Rumor has it that when Prince Charles is finally crowned king, he wants a more low-key coronation ceremony, but there’s no doubt that jewelry will play a starring role. These are not optional.
To start, Prince Charles will hold the sovereign’s golden scepter with the gigantic Cullinan I diamond, which weighs 530.2 carats. It is the largest cut white diamond in the world and one of the priceless scary objects used during the coronation service to represent the power and responsibilities of the monarch.
Even though Prince Charles wants to streamline the monarchy, some things, like the coronation service, which has been led by the Archbishop of Canterbury since the Norman Conquest in 1066, are dictated by tradition.
Prince Charles was just four years old when his mother, Queen Elizabeth, was crowned in 1953 in what has been billed as the most expensive and extravagant coronation to date, and it was the first live televised . You can expect the patient Prince (who, at 73, is the oldest and longest heir to the British throne) to follow royal rituals. “When it comes to ceremonial events such as a coronation and the official opening of Parliament, very established and traditional protocols are followed,” says Victoria Murphy, a journalist who covers the British royal family. “We all understand that the monarchy has modernized and is very different from what it was hundreds of years ago, but when it comes to events such as the coronation, looking to the past is the best way to understand what it will look like.
For the past 900 years, the coronation service has been held at Westminster Abbey. And while much of the service will follow the same protocols as his mother’s coronation, this time Prince Charles will be crowned alongside his wife Camilla. The Queen sealed the arrangement in February when she announced it was her “sincere wish” that Camilla be crowned queen consort when Charles takes the throne. The Queen’s mother received the same honor when her father, King George VI, was crowned in 1937.
Prince Charles will be weighed down with gold and diamonds.
When Prince Charles is crowned with the Crown of St. Edward, he will literally feel the weight of his responsibility: Composed of solid gold and 444 precious stones, including rubies, garnets, sapphires and tourmalines, the Crown of coronation weighs five pounds. It was originally made for the coronation of Charles II in 1661 to replace the medieval crown which was cast down in 1649 after the execution of King Charles I. Safely stored in the Tower of London, it was only brought out for royal coronations.
As a symbol of his religious commitment to the Church of England and the throne, Prince Charles will be presented with the Coronation Ring (also known as the Wedding Ring of England), which is placed at the fourth finger of the monarch’s right hand. It is the same ring that was used for nearly two centuries from the coronation of King William IV in 1831, who commissioned British jeweler Rundell, Bridge & Rundell to create the symbolic sapphire ring with baguette-cut rubies in shape of a cross. through the face. The rubies represent the Cross of St. George (for England) and the sapphire represents the Scottish flag. The only monarch who did not wear the ring was Queen Victoria, whose little fingers required a smaller version of the jewel.
In 1831, King William IV also commissioned the Queen’s consort ring for his wife Adelaide, featuring a rosy red ruby and diamonds. Queen Elizabeth’s mother wore this ring at the coronation of King George VI, and Camilla will likely wear the ring at the ceremony.
Prince Charles will also likely wear his signet ring on his left little finger, which is his showpiece – and almost never comes off. It dates back 175 years and was last worn by his uncle, the Duke of Windsor, who was the Prince of Wales before he came to the throne.
At the heart of the ceremony is the moment when the Archbishop of Canterbury blesses, anoints and consecrates Prince Charles, then presents him with the Sovereign’s Scepter. The scepter, which represents the power and governance of the crown, was originally made for the coronation of Charles II in 1661, and the same has been used at every coronation since, but became heavier in 1910, when King George V added the magnificent Cullinan I. diamond to the scepter.
The original Cullinan Diamond, a 3,106-carat stone unearthed in South Africa in 1905, was a gift to King Edward VII from the Transvaal government to help ease relations between Britain and South Africa after the war of the Boers. The king had the rough diamond cut into nine major stones and 96 smaller diamonds. After the Cullinan I, the second largest, the Cullinan II, was installed in the Imperial Crown of the State.
Prince Charles is also known to hold the royal orb, a Christian symbol of authority since the Middle Ages and a reminder that the monarch’s power comes from God. Made in 1661, the golden globe is surrounded by a cross set with emeralds, diamonds, rubies, pearls and sapphires, and a large amethyst on top.
Not all badges are embellished. You can expect the Archbishop to adorn Prince Charles with two gold armills, one on each wrist, which symbolize the monarch’s connection to the people. The simple gold bracelets lined with red velvet were made by Garrard for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth.
After the service, Prince Charles will likely return to the balcony of Buckingham Palace carrying the Imperial State Crown and waving to the crowd. This is perhaps the most famous crown as Queen Elizabeth has worn it many times, including at the opening of parliament. For the past few years, the crown (nearly three pounds with almost 3,000 stones) has been placed on a velvet pillow next to its queen when she addressed parliament. Even the queen gets tired of a heavy crown.
The Imperial State Crown has some of the most historic and outrageous crown gems. These include the 104-carat Stuart Sapphire and the 170-carat Black Prince Ruby (which is actually a red spinel), as well as the Cullinan II, four pearls believed to have belonged to a pair of the Queen’s earrings Elizabeth I, and a sapphire that belonged to Edward the Confessor.
However the monarch evolves under Prince Charles, it is clear that gems and regalia will endure through every generation.
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