Crown Jewels

The Tower of London
 

The Crown Jewels
The Crown Jewels of England contain a fabulous collection of precious jewels set in the regalia used by the Royal family. England is the only European monarchy which still uses its regalia for the coronation ceremony when crowning a new Sovereign. The Crown jewels of England contain two of the most famous diamonds in the World - the Cullinan Diamond, also called the Great Star of Africa and the Kohinoor Diamond. The Crown Jewels of England contain magnificent regal emblems including coronets, crowns, sceptres and orbs. The King's Crown alone contains 2818 diamonds, 297 pearls, and many other jewels and weighs over thirty-nine ounces. Ancient objects are also included in the Crown Jewels collection such as gold plate, insignia and swords.

 
 
 
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Crown Jewels of England

  • Information & Facts about the Crown Jewels of England
  • Who stole the British Crown Jewels from the great Tower of London?
  • Information & Facts about the Crown Jewels of England in the Tower of London

Crown Jewels

The English Crown Jewels
The English Crown Jewels contain some of the most fabulous gems in the world. These magnificent regal emblems chiefly date from the Restoration when many of the ancient crown jewels which were destroyed during the Commonwealth were replaced. The collection includes some of the following jewels:

  • The King's Crown was constructed in 1838. The principal jewels being taken from older crowns and the royal collection including the large ruby given to the Black Prince in Spain in 1367. Henry V wore it in his helmet at Agincourt. With seventy-five large brilliants it forms a Maltese cross on the front of the diadem. Immediately below it is a beautiful sapphire, purchased by George IV. Seven other sapphires and eight emeralds, all of large size, with many hundreds of diamonds, decorate the band and arches, and the cross on the summit is formed of a rose cut sapphire and four very fine cut brilliant diamonds. The King's Crown contains 2818 diamonds, 297 pearls, and many other jewels and weighs over thirty-nine ounces
  • The Crown made for the coronation of Mary of Modena, the second wife of James II. This is probably one of the oldest of the crowns in the EnglishCrown Jewels
  • The Crown made for Queen Mary II, for her coronation with William III
  • St. Edward's Crown which was made for the coronation of Charles II
  • The Prince of Wales's coronet
  • The Orb, of gold, with a cross and bands of jewels
  • St. Edward's Staff - a sceptre of gold measuring 4 feet 7 inches in length surmounted by an orb
  • The Royal Sceptre
  • The Sceptre of Equity, surmounted by a dove
  • Other small sceptres, one of ivory
  • The Anointing Spoon, the sole relic of the ancient regalia, of silver gilt
  • The Eagle, for the anointing oil
  • The Golden Salt-cellar, a model of the White Tower
  • The silver, double gilt Baptismal Font, used at the christening of the Sovereign's children
  • The Sacramental Plate used at coronations
  • A large silver-gilt wine-fountain which was originally presented to King Charles II by the Corporation of Plymouth
  • Curtana, the Sword of Mercy - a pointless blade measuring 40 inches long
  • Two Swords of Justice - Ecclesiastical and Civil
  • The State Sword
  • The insignia of the British orders of Knighthood, their collars, stars, badges and the Victoria Cross

The Great Star of Africa and the Kohinoor Diamond
The Crown Jewels of England contain two of the most famous diamonds in the World. The Royal Sceptre contains the Cullinan diamond also called the "Great Star of Africa" and was part of the biggest diamond ever found which had an unpolished weight of 3.601 carats.  it was cut into several pieces including the Cullinan diamond of 530.20 carat - approximately 17 ounces! The second largest cut diamond in the world is the Kohinoor diamond which is set in the special crown made in 1937 for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother. The Kohinoor diamond weighs 108.93 carats.

The History of the English Crown Jewels & Timeline

Date
Crown Jewels of England
1042 - 1066
Edward the Confessor deposited his Royal ornaments and regalia which were kept as the Crown Jewels for safe-keeping in Westminster Abbey
1216
Legend has it that King John lost the Crown Jewels, which were kept in Westminster Abbey, in quicksand
1303
The Crown Jewels were moved from Westminster Abbey to the Tower which served as a treasury
1338 -1342
Edward III pawned the Crown Jewels in order to pay his troops at the start of the Hundred Years War - the practice was forbidden after his reign
1649
The Crown Jewels were ordered to be broken up by Cromwell and Parliament as being symbolic of the 'detestable rule of kings'. Many precious stones were sold separately but some ancient pieces were sold intact and subsequently returned to the crown
1660
Replacements for the lost Crown Jewels were purchased at a cost of nearly 13,000
1660
The first sightseers were admitted to the Tower of London which included viewing of the Crown Jewels
1671
Colonel Thomas Blood and his men tried to steal the Crown Jewels from the Martin Tower in 1671
1945
The Crown Jewels had been moved to a secret location at the start of the war, for safe keeping. The collection was returned to the Tower at the end of the war
1950's
Waterloo Barracks became the location of the Crown Jewels
1967
An underground Jewel House was built but the display could not cope with the visitors which numbered up to 15,000 a day
1994
The Crown Jewels were transferred to the Jewel House at the Tower of London which was opened by Queen Elizabeth I

The attempt to steal the English Crown Jewels by Colonel Thomas Blood
In 1671 the Martin Tower saw the callous and audacious attempt by Colonel Thomas Blood (1618 - 1680) and his three accomplices to steal the English Crown Jewels. The Deputy Keeper of the English Crown Jewels, was a 77 year old man called Talbot Edwards who lived with his family in the tower. Colonel Thomas Blood had gained the confidence of the old man by pretending to be a Parson. On May 9 in 1671 Thomas Blood and his accomplices were shown by Talbot Edwards to the chamber where the Crown Jewels were kept. A cloak was thrown over his head, he struggled, was hit over the head and the poor old man was finally stabbed to death. The gang stole St. Edward's Crown and the Sceptre but were disturbed and fled. They were all captured. Thomas Blood refused to answer any questions and insisted he would talk to no one but the king. Two days later he was granted an audience with King Charles II. Thomas Blood was inexplicably released and given a Royal pardon and pension! The reason for this remains a total mystery however speculation is that King Charles II ( who was extremely short of money ) was himself behind the plot to steal the Crown Jewels!

The Crown Jewels
The English Crown Jewels contain some of the most fabulous gems in the world. Many of these magnificent regal emblems and jewels date from the Restoration when many of the ancient crown jewels which were destroyed during the Commonwealth were replaced. Interesting facts and information about the history of the English Crown Jewels and the Tower of London!

Crown Jewels

The Tower of London

  • The History of The Tower of London
  • Information & Facts about The Tower of London
  • The Design, Layout and Architecture of The Tower of London - the different Towers
  • The Tower of London Timeline
  • The Tower of London Prisoners
  • The Executions and Beheading of men and women

The Tower of London

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