsight" taillights mounted above the rear quarters, which were similar to those on the Exner's 1951 Chrysler K-310 concept car. Gunsight taillights were known as "sparrow-strainer" taillights, named after the device used to keep birds out of jet-engines.
Such taillights were separated from the fender and surrounded by a ring and became an Imperial fixture through 1962, although they would only be free-standing in 1955-56 and again in 1961-62. Two "C-69" models were available, including the two-door Newport hardtop coupe and pillared four-door sedan, along with an additional "C-70" Crown limousine model; the "FirePower" V8 engine was Chrysler's first-generation Hemi with a displacement of 331 cu in and developing 250 brake horsepower. Power brakes and power steering were standard, along with Chrysler's "PowerFlite" automatic transmission. One major option on the 1955 and 1956 Imperials was air conditioning, at a cost of $535. Production far below Lincoln and Cadillac; the 1956 models had small tailfins. The Hemi V8 was enlarged to 354 cu in with 280 brake horsepower, a four-door Southampton hardtop sedan was added to the range. 10,268 were produced. With a wheelbase of 133.0 inches, longer than the previous year's by 3.0 inches, they had the longest wheelbase for an Imperial.
This contributed to an increase in their overall length to 229.6 inches, making them the longest non-limousine post WWII American cars until the advent of the Imperials of the "Fuselage Look" era in the 1970s. 1956 was the year that Chrysler introduced the push button PowerFlite automatic transmission, with the three speed TorqueFlite becoming available mid-year. On April 28, 1955, Chrysler and Philco announced the development and production of the world's first all-transistor car radio, the Mopar model 914HR, it was developed and produced by Chrysler and Philco and was a $150.00 "option" on the 1956 Imperial car models. Philco manufactured the Mopar 914HR starting in the fall of 1955 at its Sandusky Ohio plant, for Chrysler. For the 1957 model year, the Imperial received its own platform, setting it apart from any other division of Chrysler; this would last through the 1966 model year. Imperials during this period were wider, both inside and out, than other Mopars with front and rear shoulder room equal to 64.0 in and 62.0 in respectively.
The front seat shoulder room measurement remains an unsurpassed record for Imperial and would remain the record for any car until the 1971–1976 GM full-size models. Exterior width reached a maximum of 81.7 in for 1961–1963, which remains the record for the widest non-limousine American car. After Lincoln downsized for 1961 this generation of Imperial had no real competitor for the title of largest car for the remainder of its decade-long lifespan. One advantage of Imperials of this vintage was their strength. Unlike the rest of the Chrysler Corporation makes, that began unibody construction for 1960, the Imperial retained separate full perimeter frames for rigidity through the 1966 model year; these substantial frames had a box cross section with crossmembers forming an "X". The drive shaft passed through a hole in the "X" frame; the parking brake gripped the drive shaft, was not connected to the rear drum brakes prior to the 1963 model year. Another advantage wa