Millions of people across the UK and beyond are preparing to celebrate the coronation of King Charles III on 6th May 2023.
The symbolic ceremony is being held at Westminster Abbey and will see King Charles III become the 40th reigning monarch crowned there since 1066.
The day of splendour and formality will feature customs dating back more than 1000 years, including the Coronation Regalia – the sacred objects used during the coronation ceremony. These unique objects represent the powers and responsibilities of the monarch and were most recently used at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.
Jewellery experts at Steven Stone have taken a close look at a particularly impressive piece of the Coronation Regalia – the crown that King Charles III will wear to leave Westminster Abbey following his coronation.
Fitted with a purple velvet cap and an ermine band, the Imperial State Crown was commissioned for the coronation of King George VI in 1937, but is similar to a headpiece created for Queen Victoria in 1838.
Though renowned for being worn by the monarch as they leave Westminster Abbey after their coronation, it is also used on other State occasions including the annual State Opening of Parliament.
The second-largest stone cut from the Cullinan Diamond – the largest diamond ever mined – adorns the front. Above the pear-shaped diamond is amethyst surmounted by a cross pattée encrusted with an emerald and small diamonds.
The Imperial State Crown also contains St Edward’s Sapphire. Dating back to 1066, the sapphire is said to be from the ring of King Edward the Confessor – one of the last Anglo-Saxon Kings of England.
St Edward was buried with his treasure at Westminster Abbey, but his tomb was opened and the ring removed when his coffin was moved from one part of Westminster Abbey to another shine in the 12th century.
Our experts estimate the Imperial State Crown to be worth £2.5 billion.
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