Four crowns to look out for at Queen Elizabeths funeral – pictures
Queen: Kate, Camilla and Sophie emotionally watch coffin
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When Queen Elizabeth’s coffin was taken to St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh on Monday for a 24-hour lying-in-state, it was adorned with the Crown of Scotland. This is the first of four crowns that will play a prominent ceremonial role in both the Queen’s funeral arrangements and the coronation of King Charles III.
In London, the Imperial State Crown will be placed on the coffin, and at the coronation, the Archbishop of Canterbury will place St Edward’s Crown on the King’s head.
Camilla, the Queen Consort will wear the newest of the four crowns, the Crown of Queen Elizabeth, which was made for the Queen Mother in 1937.
All of them will need to be resized, particularly the three which will be worn by the King, as he has a larger head than his late mother.
This may involve considerable work increasing the size of the crown’s circlets and adding extra stones.
Interestingly, the reverse of that process was carried out to make the jewels smaller for Queen Elizabeth.
The Crown of Scotland is the oldest of all the royal regalia, which is worn by the monarch at the State Opening of the Scottish Parliament.
Made of solid gold, it pre-dates the Union as it was made in 1540.
It is kept in Edinburgh Castle as part of the Honours of Scotland.
The Imperial State Crown is worn by the monarch at the State Opening of Parliament and was placed on the late Queen’s coffin when it left Buckingham Palace on its way to Westminster Hall on Wednesday.
The original crown jewels were destroyed by Oliver Cromwell, and the crown on which it is based was made in 1660 for Charles II.
It dates from 1937 when it was remade for the coronation of George VI by then royal jeweller Garrard & Co.
It is largely the same as the crown worn by Queen Victoria, which was badly damaged in 1845 when the Duke of Argyll dropped it from a cushion at the State Opening in 1845.
St Edward’s Crown is the most important and sacred of the crowns.
It is only used once in the lifetime of each monarch when it is placed on their head at the coronation.
Weighing nearly five pounds, the solid gold jewel is also the heaviest crown.
The Crown of Queen Elizabeth is the crown that the Queen Consort is expected to wear at her husband’s coronation and it is the only crown in the royal collection which is made of platinum.
When Edward VIII abdicated in 1936, Garrard & Co rapidly had to design and fashion an entirely new crown for the Queen Mother for her husband’s coronation.
A Queen Consort’s crown did exist at the time, but Queen Mary, the mother of George VI, had made it known that she intended to wear it to the coronation, breaking with the tradition that widows did not attend the coronation of their late husband’s successor.
Needing precious stones for the new crown, the jewellers took the Koh-i-Noor diamond from Queen Mary’s crown to act as the centrepiece and replaced it with one of the smaller stones cut from the Cullinan diamond.
The crown is set with a total of 2,800 diamonds, and its arches can be detached so that it can be worn as a circlet.
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