On Saturday, at the coronation, King Charles III will be crowned with the crown of St. Edward. This valuable item can only be used once per reign…and only for one hour.
A replica of the crown of King Edward, who ruled England a thousand years ago, the coronation crown for Charles III was used at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II on June 2, 1953, and has been in storage ever since.
“It’s an impressive object in solid gold set with hundreds of precious stones,” says journalist and monarchy expert Mark Laurento, who saw St. Edward’s crown firsthand during a 1990 visit to London.
Crosses and lilies
In addition to the 444 precious stones that adorn its golden arches (ruby, sapphire, topaz, tourmaline and zircon, among others), the crown is set on an ermine strip as a symbol of purity and moral virtue.
The crown is decorated with the fleur-de-lys, which symbolizes the monarchy, and the four crosses. “This religious symbol reminds us that the power of kings comes from God; At least that’s what they say,” said Mr. Lorenzo comments.
It is difficult to establish the commercial value of such an item carefully preserved in the Tower of London. Estimates range from $39 million to $57 million.
An embarrassing gem
In addition to its highly symbolic function, St. Edward’s crown is known to be … heavy.
Weighing more than 2.4 kg (5 lb), it is one of the most embarrassing jewels of the British monarchy. Queen Elizabeth II feared the sovereign would break her neck if she leaned over to read a speech. She often associated this fact with humor.
Because of its weight, Queen Victoria in 1837 and King Edward IV in 1901 refused to use it at their coronations. But Charles III would have worn it!
- Listen to an interview with Benoît Tanguay, editor of La Riposte Social magazine, on What Is the Real Portrait of King Charles: Benoît Dudrysac’s Project QUB-Radio :
Charles III’s coronation will begin at 11 a.m. (6 a.m. in Quebec) at Westminster Abbey in London. It will be celebrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.
At noon, the Primate of the Anglican Church places St. Edward’s Crown on the King’s head to the sound of trumpets; Cannon salutes will ring across England.
At the end of the ceremony, the “Imperial Crown” crowns the new monarch as he begins his procession to Buckingham Palace.
This very comfortable piece of jewelry was worn by the Queen at least once a year on the occasion of the commencement of a session of Parliament.
The crown is also used to honor deceased monarchs at state funerals in the United Kingdom.
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