The Imperial State Crown is one of the most iconic crowns worn by the British monarch Queen Elizabeth II during her seven decades on the throne.
Her Majesty’s heir, King Charles III, is now the sovereign monarch of the United Kingdom and owner of this royal treasure. The king, along with other members of the royal family, accompanied the queen’s coffin from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, where she will lie in state until her funeral next week.
Her coffin currently sits on top of a raised platform draped in a royal standard with the Imperial State Crown placed on top of it. The queen was 96 when she passed away in Scotland at her beloved Balmoral Castle.
The crown was worn during the queen’s coronation in 1953, following the death of her father, King George VI, and at the openings of Parliament.It is a part of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom, a collection of crowns worn by the monarch to symbolize the over 800 years of rule by the British royal family.
Originally crafted for Queen Victoria during her coronation in 1838, the crown was remade again in 1937 for King Edward II to resemble the St. Edward’s Crown. A few months after his mother’s funeral, King Charles will officially be proclaimed king and will wear the St. Edward’s Crown at the coronation in Westminster Abbey.
However, the Imperial State Crown will still remain one of the most prized jewels in the royal collection. The crown contains the world’s fourth-largest polished diamond and is adorned with nearly precious stones.
In the brow of the crown is a 317.4-carat stone from a Cullinan Diamond, which was found in Africa at the start of the 20th century. Four rubies, 17 Sapphires, 269 pearls, and thousands of smaller diamonds also make up the stunning beauty of the crown.
More specifically, the Black Prince’s Ruby and Stuart Saphire are some of the most famous jewels from the entire royal collection on this crown.
While it is not being used by the monarch, the Crown is heavily guarded in the Tower of London in the Crown Jewel collection. The public may view the Imperial State Crown in the Jewel House located within the tower.
Only three people on Earth have the legal right to touch the crown, the monarch, the Archbishop of Canterbury during the monarch’s coronation, and the Crown Jeweller, who oversees its maintenance.