Royal family fans watched with intent the pomp and circumstance surrounding the state funeral of the late Queen Elizabeth II. The Imperial State Crown and other iconic items pertinent to the monarch’s 70-year reign were atop the queen’s coffin. However, admirers of the royal family may be unaware the queen had a secret crown that she wore only once, which was at a very public event.
Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin featured the Imperial State Crown
The British royal family’s crown jewels include the Imperial State Crown, Sovereign’s Sceptre, and the Sovereign’s Orb. These items lay atop the queen’s casket the week before her funeral and burial, symbolizing her reign as the longest-serving monarch in history.
People Magazine reported that the items mentioned above were fastened to the queen’s casket to stop the crown jewels from moving as they proceeded between locations during the event. This essential move prevented the crown jewels from being damaged.
During her June 1953 coronation, the queen was handed a gold globe with a cross intended to symbolize the monarch’s power comes from God. Created for Charles II, The Orb and Sceptre have been a part of every coronation since 1661. However, the monarch had a second, secret crown Elizabeth wore once.
Queen Elizabeth owned a second secret crown worn one time publicly
The queen wore the Imperial State Crown annually at the State Opening of Parliament until 2019. Then, she complained the bejeweled topper was too heavy, and she began wearing a lighter headpiece.
However, during her 1953 public coronation, Queen Elizabeth wore a crown she never donned again.
The St. Edward’s Crown is the centerpiece of the Tower of London’s Crown Jewels and named after Edward the Confessor, who ruled as king from 1042 to 1066. This queen donned this large, heavy crown for her coronation at 25.
According to the official Tower of London website, the St. Edwards crown is 22-carat-gold. It is 12 inches tall and weighs almost 5 lbs. The crown has 444 precious and semi-precious stones. These one-of-a-kind jewels include 345 rose-cut aquamarines, 37 white topazes, 27 tourmalines, 12 rubies, seven amethysts, six sapphires, two jargoons, one garnet, one spinel, and one carbuncle.
Will King Charles III wear the St. Edward’s crown at his coronation?
At the end of the Committal Service, The King placed The Queen's Company Colour of the Grenadier Guards on the Coffin.— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) September 19, 2022
At the same time, The Lord Chamberlain "broke" his Wand of Office and placed it on the Coffin to signify the end of Service. pic.twitter.com/GyX7Wsa7Ee
King Charles will likely continue the British royal family’s tradition of wearing the St. Edward’s crown at his coronation Express reported.
Thereafter, the king will wear the Imperial State Crown yearly for the State Opening of Parliament, and the St. Edwards crown will remain secure in the Tower of London.
King Charles III’s coronation will likely not occur until sometime in 2023. This event comes after a period of private and public mourning of Queen Elizabeth II. It also gives the planning committees adequate time to prepare for the elaborate ceremony.