Archive for the ‘The Crown Jewels and Coronation Ritual’ Category

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II photographed by Cecil Beaton on Coronation Days 2nd June 1953. She wears the Imperial State Crown. In her right hand she holds the Sceptre with the Cross; in her left hand the Sovereign’s Orb. On her wrists are the Bracelets, and on her right hand the Coronation Ring is seen. Her Majesty is arrayed in the purple velvet Imperial Robe of State, Her coronation gown of white satin made by Norman Hartnell, is entirely encrusted with precious and semi-precious stones.

The Coronation Ceremony

Immediately upon the death of the Sovereign, his successor is proclaimed not by the Privy Council as such, but by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and other leading citizens—a body which is a survival of an ancient Anglo-Saxon assembly which met to identify and proclaim the king. After an interval of time the coronation ceremony […]

Orders of Knighthood

The insignia and robes of the following orders are displayed: The Most Noble Order of the Garter; the Most Honourable Order of the Bath; the Most Noble and Ancient Order of the Thistle; the Most Illustrious Order of St. Patrick; the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India; the Most Eminent Order of the […]

imperial mantle

Coronation Vestments

This exhibition includes the Super­tunica, Stole and Imperial Mantle worn by Queen Elizabeth II at her coronation in 1953.

silver state trumpet2

The Silver State Trumpets

Trumpets are particularly identi­fied with triumphal music and have always been sounded at coronation ceremonies. There are fifteen in the Tower collection. They are mostly of 19th century date and are no longer used.

the mace

The Maces

Originally used as a weapon of war, maces have become a symbol of authority and are so used at royal proclamations and at the State opening of Parliament. There are eight at the Tower, two of the period of Charles II, two of James II, three of William and Mary, and one bearing the arms […]

maundy dish

The Plate

In addition to the Crown Jewels a magnificent collection of plate is on view in the Jewel House. It includes plate once used at the Coronation Banquet in Westminster Hall. The Communion Plate is a very handsome chalice and paten of pure gold, made in the 17th century. The State Salt, a large and elaborate […]

the braselets of armilis

The Bracelets or Armills

There are two pairs of bracelets in the Jewel House. One pair, of gold and enamel, was made for the corona­tion of Charles II but was not used. The other pair was presented by the Commonwealth to Queen Elizabeth II and used at her coronation.

golden spurs

The Spurs

The golden spurs of St George, emblems of knighthood and chivalry, were once buckled on but now the Sovereign’s heels are merely touched with them before they are placed on the altar. They were made about 1661.

coronation rings

The Coronation Rings

The Sovereign’s Ring was made for William IV and has been used at the coronation of every succeeding sovereign with the exception of that of Queen Victoria. In the centre of the ring is a large sapphire with a surround of diamonds. Over the sapphire are laid five rubies represent­ing the cross of St. George. […]

The Swords

The significance in the coronation ritual of the five Swords of State is described later in “The Coronation Ceremony“. The most important, the magnifi­cent Jewelled State Sword, was made for the coronation of George IV. The hilt and scabbard are of dull gold set with jewels, the scabbard being richly encrusted with diamonds, rubies, sapphires […]

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