Crown Jewels facts
Anna Keay – author of The Crown Jewels – reveals her 10 favourite facts about the most complete collection of royal regalia.
Part of the Royal Collection, the Crown Jewels attract millions of visitors to the Tower of London every year. Here are 10 things that you really ought to know…
Until the reign of Queen Victoria, it was common practice for the gems in the Crown Jewels to be hired from the crown jeweller for the coronation for four per cent of their value.
2. Made of money
At the end of the English Civil War the Council of State ordered the Crown Jewels be destroyed. Almost all the pieces used for the coronation of King Charles I were taken to the Mint within the Tower of London and melted down. They re-emerged as coinage, used to pay the army that had defeated the king.
3. Spoon saver
The only item of coronation regalia to survive the destruction of the collection at the end of the Civil War was the Coronation Spoon. Clement Kynnersley who had bought it at the 1649 sale quietly returned this exquisite 12th-century gold spoon to King Charles II.
4. A small fortune
Heartbroken by the death of her husband, Queen Victoria went into mourning, never again wearing the Imperial State Crown with its brightly coloured gems. In 1871 the tiny Small Diamond Crown measuring less than 10cm across and set only with clear stones, was made for her instead. It was placed on her coffin at her death.
5. Close call
The Crown Jewels were stolen from the Jewel House in 1672. The thieves were disturbed during the crime and wrestled to the ground on the Tower wharf, with the crown, orb and sceptre hidden under their cloaks. After being repaired the jewels were returned to the Tower and kept safely behind bars.
6. Keeping the crown
When King Edward VIII abdicated from the throne in 1937 to marry Wallis Simpson, he left Britain for the Continent, taking with him the Prince of Wales Crown, which he had worn at the coronation of his father in 1911. It was only returned to the Jewel House on his death.
King Edward VII’s coronation was postponed shortly before the ceremony when it became clear that the King was suffering from appendicitis. He received an appendectomy on the Buckingham Palace billiard table and was to be found sitting up in bed smoking a cigar the following day.
8. Something borrowed
In the age of Shakespeare King James I’s wife, Anne of Denmark, enjoyed acting the plays performed at court, and used to borrow items of the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London to use as props. Pieces were sometimes returned broken.
9. Great honour
Although the British Empire once extended over dozens of dominions, only one – India – had a new crown made for it, which King George V wore at the inaugural ceremony known as the Delhi Durbar in 1911. Set with over 6, 000 gems, it is one of the most sensational objects in the Crown Jewels but has only ever been worn once.What does responsibility mean? How to roast?? What is the meaning of the word ambitious? How to do easy tricks on a scooter? How to draw a skeleton? What is the meaning of yom kippur? How many points in eucher if you eucher and take 5 tricks? What does mid mean slang? What is the dea? What does an abscess look like? What is arithmetic mean? How to see blocked people on facebook? How to do tricks with discovery hd upgrade drone? Decor tips how to keep cats from scratching walls? What does dichotomy mean? How to make rice on the stove?? What does legitimate mean? How to teach your guinea pig tricks? I said what i said meaning? What song is playing? 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