Saturday, July 31, 2010


Queen Mary's Crown
Queen Mary’s Crown is set entirely with diamonds and crystals was made for Queen Mary when she was crowned Queen Consort with George VI in 1911.
Queen Mary’s crown originally contained the 3d Star of Africa in the cross pattee which surmounts the heavily jewelled monde and the 4th Star of Africa in the band. Both these diamonds were cut from the Cullinan I diamond, which is the biggest diamond in the world.
Both these diamonds are the personal property of Queen Elizabeth II and are not part of the Crown Jewels. They are known as the Lesser stones of Africa and were mounted in such a way that they can be removed and worn separately as a pendant or brooch. These stones were replaced by replica crystal stones.
The crown contains eight half arches. Unlike any other coronation crowns, it was specially constructed, so that its arches could be removed, allowing for the crown to be worn as a circlet.
Queen Mary used the crown in circlet form at the coronation of George VI and at State Ceremonies involving her granddaughter Queen Elizabeth II.
The crown was regarded as a miracle of construction because it weighed less than 22.85 oz..when mounted with around 2200 diamonds.Since Queen Mary’s death on 24th March 1953 her consort crown has remained unworn

Queen Victoria’s Diamond Crown
This crown whose lightness and elegance contrast with other British crowns, was ordered by Queen Victoria for her personal use. She found the Imperial State Crown too heavy, and very much resented the complicated procedures involved when removing the crown from the Tower of London.
The small crown is a beautiful crown of heraldic Tudor form, which was made from Queen Victoria’s own expense in 1870. It was the crown perhaps most associated with Queen Victoria . Such was the association that the crown was placed on her coffin before her funeral.
Origins: Following the death of her husband, Prince Albert, Queen Victoria withdrew from public life and wore the widows weeds which she continued to wear until her death in 1901.
By government pressure she came back to public life in 1870. Queen Victoria refused to wear the Imperial State Crown partly because it was too heavy and also because it was impossible to wear her mourning veil. The new small crown was created as a replacement. Because of its size it could be worn on top of her mourning veil, so meeting the ceremonial needs of the British monarchy and her own desired form of dress as a widow.
Design: The design of the crown followed the standard designs of British crowns. It is made up of four half arches which are met at a monde, on which sits a cross. Each half arch runs from the monde down to a cross pattee along the band at the bottom. Between each cross patee is a fleur-de-lis. The crown does not have an internal cap.
Jewels: The crown is made of silver. It contains 1187 diamonds which were permitted to be worn in mourning unlike coloured stones. The diamonds all came from a necklace owned by Queen Victoria.
Usage: Queen Victoria first used the crown on the State Opening of Parliament in Westminster on 9th February 1871. It was worn by her on all State Occasions after that date where she was required to wear a crown.
After Victoria: Technically the crown belonged to Queen Victoria personally rather than the British Crown, and therefore did not form part of the British Crown Jewels. In her will Queen Victoria left it to the British Crown. In 1937 King George VI ordered that it should be moved from Windsor Castle and added to the regalia kept in The Tower of London where it remains on show to this day. Height 10cm Across 9cm.

King George IV State Diadem

The King George IV State Diadem forms part of the Crown Jewels. The Diadem was made in 1820 for the coronation of George VI. It was constructed to encircle the velvet “Cap of Estate” that he wore in the procession to Westminster Abbey.
The diadem included 1333 diamonds weighing 327.75 carats and 169 pearls along the base. In between the four crosses it features the rose, thistle and shamrock.which are the symbols the England, Scotland and Ireland.
The diadem was also worn during the coronation procession of Queen Victoria and later Queen Elizabeth II. It was also worn by Queen Elizabeth II in the procession of the State Opening of Parliament
The diadem appears worn by Queen Victoria (without the cap)on the penny black and all of her subsequent stamps.
Queen Elizabeth II wore the diadem on her way to her coronation. The diadem is completely circular. The four cross pattee set with diamonds represents St. George. The front cross has a rare honey coloured diamond in the centre and four diamond bouquets of the rose, thistle and shamrock of the United Kingdom. The diamond scrollwork band was remounted for Queen Alexandra in 1902 and is framed between two rown of pearls

Queen Mary’s Circlet
Queen Mary’s circlet is taken from Queen Mary’s original crown which was constructed in such a way that the arches could be removed allowing the crown to be worn as a circlet. The crown was first worn on 22nd June 1911
Queen Mary used the crown in circlet form at the coronation of George VI and at State ceremonies involving her granddaughter Queen Elizabeth II. The crown was made for Queen Mary’s coronation in 1911. It was regarded as the miracle of construction because is weighed less than 22oz. in full.
The Circlet originally contained the 3rd and 4th Stars of Africa, known as the Lesser Stars of Africa. They were the personal property of Queen Elizabeth II and were mounted into the crown in such a way so as to be removed and worn as a pendant or brooch. These stones were later replaced by replica crystal stones.
The weight of the full crown is 22oz. Circumference:23.7 inches Height 25cm

