The crowns of Charles III and Camilla

Tradition says that the Crown of St. Edward the Confessor is the most important jewel in the impressive collection of the British monarchy, especially since the King was sanctified with it, in 1161, transforming it into a religious relic. In life, Edward wore it on a few occasions, such as Easter, Pentecost, and Christmas, but legend has it that it was he, who is buried in Westminster Abbey, who asked that his insignia be used in perpetuity for the coronations of all future English kings. No one denies a saint’s request, and so, since 1220, the Crown has passed from head to head to some of the main monarchs in history. And it will be the Crown of Charles III on the 6th of May.

Although St Edward’s Crown has rarely left Westminster Abbey, the current one is a replica of the original. That’s because the original was sold when the current king’s namesake, Charles I, was deposed and executed in 1649, during the English Civil War. According to Oliver Cromwell, the crown was a symbol of “the detestable rule of kings”, but when the second Charles came to the throne 12 years later, he had one made just like the first. It has since been used in six subsequent Coronations, including that of Elizabeth II 70 years ago. Charles III, who is Britain’s first king of the 21st century, will wear the same crown as his mother, which has been a symbol for over 800 years.

The Crown has 22 carats of gold, 444 precious and semi-precious stones, and weighs over two kilos. This detail – the weight – made both Queen Victoria and Edward VII choose a lighter Crown for their ceremonies. Vitória could have had a less symbolic Crown, but she made up for it with a large use of diamonds, “to maintain the dignity and splendor of the Crown and convey the feeling of magnificence”, like the necklace worn by Elizabeth II and which must be around the neck of Camilla, known today as the “Coronation Necklace”.

Incidentally, as Queen, Camilla will wear the 1911 crown, made for Charles’s great-grandmother, Queen Mary. The monarch personally purchased the Art Deco piece from Garrard & Co, thinking of creating a tradition for the consorts. Considered different, because it has eight half-arches instead of the traditional four half-arches or two arches, it is much lighter than the Crown of St. Edward, with only 590 g.

In compensation, it has around 2,200 pink and brilliant cut diamonds. The criticized and controversial Koh-i-Noor, 105.6 carats, Cullinan III, 94.4 carats and Cullinan IV, 63.6 carats, were even announced as being used instead of replicas for Camilla’s coronation. , but, after the Indian government criticized the choice as “it would evoke painful memories of the colonial past”, it was confirmed that the Crown of Queen Mary, will be without the Koh-i-Noor diamond.

Controversy seems to be the tone of the Coronation, even with the efforts to keep it “simple”. Only 5 days left!


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