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Dazzling diamonds & Royal secrets: Tower of London's Crown Jewels

Discover the Crown Jewels, a dazzling collection of national importance nestled in the heart of London. These aren't just treasures; they're a magnificent assembly of over 100 artefacts, each piece richly adorned with over 23,000 gemstones. At the core of the collection is the storied St Edward's Crown. It is used in the solemn moments of crowning a new monarch and the Imperial State Crown, symbolizing sovereignty and power during the most critical state occasions and entrusted to the Tower of London.

Step into the Tower of London, a historic fortress by the Thames, which has been the proud guardian of the Crown Jewels since the 1660s. Visitors worldwide come to witness these emblems of monarchy, making it an essential experience for understanding the grandeur of Britain's past.

Quick facts about Crown Jewels

Crown Jewels of the Tower of London

Plan your visit to the Crown Jewels

Crown Jewels of the Tower of London
Crown Jewels of the Tower of London

Some of the must-see Crown Jewels

Crown Jewels of the Tower of London

St Edward's Crown

St Edward's Crown, the focal point of the Crown Jewels, plays a vital role in British coronations. It originated from the 11th century and was recreated in 1661 for Charles II. Crafted from solid gold and adorned with 444 precious stones, it weighs 4.9 pounds. Reserved solely for coronation moments, it symbolizes the British monarchy's continuity and heritage. Generally housed at the Tower of London, it was temporarily relocated for King Charles III's coronation in 2023.

Crown Jewels of the Tower of London

The Imperial State Crown

The Imperial State Crown holds paramount significance within the British monarchy. Crafted in the 15th century, its current iteration, created for King George VI's coronation in 1937, replaced its predecessor from Queen Victoria's era. Fashioned from gold, silver, and platinum, adorned with 2,868 diamonds, 269 pearls, and other precious stones, it weighs 1.06 kg and stands 31.5 cm tall. Noteworthy gems include the St Edward's Sapphire and the Black Prince's Ruby.

Crown Jewels of the Tower of London

The Crown of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother

The Crown of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, commissioned in 1937 for Queen Elizabeth, consort of King George VI, holds notable significance within the British monarchy. Crafted from platinum, its design allows versatility, with detachable half-arches for varied wearing styles. Adorned with approximately 2,800 diamonds, including the renowned Koh-i-Noor diamond, it was worn at significant royal ceremonies.

Crown Jewels of the Tower of London

The Crown of Queen Mary

The Crown of Queen Mary, fashioned in 1911 for Queen Mary's coronation as consort to King George V, bears notable significance within the British monarchy. Crafted from silver gilt, its design features detachable half-arches, allowing for versatile wear. Originally adorned with prestigious diamonds, it underwent modifications, including replacing some stones with crystal replicas in 1914. Queen Camilla was the first and the only person who was re-crowned with the Queen Consort's crown.

Crown Jewels of the Tower of London

Sovereign's Orb

The Sovereign's Orb holds significant symbolism in the British monarchy's coronation ceremonies. Crafted in 1661 for King Charles II's coronation, it is a golden orb topped with a jeweled cross, representing the monarch's divine authority. Used in every coronation since, it underscores the monarch's spiritual role and sacred right to rule. Displayed at the Tower of London as part of the Crown Jewels, it remains a timeless emblem of the monarchy's enduring tradition and symbolism.

Crown Jewels of the Tower of London

The Sovereign's Sceptre with Cross

Crafted in 1661 for Charles II's coronation, the Sovereign's Sceptre with Cross features a gold design with a prominent deep-blue sapphire and an imposing golden apical cross adorned with an amethyst. Symbolizing the sovereign's temporal authority and good governance, it incorporates the monumental Cullinan I diamond since 1910, adding to its historical significance. Used in every coronation since its inception, it remains a revered emblem of the monarchy's enduring tradition!

History of the Crown Jewels

The Crown Jewels, steeped in over a millennium of British history, bear witness to grand coronations, state ceremonies, and tumultuous events like the English Civil War. Among the treasures are the ancient Coronation Spoon from the 12th century and the iconic St Edward's Crown, commissioned in 1661. The renowned Koh-i-Noor diamond, with a rich past spanning Mughal and Sikh rulers, graced the Crown of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. Despite theft attempts and wartime challenges, these jewels remain on display at the Tower of London, captivating visitors with their storied legacy and the enduring grandeur of the British monarchy. A visit is a must for enthusiasts of royal history!




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Visitor tips

  • Visit in the morning to avoid afternoon crowds.
  • Avoid weekends and holidays; outside Easter to October, it is less busy.
  • Buy tickets online for quicker entry at the Middle Drawbridge.
  • Go straight to the Crown Jewels to avoid crowds.
  • Make it a full day with nearby sights like the National Gallery.
  • Take a boat ride to the Tower on your first visit for a unique view.
  • Photography is not allowed in the Crown Jewels.

Frequently asked questions about the Crown Jewels

How many items are there in the Crown Jewels collection?

The collection consists of approximately 140 items, each with its own unique history and significance.

Are the Crown Jewels kept on permanent display?

Yes, the Crown Jewels are permanently displayed in the Jewel House at the Tower of London for visitors to admire.

How old are the oldest Crown Jewels on display?

The oldest items in the collection, including the Coronation Spoon and the Anointing Spoon, date back to the 12th century.

What is the most iconic piece in the Crown Jewels collection?

St. Edward's Crown is arguably the most iconic piece. It symbolizes the authority of the British monarchy and is used in coronation ceremonies.

How often are the Crown Jewels used in ceremonies?

The Crown Jewels are typically used during significant state occasions, such as coronations and the State Opening of Parliament.

Why is the photography of the Crown Jewels restricted?

Photography of the Crown Jewels is not permitted due to religious and security reasons.

Are there any famous gemstones included in the Crown Jewels?

Yes, the collection includes famous gemstones such as the Koh-i-Noor and Cullinan diamonds.

Are there any restrictions on touching the Crown Jewels?

Yes, visitors are not permitted to touch the Crown Jewels for preservation reasons.

What happens to the Crown Jewels after a coronation?

After a coronation ceremony, the Crown Jewels are returned to the secure vaults at the Tower of London until needed for the next occasion.

How are the Crown Jewels authenticated and verified?

The authenticity of the Crown Jewels is verified through meticulous documentation, historical records, and expert appraisal.