King Charles III and Queen Camilla Officially Crowned: A Historic Coronation
In a momentous ceremony at London’s Westminster Abbey on May 6, King Charles III and Queen Camilla were officially crowned, upholding a centuries-old royal tradition. The Archbishop of Canterbury played a pivotal role in the coronation, adorning King Charles III with the iconic St. Edward’s Crown, while Queen Camilla wore the esteemed Queen Mary’s Crown. This article delves into the significance of these historic jewels and sheds light on the memorable event.
The St. Edward’s Crown:
Crafted from solid gold and weighing nearly five pounds, the St. Edward’s Crown has been an integral part of U.K. coronations since its creation for King Charles II in 1661. This venerable crown, worn by Queen Elizabeth II during her coronation in 1953, exhibits exquisite features such as purple velvet, four crosses, four fleurs-de-lis, two arches, an orb, and a cross symbolizing the Christian world. Its gold frame is adorned with a splendid array of rubies, amethysts, sapphires, garnets, topazes, and tourmalines.
Queen Camilla’s Choice:
Breaking with recent tradition, Queen Camilla chose not to wear a new crown and instead opted for Queen Mary’s Crown, thereby becoming the first Queen Consort in recent times to make this sustainable decision. Queen Mary’s Crown, originally fashioned in 1911 for Charles’ great-grandmother Queen Mary, underwent minor modifications before being worn by Queen Camilla. Notably, it incorporates a touching homage to the late Queen Elizabeth through the inclusion of the Cullinan III, IV, and V diamonds—part of the late monarch’s personal collection and frequently worn as brooches.
The Coronation Ritual:
Before the crowning, King Charles III took the official coronation oath and received anointing, blessings, and consecration from the Archbishop. Seated in the ancient coronation chair, which dates back over 700 years, Charles also received various other symbolic jewels, including the Sovereign’s ring, orb, and scepter. These regal adornments marked the commencement of his reign and symbolized the passing of the torch from previous monarchs.
The Imperial State Crown:
Interestingly, King Charles III will only wear the St. Edward’s Crown briefly during the ceremony before exchanging it for the Imperial State Crown. The Imperial State Crown, created for the coronation of Charles’ grandfather, King George VI, in 1937, is also utilized during ceremonial events like the State Opening of Parliament.
The royal regalia, including the Sovereign’s Orb and Scepter, are safeguarded and publicly displayed at the Tower of London when not in use. It’s worth noting that these remarkable treasures serve purposes beyond coronations. Recently, they played a solemn role during Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in September, where they were solemnly placed across her casket.
King Charles III and Queen Camilla’s official coronation, graced with the presence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, marked a momentous occasion in British history. Through the placement of the iconic St. Edward’s Crown and the sustainable choice of Queen Mary’s Crown, this extraordinary event captured the essence of tradition and adaptation. As the new monarch commences his reign, these historic jewels serve as a testament to the enduring legacy of the British monarchy.