West News Wire: In order to be modified in time for King Charles III’s coronation next year, St. Edward’s Crown, the centerpiece of the Crown Jewels that are visible to millions of visitors each year at the Tower of London, has been transferred to an undisclosed site.
According to a statement released on Saturday by Buckingham Palace, the move was kept under wraps until the operation was over for security concerns. The palace made no mention of specifics or the location of the remodeling work.
The Imperial State Crown will also be worn during the service on May 6 at Westminster Abbey, where Charles will be crowned following the late Queen Elizabeth II’s 70-year reign in a ceremony that honors the past while looking to the future.
Versions of St. Edward’s Crown are believed to have been used by monarchs since the 11th century.
The current crown was made for Charles II in 1661, as a replacement for the original, which was melted down in 1649 after the House of Commons abolished the monarchy and declared a commonwealth during the English Civil War. The original was thought to date back to Edward the Confessor, who reigned in 1042-1066.
The crown includes a 2.23-kilogram (4.91-pound) solid gold frame set with rubies, amethysts, sapphires, garnets, topazes and tourmalines — a purple velvet cap and ermine band. It was worn by Elizabeth during her coronation in 1953.
Charles will be crowned in a solemn religious ceremony conducted by Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, the palace said in a statement. Camilla, the queen consort, will be crowned alongside her husband.
The palace is planning the coronation, known as Operation Golden Orb, as Charles and his heir, Prince William, seek to demonstrate that the monarchy is still relevant in modern, multi-cultural Britain.
While there was widespread respect for Elizabeth, as demonstrated by the tens of thousands of people who waited hours to file past her coffin, there is no guarantee that reverence will transfer to Charles.