23/02/2024

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A Symbol Of British Royalty, Grandeur And Regal Tradition

11 min read
A Symbol Of British Royalty, Grandeur And Regal Tradition

Are you interested to know more about St. Edward’s Crown? I got you covered! I’m a British citizen and I love the history and the complex world of the British Monarchy and its traditions. I would love to share with you the main highlight of the British Crown Jewels.

Welcome to a journey through the glistening world of the British Crown Jewels. These brilliant gems have been handed down through the generations, each holding a special tale and an extensive past. The St. Edward’s Crown is one of the priceless items in this collection that stands out as a representation of British royalty and tradition.

You will get a closer look at this magnificent crown, its history, and its importance in British culture in this blog post. So buckle up as you enter the world of the Crown Jewels and learn the mysteries of one of the most recognizable symbols of the British monarchy.

Read more: British Culture: Great Traditions and Celebrations in the UK

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What is the St. Edward’s crown?

St. Edward's Crown of the British Monarch
St. Edward’s Crown
Sir Robert Viner, 1st Baronet, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Simply put, one of the most recognizable royal symbols in the world is St. Edward’s Crown. The centrepiece of all the British Crown Jewels, the crown is worn during all coronation ceremonies. St. Edward’s Crown usage was first documented in 1220. The Royal Family would transfer and circulate it for many years after being used for Henry III’s coronation.

As you might expect, there are numerous unique pieces of gold, diamonds, and other precious metals. The crown is reportedly five pounds in weight and 11.8 inches tall, making it noticeably heavy. Gold, ermine, velvet, and several different gemstones give the crown its recognizable appearance.

Until the Royal Family invested in the gems that are now used in the crown, it is said that all of the gemstones used in crowns were essentially rentals that would be replaced after use. St. Edward’s Crown is unquestionably one of the most impressive in the collection, despite the fact that it is rarely used. In terms of grandeur, perhaps only the Imperial State Crown comes close.

History of the St. Edward’s Crown

One of the most iconic symbols of the British Royal Family is the St. Edward’s Crown, a sign of British monarchy that is steeped in history and tradition. From King Charles II’s reign, it has been used at every coronation of a British monarch.

The crown, which was created by renowned goldsmiths of the era, has 444 precious and semi-precious stones that add to its magnificence. In addition to other stones, a deeper inspection reveals rubies, sapphires, pearls, tourmalines, topazes, amethysts, garnet, and aquamarines.

The crown bears the name of King Edward the Confessor, who received a similar crown during his coronation in the eleventh century. It took the place of the medieval crown, which was thought to have belonged to the last Anglo-Saxon king of England, Edward the Confessor, who lived in the 11th century, and was destroyed in 1649 by the Parliamentarians.

The St. Edward’s Crown is not an exact replica of the medieval crown, but it does have certain characteristics. It has two arches, four fleurs-de-lis, and four crosses-pattée, all of which were also on the original crown.

The newly crowned monarch dons the St. Edward’s Crown during the coronation ritual to symbolize their accession to the throne. When the next coronation occurs, the crown is held in the Tower of London after being returned there.

The history of the Crown Jewels is extensive and intriguing, and St. Edward’s Crown is unquestionably one of the collection’s most notable items. The fact that it is now one of the Crown Jewels on display at the Tower of London is proof of the British monarchy’s long and illustrious history.

What jewels are on the St. Edward’s crown?

A vibrant array of 444 stones, including 345 aquamarines, 37 white topazes, 27 tourmalines, 12 rubies, 7 amethysts, 6 sapphires, 2 jargoons (colorless zircons), 1 garnet, 1 spinel, and 1 carbuncle, are set in the St. Edward’s Crown (red almandine). This brings the total to 439, and it is unknown who the final six are. The crown has an ermine band around its velvet cap.

The band of the crown is surrounded by rows of gold beads and mounted with sixteen clusters. Each cluster has a rectangle or octagonal step-cut stone set in a collet that is enameled with modelled acanthus leaves and is surrounded by mostly round rose-cut topaz and aquamarine stones. Four fleurs-de-lis and four crosses-pattée mounted with clusters of big step-cut stones and smaller rose-cut stones are displayed above the band.

