St Edward’s Crown
St Edward’s Crown was made in 1661 for the coronation of Charles II, because the original Crown Jewels had been melted down by Oliver Cromwell. It takes it’s name from the crown of Edward the Confessor that was used to crown the monarchs from William I to King John. This crown is the official coronation crown and as such represents the authority of the monarch, often being shown on badges and coats of arms. The crown was not always used as the coronation crown, with some monarchs, such as Queen Victoria, choosing other lighter crowns more to their suiting. Despite this, St Edward’s Crown has been carried to every coronation since it was created.
The crown is made of solid gold, around a cap of purple velvet trimmed with ermine. At the base of the crown there are four crosses pattée alternating with four fleurs-de-lis, with two arches above this, topped with a cross. The crown weighs 2.2 kilograms. There are 444 precious stones in the crown. The stones used to be hired for coronations and then detached afterwards, however in 1911, the jewels were set in the crown permanently. The crown has had some minor changes made since it was created for Charles II. James II had a new monde made, William III had the base changed from a more circular form to an oval one and George V also made it smaller to fit his head.
St Edward’s Crown is on display with the other Crown Jewels at the Tower of London.