St Edwards Crown
This crown is the most important of all the crown jewels. It is with this crown that the monarch is crowned at the ceremony of the coronation.
The original crown was melted down during Oliver Cromwell’s rule. When the monarchy was restored on 29th May, 1660, new regalia had to be made before there could be a coronation. A copy was instructed to be made, to be traditionally used at the actual moment of crowning, but never worn again during the reign.
The crown is made of solid gold. Up until George V’s coronation it was set with paste stones and enamel mounts, In 1911, for the coronation of George V the crown was perminently set with semi-precious stones, and the imitation pearls were replaced with gold beads, which were plated with platinum.

The Imperial state Crown
The Imperial State Crown is the most magnificent of all the Crown Regalia. It was made in 1838 for the coronation of Queen Victoria, and then altered for the coronation of George VI in 1937 and Elizabeth II in 1953. It replaced the crown of St. Edward on the head of the ruler immediately after the coronation. Although the crown is modern in design it is set with very ancient gems.
The Black Prince’s Ruby is set into the central panel of the crown. The ruby looks like a clot of congealed blood. It is one of the most interesting and admired gems is existence.
Its history is surrounded by murder and bloodshed. It was first heard of in 1369 by which time it was already many centuries old. It was then owned by the King of Granada who was murdered by Don Pedro Castille (Peter the Cruel) who coveted the gem. He then gave it to the Black Prince as a token of gratitude for his assistance in the Battlefield of Navarertte.
On the death of the Black Prince the ruby was passed onto his son Richard II, but it soon figured again in battle, this time in Agncourt in 1915, when Henry V wore it in his coronet. Seventy years later in 1485 Richard III wore it in his helmet in the battle of Bosworth where he lost the throne and his life.
The ruby was hidden in a hawthorn bush, and was retrieved and used to crown the spot Henry VII. Under Oliver Cromwell, the jewels were melted down and destroyed. The Black Princes Ruby was bought by a jeweller who resold it to Charles II after the restoration of the Stuarts in 1660.
The Stuart Sapphire was set into the front of the crown by Charles II after the restoration in 1660. It is now set into the back of the crown. This jewel has somewhat of a romantic history. James II took it to France with him when he was dethroned and for the next 100 years is belonged to the Stuarts.
It was inherited by Cardinal York who bequeathed the sapphire to George III in 1807 and it was presented to him by his granddaughter Charlotte. After the death of Charlotte and George the King was eventually able to buy the gem . Queen Victoria had the sapphire set into her Imperial State Crown below the Black Princes ruby. It was reset to the back of the crown to make room the the Second Star of Africa, then the second largest diamond in the world.
The Cullinan diamond decorates brow of the Imperial State Crown, just below the Black Princes Ruby. It was found in Africa in 1905 weighing 3601 carats – the largest diamond in the world. Later the Transvaal Government made a gift of the enormous stone to Edward VII who had it cut into several pieces. The largest piece known as the Cullinan I (The Star of Africa) was set into the King’s sceptre, and the second largest – the Cullinan II (Second Star of Africa) was mounted to the front of the Imperial State Crown.
St. Edward’s sapphire is set into the Maltese Cross at the top of the Imperial State Crown. According to legend it was worn by Edward the Confessor mounted into a ring.
He was accosted by a beggar and gave him the ring. Many years later two pilgrims from the Holy Land returned the ring saying that it was given to them by an old man who claimed to by Saint John who said that the ring was given to him by a King when he was a beggar. Edward died soon after in 1066 and was buried with the recovered ring on his finger. When his coffin was opened two hundred years later, his body was found to be perfectly preserved. The Abbot of Westminster slipped the ring off his finger and it has remained part of the crown jewels ever since.
In addition the Imperial State Crown also contains 4 rubies, 11 emeralds, 17 sapphires, 277 pearls and over 3000 diamonds.
Weight 1.06 kgs Height 12.4 inches

Imperial Crown Of India
The Imperial Crown of India was made for King George V to wear at the Delhi Durbar in 1911, when he was acclaimed Emperor of India. The Imperial State Crown cannot be taken out of England. The Imperial Crown of India will probably never be worn again and its significance is now purely historical.
The crown has eight half arches which spring from the cross pattee and fleur-de-lis, and it contains a remarkably fine emerald, a number of other emeralds, sapphires, rubies and over 6000 diamonds which were sent over from India.

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