Britain’s 17th-century St Edward’s Crown, the centerpiece of the Crown Jewels, has been removed from display to be altered for the coronation of King Charles III, Buckingham Palace announced on Saturday.
The solid gold crown, encrusted with rubies, amethysts, sapphires, garnets, topazes and tourmalines, will undergo “modification work” for the coronation of Charles III at Westminster Abbey on May 6, the palace said.
The crown is the centerpiece of the Crown Jewels, a large collection of royal regalia housed in the Tower of London which attracts over a million visitors a year.
He has a purple velvet cap with an ermine band, stands just over 30 cm (one foot), and is very heavy.
It was last worn by Queen Elizabeth II at her coronation in 1953.
Charles III, 74, will be crowned with his wife, Queen Consort Camilla.
The ceremony will be followed by a national holiday on May 8.
The crown was made for King Charles II in 1661 to replace a medieval crown although it dates back to Edward the Confessor.
The original had been melted down by parliamentarians after the execution of Charles I.
For hundreds of years thereafter, the crown was only carried in coronation processions because it was too heavy to carry.
It was modified to make it lighter for the coronation of King George V in 1911, but still weighs 2.23 kilograms (nearly five pounds).
Charles III will only wear it at the time of his coronation.
When he leaves Westminster Abbey, Charles will wear the more modern Imperial Crown, also used for occasions such as the opening of parliament.
Set with over 2,000 diamonds, the Imperial State Crown was created in 1937 for the coronation of King George VI, the father of Elizabeth II.
The coronation traditionally takes place a few months after the accession to the throne of a new sovereign, after a period of national and royal mourning and intense preparation.
Charles immediately became king upon the death of his mother on September 8. He also served as head of state for 14 Commonwealth countries, including Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
Concerned about public perceptions, he would have asked for a less lavish ceremony than the festivities organized for Elizabeth II in 1953.
The Queen, who was 96, died at her Balmoral estate in Scotland after a year of declining health. She ruled for a record 70 years.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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