We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are the British Crown Jewels?

Amy Pollick
By
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
CulturalWorld.org is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At CulturalWorld.org, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Crowns, sceptres, orbs, rings — in Great Britain, these comprise the crown jewels. Crown jewels are those items used in a coronation that symbolize the monarch's right and authority to sit on the throne of his or her country. Most people have seen at least a sampling of the British crown jewels if they have ever seen Queen Elizabeth II open Parliament. She always wears the Imperial Crown of State when performing this royal duty.

The British crown jewels are renowned for their magnificence and historical significance. More historical crown jewels would still exist had it not been for Oliver Cromwell. As Lord Protector of England, he felt the monarchy would never be restored, and so ordered the existing crown jewels to be sold or melted down and struck into coins. He also sold the medieval coronation garments in the collection, destroying priceless artifacts.

When King Charles II regained the throne of England, he ordered new crown jewels to be fashioned, and these have been in use ever since. There were a few remaining jewels of historic significance to be found, and these were used in the new set of crown jewels. Some of those who had bought the jewels from Cromwell returned them when Charles II ascended the throne, and others were found in shrines and tombs.

The most recognized crown in the set is the aforementioned Imperial Crown of State. It was made in 1937 for King George VI. It contains a red spinel known as The Black Prince's Ruby, the Cullinan II diamond and Edward the Confessor's Sapphire. The British monarch has always been crowned with St. Edward's Crown and the one used now is the one Charles II commissioned. This crown is extremely heavy and the sovereign usually changes it for the Imperial Crown of State when processing out of Westminster Abbey.

The monarch is preceded by the Great Sword of State, the Sword of Justice and the blunted Sword of Mercy. While receiving the regalia, the sovereign also receives the Great Orb, symbolizing Christian rule. The Orb is a hollow globe of gold and encrusted with gems. The Sceptres with Cross and Dove are also held, and gold armills are placed on the arms. The Sceptre with Cross features the spectacular 530-carat Cullinan I diamond, also called The Star of Africa.

The monarch is anointed with holy oil from the eagle-shaped ampulla, made in 1661. The heavy spoon into which the oil is poured is the oldest piece in the collection, and probably dates from the 1100s. The sovereign also receives the spurs, symbols of chivalry, and the ring of state. It dates from 1831. Other crowns and objects and gold plate are also part of the collection.

The reigning monarch holds the crown jewels in trust for the subjects of Great Britain. They are not part of his or her personal wealth or jewelry collection. The crown jewels are now displayed in the Norman stronghold, the Tower of London. Visitors can see them and marvel over their exquisite beauty and history.

CulturalWorld.org is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Amy Pollick
By Amy Pollick
Amy Pollick, a talented content writer and editor, brings her diverse writing background to her work at CulturalWorld.org. With experience in various roles and numerous articles under her belt, she crafts compelling content that informs and engages readers across various platforms on topics of all levels of complexity.
Discussion Comments
By Lostnfound — On May 28, 2014

I used to think the British crown jewels were just so much show, and were an example of the royal family just showing off for the British people. Now that I know the history behind them, I can at least appreciate them for their historical significance. Every country needs to preserve its history and archives, and these are certainly of great significance to the history of Great Britain.

By Grivusangel — On May 27, 2014

Seeing the British crown jewels is one of the items on my bucket list! I want to go to London and definitely, one of my stops will be to the Tower of London to see the castle, and the jewels. Actually, I'd love to be in London for a coronation, but I doubt that will happen. They don't come around that often.

I've seen the opening of Parliament, so I have seen the Queen wear the Imperial Crown of State, and I've looked online at the website to see the rest of the regalia. There's just something inherently interesting about all that pomp and pageantry. We do a little of it here in the USA, but we can't hold a candle to the Brits. They do it right.

Amy Pollick
Amy Pollick
Amy Pollick, a talented content writer and editor, brings her diverse writing background to her work at CulturalWorld....
Learn more
CulturalWorld.org, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

CulturalWorld.org, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.