Wednesday, 10 March 2021

The Crown Jewels

St. Edward’s Crown, Anointing Spoon, Ampulla, Imperial State Crown, Orb, Armills, Spurs, Coronation Ring, Sceptre with Cross, Chalice, Sceptre with Dove, Paten, Jewelled Sword of Offering.
The collective term Crown Jewels denotes the regalia and vestments worn by the sovereign of the United Kingdom. The earliest known use of regalia in England was discovered by archaeologists in 1988 in Deal, Kent and dates to between 200 and 150 B.C. Inside the tomb of the "Mill Hill Warrior" was a bronze crown, a sword, a scabbard, a brooch and a ceremonial shield.
The Crown Jewels are displayed to millions of visitors every year, and are guarded by Yeomen Warders (‘Beefeaters’) in the Tower of London. The Jewel House at the Tower has been used for the secure storage of the precious ceremonial objects since the early 14th century.

Although attempts have been made to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower, most notably by Colonel Blood in 1671, none have succeeded.
The Imperial State Crown incorporates many famous gemstones including the 317 carat Cullinan II diamond, Black Prince’s Ruby, the Stuart Sapphire, St Edward’s Sapphire and Queen Elizabeth’s Pearls.

The Sovereign traditionally wears the Imperial State Crown at the conclusion of the coronation service, when leaving Westminster Abbey. It is also worn for the State Opening of Parliament.
The Sovereign's Orb weighs 1.32kg and is made from unmarked gold and set with over 600 precious stones and pearls. It was made for Charles II's coronation in 1661.

Dating from 1661, the Sovereign's Sceptre with Cross signifies temporal power. The sceptre is 92.2cm long. Precious stones include the 530 carat Cullinan I diamond.

Regalia includes three swords which represent mercy, spiritual justice and temporal justice.
The ampulla, dated 1661, is a golden eagle flask which holds the holy oil used in the anointing of the Sovereign during a coronation.

The Queen holds the Orb and Sceptre used at her coronation, June 2, 1953.