Queen Consort Camilla will be crowned at King Charles’ Coronation with Queen Mary’s Crown to make the ceremony more “sustainable”.
The 75-year-old – who is recovering from her second bout of Covid – is set to be join her monarch husband, 74, at Westminster Abbey on 6 May for the ceremony, and it will be the first time in recent history an existing crown will be used in such an event.
Buckingham Palace made the announcement on Tuesday (14.02.23), after plans to use the controversial Koh-i-Noor diamond were said to have been reconsidered amid fears of a row after India’s ruling party warned the move would bring back “painful memories” of the Britain’s “colonial past”.
The palace said the decision to use an existing crown had been made “in the interests of sustainability and efficiency”.
It added minor alterations and additions would be undertaken by the Crown Jeweller to the piece, in keeping with the tradition of inserting jewels to make it “unique to the occasion”, and “reflects the Consort’s individual style”.
The crown – which has already been removed from display at the Tower of London for the modifications – was commissioned by Queen Mary, the wife of King George V, and made by Garrard’s jewellers for the 1911 coronation and the design was inspired by Queen Alexandra’s Crown of 1902.
The last time a crown was re-used in such a way was in the 18th Century, when Queen Caroline, consort of George II, wore Mary of Modena’s crown.
Changes to the crown will pay tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth, who died in September aged 96, as it will be reset with the Cullinan III, IV and V diamonds, which were often worn as brooches by the previous monarch.
Four of the crown’s eight detachable arches will also be removed, giving the headpiece a different silhouette to when it was worn by Queen Mary at the 1911 Coronation.
St Edward’s Crown, which will be used for the King’s coronation has been returned to public display at the Tower of London as its modifications have already been finished ahead of the ceremony.