The two arches are mounted with step-cut stones and clusters of smaller rose-cut stones in applied mounts with enameled settings, together with gold beads (which replace earlier rows of imitation pearls). The monde, which was replaced in 1685, supports a cross-pattée with drop-shaped beads and step-cut and rose-cut stones, and has similar mounts and gold beads.

How much is the St. Edward’s crown worth?

One of the most valuable and well-known representations of British royalty is the St. Edward’s Crown, yet it is challenging to determine its exact value. The value of the precious metals and stones used in the crown can be estimated, despite the fact that the Royal Jewels are regarded as priceless.

The St. Edward’s Crown was estimated worth $4,519,719 in total. Based on the materials and gemstones used in the crown, this is just an estimate. 444 precious and semi-precious stones, including rubies, sapphires, amethysts, and pearls, are set in the crown, which is constructed of solid gold. The Black Prince’s Ruby, a spinel with a weight of about 170 carats, is the largest gem on the crown.

The St. Edward’s Crown’s cultural and historical significance, however, significantly outweighs its financial worth. Every British monarch since Charles II in 1661 has been crowned using it, making it a symbol of centuries of British monarchy and tradition. It stands for the king’s divine right to govern and is named after King Edward the Confessor, the final Anglo-Saxon king of England.

The crown is currently preserved in the Tower of London, one of the most well-known tourist destinations in the area, together with the other Royal Jewels. The unique design and exquisiteness of its precious stones can be admired by visitors. While owning a crown like St. Edward’s may be unattainable, witnessing it in person is an unforgettable experience.

What is the difference between St. Edward’s Crown and the Imperial State Crown?

St. Edward's Crown: Imperial State Crown of British Monarchy
The Imperial State Crown
Cyril Davenport (1848 – 1941), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The Imperial State Crown and St. Edward’s Crown are two of the most significant and recognizable items in the collection of British Crown Jewels. While the king wears both crowns during coronation ceremonies, there are several significant distinctions between the two.

The more conventional of the two crowns, St. Edward’s Crown has been worn in the majority of historical coronation rites. It was created for Charles II’s coronation in 1661 and was given the name Edward the Confessor in honor of the sainted king who ruled England from 1042 to 1066. The crown is over a foot tall, constructed of solid gold, and weighs almost 5 pounds. St. Edward’s Crown is decorated with gems and pearls and has a distinctive arch shape.

The Imperial State Crown, on the other hand, was created for Queen Victoria’s coronation in 1838 and has since been used in the majority of coronations. More than 3,000 diamonds are embedded in its gold and silver construction, including the renowned Cullinan II diamond, the second-largest diamond in the world. Other priceless stones like rubies, sapphires, and emeralds are also included in the Imperial State Crown. The crown is almost a foot tall and more than two pounds in weight.

Although while both crowns are important representations of British heritage and royalty, their design and histories primarily distinguish them from one another. The Imperial State Crown is more contemporary and has more elaborate and decorative design components than St. Edward’s Crown, which is more conventional and has been in use for centuries.

What is the sovereign orb?

St. Edward's Crown: British Monarchy Sovereigns Orb
Sovereign’s Orb
Cyril Davenport (1848 – 1941), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

A piece of ceremonial attire is called the Sovereign’s Orb. It was crafted by the royal jeweller Robert Viner for Charles II’s coronation in 1661. Since Charles II’s coronation, it has been used at all ceremonies and royal celebrations.

The power of the sovereign is symbolized by the Orb. With its cross hung on a globe, it represents the Christian world, and the bands of jewels dividing it into three portions stand in for the three known continents in medieval times.

mounted with single rows of pearls and clusters of emeralds, rubies, and sapphires that are encircled by rose-cut diamonds. The summit of the cross is decorated with rose-cut diamonds, an emerald in the center on one side, a sapphire on the other, pearls at the angles, and pearls at the tips of each arm.

Colonel Thomas Blood’s attempt to take the regalia in 1671 resulted in damage to it. The Orb represents Christian rule over the planet. At the coronation of George I in 1714, it was set with 12 huge diamonds, 30 rubies, sapphires, and emeralds.

