A coronation is the act of placing a crown on the monarch’s head. Thus, the coronation ceremony is a celebration but is also a very religious ceremony full of history and ritual, with pledges and promises from the sovereign to their people that are made to last a lifetime. This ceremony has essentially remained the same over many years, and ever since 1066, it has taken place at Westminster Abbey, London, conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Before this, coronations were carried out wherever was convenient, taking place in Bath, Oxford and Canterbury.
Central to any coronation ceremony are the Crown Jewels – a magnificent, world famous collection made up of the most resplendent ceremonial treasures that have been acquired by the English monarchy over many years. The collection consists of 140 ceremonial items boasting 23,578 precious stones. These stones are the most powerful symbols of the British Monarchy and hold deep religious and cultural significance in our nation’s history.
These jewels are made with an exquisite amount of skill and craftsmanship and encompass a great amount of history, spanning almost a thousand years. Their continued use at the coronation service and the State Opening of Parliament make them a significant expression at these events. Each item in the collection symbolises different aspects of the monarch’s power, the promises that they make and the relationship between sovereign and their country – they’re the ultimate symbol of strength, power and commitment.
The jewels are not insured and it’s unlikely that they will ever be sold – essentially, these jewels are priceless!
These priceless artifacts are kept and displayed in the Tower of London, where they allure visitors from all over the world to marvel at the jewels. They are possibly the most visited objects in Britain, perhaps even the world, and over 30 million people have already seen them!
(Countryside La Vie Magazine, 2016)
Other than the traditional crowns, the Crown Jewels comprise of many extraordinary objects, including sceptres, and orbs, such as spoons, swords, spurs, and salt cellars. The oldest item in the collection is the twelfth-century spoon used for the sovereign’s ritual anointing at the coronation.
(Royal Collection Trust, n.d.)