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March 30, 2009

Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom

The Imperial State Crown was made in 1937 for King George VI, and was similar to the Diamond crown made in 1838 for Queen Victoria. The present Crown is made of gold and includes four crosses pattée and four fleurs-de-lis, with two arches on top, surmounted by a cross pattée. The Crown includes many jewels: 2,868 diamonds, 273 pearls, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, and five rubies. Among the stones are several famous ones, including the Black Prince's Ruby (actually a spinel) and the Cullinan II diamond, also known as the Lesser Star of Africa. Two of the three pearls dangling from the crown were once worn by Queen Elizabeth I. It is worn after the conclusion of the Coronation ceremony when the monarch leaves Westminster Abbey, and also at the annual State Opening of Parliament.

The collective term Crown Jewels denotes the regalia and vestments worn by the sovereign of the United Kingdom during the coronation ceremony and at other state functions. The term refers to the following objects: the crowns, sceptres (with either the cross or the dove), orbs, swords, rings, spurs, colobium sindonis, dalmatic, armill, and the royal robe or pall, as well as several other objects connected with the ceremony itself.

The crown jewels are held at the Tower of London for the public to view, I didn't go inside the Tower while I was in London. Click here for more information.


Fly Girl said...

Now that's one touristy excursion that I regret not doing in London.

Ebony Intuition said...

I wanted to go in, but didn't want to pay 17 pounds LOL. Plus in certain places your not allowed to take pictures of artifacts so I skipped it, but will see it next time I go back.


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