The four crowns that will feature in the Queen’s funeral and the King’s coronation

London: When Queen Elizabeth’s coffin was taken to St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh on Monday for a 24-hour lying-in-state, it was adorned with the Crown of Scotland, the first of four crowns that will play a prominent ceremonial role in both the funeral arrangements and the Coronation of King Charles.

In London, the Imperial State Crown was placed on the coffin, and at the Coronation the Archbishop of Canterbury will place St Edward’s Crown on the King’s head.

From left to right: Crown of Queen Elizabeth; St Edward’s Crown; Crown of Scotland; Imperial State Crown.Credit:Nine

The Queen Consort will wear the newest of the four crowns, the Crown of Queen Elizabeth, which was made for the late Queen mother in 1937.

All of them will need to be resized, particularly the three which will be worn by the King, as he has a larger head than his late mother. This may involve considerable work increasing the size of the crown’s circlets and adding extra stones, the reverse of the process that was carried out to make them smaller for the late Queen.

Any adjustment work would be expected to be carried out by Mark Appleby of Mappin & Webb, the current crown jeweller.

It is possible that the Imperial State Crown may need to be further reworked, as the arches of it were made smaller for the late Queen to give it a more feminine appearance.

The Crown of Scotland

The Crown of ScotlandCredit:Getty

The oldest of all the royal regalia, which is worn by the monarch at the State Opening of the Scottish Parliament, was placed on Queen Elizabeth’s coffin when it arrived at St Giles’ Cathedral from the Palace of Holyroodhouse earlier this week.

Made of solid gold, it pre-dates the Union and in its current form it was made in 1540 after King James V of Scotland ordered it to be refashioned from the previous crown, which was starting to fall apart.

After the precious stones were removed it was melted down and an extra 41 ounces of Scottish gold were added, before the 22 gemstones and 68 pearls were mounted. Originally lined with a purple bonnet, it has had a red bonnet since the days of James II (James VII of Scotland) and weighs a hefty 3lbs 10oz (1.64kg). It is kept in Edinburgh Castle as part of the Honours of Scotland.

The Imperial State Crown

The Imperial State Crown is handed over for the State Opening of Parliament by Queen Elizabeth II, in 2019. Credit:AP

The most familiar of all the crowns, worn by the monarch at the State Opening of Parliament, it was placed on the late Queen’s coffin when it left Buckingham Palace on its way to Westminster Hall.

The original crown jewels were destroyed on the orders of Oliver Cromwell, and the crown on which it is based was made in 1660 for Charles II. In its present form it dates from 1937, when it was remade for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth’s father George VI by the then royal jeweller Garrard & Co.

It is largely the same as the crown worn by Queen Victoria, which was badly damaged in 1845 when the Duke of Argyll dropped it from a cushion at the State Opening in 1845, and uses the jewels that have been part of about 10 versions of the crown since it was first made in the restoration.

George VI asked for the crown’s weight to be reduced as much as possible, and specified a “hammock” fitting of the type used in a soldier’s bear skin. The height of the arches was reduced by around one inch in 1953 for Queen Elizabeth to give it a more feminine appearance, and the metal rim, or circlet, was reduced slightly in size which, Garrards said at the time, “involves considerable remounting of the stones and motifs of which it is composed”. The process may have to be reversed for King Charles.

Weighing 2.3lbs (1.06kg) it contains 2,868 diamonds, including the 317 carat Cullinan II diamond which can be detached and worn as a brooch; four rubies, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds and 269 pearls, some of which are said to have belonged to Elizabeth I. St Edward’s Sapphire, set in the centre of the cross on top of the crown, is said to have been worn in a ring by St Edward the Confessor which was taken from his tomb in 1163.

Like the other English crowns, it is kept at the Tower of London when it is not in use.

St Edward’s Crown

St Edward’s CrownCredit:Getty

The most important and sacred of the crowns, St Edward’s Crown is only used once in the lifetime of each monarch, when it is placed on their head at the Coronation. Weighing nearly 5lbs (2.23kg) the solid gold jewel is also the heaviest crown, so heavy that from 1689 to 1911 it was not used for any coronation and instead placed on the altar.

Made for the coronation of Charles II in 1661, it replaced the medieval crown melted down by Cromwell, which was said to have belonged to St Edward the Confessor, the 11th century king.

Because the crown was originally relatively simple in design, it would be set with hired stones for coronations, but in 1911 King George V had it set permanently with 444 largely semi-precious stones, mostly aquamarines.

It is St Edward’s Crown that appears in the royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom, the logo of Royal Mail, and in badges of the Armed Forces.

Crown of Queen Elizabeth

The Crown belonged to the Queen mother. Credit:AP

The crown that the Queen Consort is expected to wear at her husband’s coronation and the only crown in the royal collection which is made of platinum.

When the unmarried Edward VIII abdicated in 1936, the then royal jeweller Garrard & Co rapidly had to design and fashion an entirely new crown for Queen Elizabeth, the wife of George VI and mother of Queen Elizabeth II, in time for King George’s coronation in 1937.

A Queen Consort’s crown did exist at the time, but Queen Mary, the mother of George VI, had made it known that she intended to wear it to the coronation, breaking with the tradition that widows did not attend the coronation of their late husband’s successor.

Needing precious stones for the new crown, the jewellers took the Koh-i-Noor diamond from Queen Mary’s crown to act as the centrepiece, and replaced it with one of the smaller stones cut from the Cullinan diamond. The Koh-i-Noor, which had a reputation for bringing bad luck to any man who wore it, had always been worn by female members of the Royal family after it was acquired by Queen Victoria.

The crown is set with a total of 2,800 diamonds, and its arches can be detached so that it can be worn as a circlet.

The Telegraph, London

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