The Archbishop of Canterbury places the orb in the monarch’s right hand during the coronation ceremony. Back on the altar it goes. The Crown, Scepter, and Orb are all carried by the monarch as they leave the coronation.

In 1689, William and Mary assumed the titles of King and Queen, respectively. For Mary II, an orb was created. It’s referred to as Queen Mary’s Orb. It was only ever utilized once. At her funeral, Queen Victoria’s coffin was draped with both orbs.

The orbs are hollow, golden balls. The Orb of the Sovereign is 6.5 “to the diameter. It has a 42oz/7dwt weight. The orb of Queen Mary is smaller, measuring 5.75 inches “to the diameter. It is 34oz 6dwt in weight. The initial jewels in Queen Mary’s orb were rented ones. Currently, imitations are used to set it up as an exhibition. Almost 600 precious stones and pearls are presently put in the Sovereign’s Orb.

Who currently owns the St. Edward’s crown?

One of the most important Crown Jewels in the collection, the St. Edward’s Crown is kept in the trust of the country by the monarch. The Crown Jewels, which include the St. Edward’s Crown, are regarded as belonging to the United Kingdom’s national heritage and are not owned by any person or organization. The Tower of London’s Jewel House is in charge of looking after them and is in charge of ensuring their protection.

The St. Edward’s Crown plays a significant role in the coronation ritual since the Crown Jewels are transferred to the new monarch upon their accession to the throne. Only during the actual coronation ceremony is it worn, after which it is brought back to the Tower of London for storage.

When the monarchy was restored in 1660, the Crown Jewels have been kept in trust for the country. In actuality, they were the king’s personal property at first, but King George III consented to give the state possession in return for an annual payment that is still given to the royal family today.

The St. Edward’s Crown, one of the most recognizable representations of the British monarchy, plays a significant role in the history and culture of the nation. It represents centuries of history and pageantry, and while the monarch owns it in trust for the country, it is a genuine part of that nation’s cultural legacy.

Will King Charles III wear the St. Edward’s crown for the coronation?

It is true that during King Charles III’s coronation on May 6 at Westminster Abbey, the 74-year-old prince would be wearing the St. Edward’s Crown, a sumptuous headpiece sparkling with 444 gemstones set in 22-karat yellow gold. The crown has a total carat weight of 22.

The crown, which was paradoxically made for King Charles II in 1661 but dates back to the 17th century and is considered to be the most important component of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom, dates back to that era.

The St. Edward’s Crown has been stored away at the Tower of London throughout the vast majority of its 362-year lifetime, during which it has been put to very little service. In point of fact, the St. Edward’s Crown has only been selected for use at the coronations of a total of six monarchs: Charles II (1661), James II (1685), William III (1689), George V (1911), and George VI (1937), as well as Elizabeth II (1952). (1953).

Some have chosen to wear other royal crowns that are more to their liking and provide a higher level of comfort. For example, Queen Victoria (1838) and Edward VII (1902) made the decision to forsake the honor of using the St. Edward’s Crown due to its weight and instead chose to use the Imperial State Crown instead.

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I hope that inspired and excites you to visit the Crown Jewels in London. You can book this tour of the Tower of London and Crown Jewels Exhibition Ticket. It is surely not to be missed when you visit London, UK.

St. Edward's Crown : A Symbol of British Royalty, Grandeur and Regal Tradition pin
St Edward’s Crown: A Symbol of British Royalty, Grandeur and Regal Tradition

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Everything Zany Dual Citizen Travel Blog

Everything Zany

Travel Blog

Everything Zany Travel Blog exploring the UK and beyond. Sharing travel guides, tips, history, and culture. Our travel media brand is founded by travel and hotel industry expert – Ryazan Tristram, a Dual Citizen (British – Filipina) based in Birmingham, UK. Everything Zany is a reputable and award-winning travel blog. Our work and contributions have been featured in Huffington Post, CNBC, Discovery Channel, GMA, Readers Digest, and Lonely Planet. Our missions are to build a great travel community and resource of travel tips, visas, and travel guides for travelers. Join us as we travel around the UK and beyond with a mission to share the best of the world.

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