Imperial State Crown

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The Imperial State Crown is one of the British Crown Jewels.

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Queen Elizabeth II wearing the Imperial State Crown

The Crown is of a design similar to St Edward's Crown: it includes a base of four crosses pattée alternating with four fleurs-de-lis, above which are four half-arches surmounted by a cross. Inside is a velvet cap with an ermine border. The Imperial State Crown includes several precious gems, including: 2,868 diamonds, 273 pearls, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, and 5 rubies.

The Crown includes several famous jewels. The Cross atop the Crown is set with a stone known as St. Edward's Sapphire, a sapphire taken from the ring (or possibly coronet) of Edward the Confessor. The Black Prince's Ruby is set on the front cross pattée. Furthermore, the famous Cullinan II, or Lesser Star of Africa, is set on the front of the Crown.

It is generally worn at the end of a coronation when the new monarch departs from Westminster Abbey and is not normally the actual crown used at the moment of coronation. However it was actually worn during the ceremony by Queen Victoria and King Edward VII, both of whom complained about the weight of the normally used crown, St Edward's Crown.

The Imperial State Crown is worn annually by the Queen at the State Opening of Parliament. Traditionally, the Crown and other jewels leave in their own carriage and arrive at the Palace of Westminster prior to the Queen's departure from Buckingham Palace. They are then transported to the Robing Room, where the Queen dons her robes and wears the Crown.

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1937 Imperial State Crown of King George VI
It is identical to Queen Victoria's coronation crown, with the same jewels, but lighter in design.

The current Imperial State Crown was manufactured for the coronation of King George VI in 1937 by the Crown Jewellers Garrard & Co. It is an exact replica of the earlier Imperial State Crown manufactured for Queen Victoria, but is of a more lightweight design and less uncomfortable to wear. Because of its weight (910 g), monarchs often choose to wear the Imperial State Crown in their private apartments on and off for a couple of hours on the morning of the State Opening of Parliament so they can get used to the weight and feel comfortable with it on. (One courtier reported on the morning of a State Opening witnessing Queen Elizabeth eating her breakfast and reading newspapers while wearing it.)

The frames of the old Imperial State Crowns of, among others, Kings George I, George IV and Queen Victoria are kept in the Tower of London. As the most frequently worn royal crown, the Imperial State Crown has constantly been replaced, due to age, weight, the personal taste or the unavoidable damage that comes with use. Due to its constant usage, it is also the crown that requires most outside repairs and recasting.

The Imperial State Crown, except when in use at State Openings, together with the other Crown Jewels, may be found on display at Jewel House in the Tower of London.

[edit] See also


Types of Crowns Image:Krone Kaiser Rudolf II Kaisertum Österreich.jpg

Circlet | Consort crown | Coronation crown | Coronet | Imperial crown | Imperial State Crown | Papal Tiara | State crown |


Crowns Image:Krone Kaiser Rudolf II Kaisertum Österreich.jpg
European & World Crowns

Crown of Bavaria | Crown of Christian IV (Denmark) | Crown of Christian V (Denmark) | Crown of Charlemagne (France) | Crown of Empress Eugenie (France) | Crown of Frederick I (Prussia) | Crown of Louis XV (France) | Crown of Napoleon (France) | Crown of Norway | Crown of Elisabeta (Romania) | Crown of Maria (Romania) | Crown of Wilhelm II (Prussia) | Crown of St. Stephen (Hungary) | Crown of St. Wenceslas (Czech lands) | Crown of the Polish Kingdom (Poland) | Kiani Crown (Persia) | Imperial Crown of Austria | Imperial Crown of Brazil | Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire | Imperial Crown of Mexico | Imperial Crown of Russia | Iron Crown of Lombardy | Monomakh's Cap (Muscovy) | Royal Crown of Serbia | Steel Crown of Romania | Pahlavi Crown (Iran) | Papal Tiara


English, Scottish & British Crowns (by chronology)

Crown of Scotland | St. Edward's Crown | Crown of Mary of Modena | State Crown of George I | Crown of Frederick, Prince of Wales | Coronation Crown of George IV | Crown of Queen Adelaide | Imperial State Crown | Small diamond crown of Queen Victoria | Crown of Queen Alexandra | Crown of George, Prince of Wales | Crown of Queen Mary | Imperial Crown of India | Crown of Queen Elizabeth | Crown of Charles, Prince of Wales


See also: Coronation | Crown Jewels | Heir Apparent | Heir Presumptive | King | Monarchy | Queen | Regalia | Royal Family

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Imperial State Crown

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