Advertisement
Nation & World

St. Edward’s Crown moved out of Tower of London ahead of King Charles III coronation

LONDON — St. Edward’s Crown, the centerpiece of the Crown Jewels viewed by millions of people every year at the Tower of London, has been moved to an undisclosed location for modification in preparation for the coronation of King Charles III next year.

The move was kept secret for security reasons until the operation was complete, Buckingham Palace said in a statement Saturday. The palace provided no details and didn’t say where the modification work would take place.

Advertisement

Charles will be crowned on May 6 at Westminster Abbey in a ceremony that will embrace the past but look to the modern world after the 70-year reign of the late Queen Elizabeth II. The Imperial State Crown will also be used during the service.

Versions of St. Edward’s Crown are believed to have been used by monarchs since the 11th century.

Advertisement
In this photo provided by the Royal Collection Trust/© His Majesty King Charles III 2022 on Dec 3, 2022, a photo of the St Edward's Crown which will be worn by King Charles III on his Coronation on May 6, 2023.

The current crown was made for Charles II in 1661, as a replacement for the original, which was melted down in 1649 after the House of Commons abolished the monarchy and declared a commonwealth during the English Civil War. The original was thought to date back to Edward the Confessor, who reigned in 1042-1066.

The crown includes a 2.23-kilogram (4.91-pound) solid gold frame — set with rubies, amethysts, sapphires, garnets, topazes and tourmalines — a purple velvet cap and ermine band. It was worn by Elizabeth during her coronation in 1953.

Charles will be crowned in a solemn religious ceremony conducted by Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, the palace said in a statement. Camilla, the queen consort, will be crowned alongside her husband.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is crowned the Monarch of Britain holding the Royal Scepter, sat on throne, wearing St. Edward's crown, at Westminster Abbey, in London, June 2, 1953.

The palace is planning the coronation, known as Operation Golden Orb, as Charles and his heir, Prince William, seek to demonstrate that the monarchy is still relevant in modern, multi-cultural Britain.

While there was widespread respect for Elizabeth, as demonstrated by the tens of thousands of people who waited hours to file past her coffin, there is no guarantee that reverence will transfer to Charles.


Advertisement