How Much Are Britain’s Crown Jewels Worth?
Kings and queens of England have stored crowns, robes, and other items of their ceremonial regalia at the Tower of London for over 600 years. Since the 1600s, the coronation regalia itself, commonly known as the ‘Crown Jewels’ have been protected at the Tower. Over 30 million people have seen them in their present setting at the Tower. They are possibly the most visited objects in Britain, perhaps the world. But most remarkable of all is that this a unique working collection. Most years, the Queen wears the Imperial State Crown for the State Opening of Parliament, and when the next coronation comes around, key items will be taken to Westminster in readiness for the ceremony. St Edward’s Crown is the most important and sacred of all the crowns. It is only used at the moment of crowning itself. This solid gold crown was made for the coronation of Charles II to replace the medieval crown melted down in 1649. This original crown was thought to date back to the 11th-century saint-king Edward the Confessor. From 1661 to the early 20th century, this crown was only ever adorned with hired gems, which were returned after the coronation. In 1911, St Edward’s Crown was permanently set with semi-precious stones for the coronation of George V. Gemstones from the Crown Jewels were stashed in a biscuit tin hidden from the Nazis at Windsor Castle during the Second World War, a BBC documentary is to reveal.
The precious stones were buried in a deep hole following orders from King George VI in case they fell into enemy hands following an invasion, researchers found. The Queen, who spent the war years at Windsor Castle for her safety, did not know the full details of the story until told by royal commentator Alastair Bruce, who presents the documentary due to be screened on Sunday. (Note: The website below is image-heavy. Allow a minute or so to load up).
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