Imperial Crown of India

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Artist's painting of the Imperial Crown of India

The Imperial Crown of India is housed with but not part of the British Crown Jewels. It was created for George V as Emperor of India to wear at the Delhi Durbar in 1911. The need for the new crown lay in the fact that the crown jewels themselves are forbidden to leave the United Kingdom by law.

King George and Queen Mary travelled to Delhi for the Durbar service, proclaiming them as Emperor and Empress of India to the princes of India. The King was not crowned at the service because the Archbishop of Canterbury did not think it suitable for a Christian religious service to take place in a Hindu country. Therefore the King wore the crown as he entered the arena where the Durbar took place.

The Crown Jewellers, Garrard & Co, created the crown at the cost of £60,000. It weighs 34.05 ounces (0.97 kg) and is set with emeralds, rubies, sapphires and 6,100 diamonds. The considerable weight of the crown led King George to complain after the Durbar that his head hurt.

The crown has not been worn by any Sovereign since.

It is the only Crown of a British Sovereign with eight half arches, in the manner of Continental European crown jewels, departing from the British tradition of the Crown having four half arches.

It can be viewed in the Jewel House at the Tower of London, alongside the other crown jewels.

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Imperial Crown of India

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