The Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom are an iconic symbol of the country’s monarchy and its long and rich history. They are a collection of ceremonial objects and regalia that are used by the reigning monarch during coronations and other state occasions. The Crown Jewels are kept on display at the Tower of London, which is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. In this article, we will delve into the history and significance of the Crown Jewels and what makes them such an important part of British culture.
Historical Significance of The Crown Jewels
The Crown Jewels have a long and fascinating history that dates back to the Middle Ages. The first recorded use of the Crown Jewels was in 1066, when William the Conqueror was crowned King of England. The Crown Jewels were used to symbolize his divine right to rule and his power over the country.
Over the centuries, the Crown Jewels have been added to and improved upon by successive monarchs. They have been used in countless coronations and state occasions, and have become an integral part of British culture and identity. Today, the Crown Jewels are an important symbol of the monarchy and the country’s rich history and traditions.
What Are the Crown Jewels Made Of?
The Crown Jewels are made up of a number of different objects, each with its own unique history and significance. Some of the most important pieces include:
- The Crown of St. Edward: This crown was made in 1661 for the coronation of Charles II. It is made of gold and set with over 400 precious stones, including diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, and rubies.
- The Sceptre: This is a ceremonial staff that is used by the monarch during state occasions. The current sceptre was made in 1661 and is topped with a large diamond known as the Star of Africa.
- The Orb: This is a gold sphere that represents the monarch’s power and authority. The current orb was made in 1661 and is set with numerous precious stones, including diamonds, emeralds, and rubies.
- The Imperial State Crown: This is the crown that is used by the monarch during the State Opening of Parliament. It was made in 1937 for the coronation of King George VI and is set with over 3,000 precious stones, including diamonds, sapphires, and rubies.
In addition to these pieces, the Crown Jewels also include numerous other objects, such as swords, rings, and badges, that are used in coronations and other state occasions.
Important Historical Names and Dates Associated with the Crown Jewels
Over the centuries, the Crown Jewels have been used in countless coronations and state occasions, and have been associated with many important historical figures. Some of the most notable names and dates include:
- 1066: The first recorded use of the Crown Jewels during the coronation of William the Conqueror.
- 1216: The Crown Jewels were lost when King John attempted to cross the River Wash in Lincolnshire. They were eventually recovered from the mud by a group of local fishermen.
- 1649: The Crown Jewels were sold off by Oliver Cromwell following the execution of King Charles I.
- 1661: The current set of Crown Jewels were created for the coronation of King Charles II.
- 1953: The Crown Jewels were used in the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, which was watched by millions of people around the world.
The Crown Jewels Tour Experience
The Crown Jewels are kept on display at the Tower of London, which is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. Visitors can take a tour of the Tower and see the Crown Jewels up close. Click to see the latest prices for the Tour Tickets.
The Crown Jewels are housed in the Jewel House, which is a secure building located inside the Tower of London. Visitors to the Tower can purchase tickets to see the Crown Jewels and are usually advised to book in advance to avoid long queues.
Once inside the Jewel House, visitors are taken on a self-guided tour that includes a display of the Crown Jewels and other ceremonial objects. The display includes the crowns, sceptres, orbs, and other objects that make up the Crown Jewels collection.
The display is designed to showcase the beauty and historical significance of the Crown Jewels, and visitors can expect to be wowed by the sheer size and number of precious stones and jewels that are on display. The Imperial State Crown, for example, is set with over 3,000 diamonds, including the famous Cullinan II diamond, which is one of the largest cut diamonds in the world.
The Crown Jewels are what most visitors to the Tower of London come to see. This incomparable collection of crowns, orbs, swords, scepters and other regalia, and gold and silver plate was refashioned in 1661 after parliament had ordered the original gold and precious metals to be melted down for coinage in 1649.
The Imperial State Crown worn by monarchs at their coronations is set with jewels of great antiquity and historical significance. The oldest is Edward the Confessor’s sapphire, believed to have been worn by him in a ring and now mounted in the cross patee above the monde. The great gem above the rim is the ancient balas-ruby, known as the Black Prince’s ruby, which is said to have been given to him by Pedro the Cruel of Castile.
From the intersections of the arches hang four superb drop pearls, the so-called Queen Elizabeth’s Earrings, but there is no evidence that she ever wore them in this way. Set in the rim at the back of the crown is the Stuart sapphire. It is probably much older than its name implies but is known to have been in the possession of James II when he fled to France after his deposition. It was formerly mounted in the rim, at the front, but was displaced by the Second Star of Africa cut from the Cullinan diamond. In addition to these jewels, the Imperial State Crown contains over 3,000 diamonds and pearls, as well as fine sapphires, emeralds, and rubies.
The Royal Sceptre with the Cross is a rod of chased gold, with the peerless Star of Africa cut from the Cullinnan diamond held in a heart-shaped mount. Above this is a superb amethyst with a diamond-encrusted cross set with an emerald.
Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother’s Crown was made for her coronation as queen consort in 1937. This graceful crown is set with diamonds, dominated by the famous Koh-i-noor. Its Indian name means “Mountain of Light” and the jewel has a long and turbulent history. Tradition says that its male owners will suffer misfortune, but women who possess it will rule the world.
Visitors can also learn about the history and significance of the Crown Jewels through informative displays and multimedia presentations. The display includes information about the making of the Crown Jewels, the history of the monarchy, and the various coronations and state occasions where they have been used.
Overall, the Crown Jewels tour experience is a must-see for anyone interested in British history and culture. The display is both impressive and informative, and visitors can expect to come away with a newfound appreciation for the history and significance of the Crown Jewels.