As the coronation of Charles III draws near, attention turns to the Crown jewels and who will be wearing these stunning pieces. Of intense interest will be the crown worn by Camilla, Queen Consort. Normally, a new crown would be made for the Queen Consort, but Camilla has chosen to wear Queen Mary’s crown with substantial modifications.
The modifications will include a tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II. Four of the eight arches will be removed to create a different style and silhouette, and the crown will be resized.
Central to the modifications will be the resetting of diamonds from Queen Elizabeth II’s jewellery collection. The large Koh-i-noor gem weighing 105.6 carats is the subject of a long standing international row concerning India. It was originally seized by the East India Company and presented to Queen Victoria. India has raised concerns that if used in the upcoming coronation, it would provide an unwelcome reminder of the British Empire.
The Crown Jeweller, Garrard’s, will reset the crown with the late Queen’s Cullinan III, IV and V diamonds. The Cullinan III and IV were fondly known as ‘Grannie’s chips’ and were worn by the Queen in the form of a brooch until her passing in 2022.
The Cullinan V diamond was worn by the late Queen in the form or a heart shaped brooch and is set in a diamond and platinum surround to emphasise the heart shape.
Previously, the Cullinan diamonds have been set into the Queen Mary Crown. Cullinan II and IV were set for the 1911 coronation of George V and Cullinan V was added when the crown was worn as a regal circlet at the 1937 coronation of King George VI.
King Charles will be crowned with the St Edward’s Crown that was made for Charles II in 1661.
It’s been reported that King Charles will wear military uniform and Bruce Oldfield, long time fashion designer to the royals, will design and ensemble for Camilla. Whatever the outfits, capes or gowns nothing will outdo the glittering presence of the jewels in the crowns.