A crown kept in Jewel House in the Tower of London has been removed – but the Beefeaters can rest easy it was resized ahead of King Charles’ coronation.
Buckingham Palace said St Edward’s Crown, the centerpiece of the Crown Jewels seen by millions each year at the tower, has been moved to an undisclosed location to be altered in preparation for the coronation of King Charles III May 6 next year.
The priceless crown movement has been kept secret until it is safely delivered.
Versions of St Edward’s Crown are believed to have been used at the coronation of British and English monarchs since the 13th century.
The current crown was made for Charles II in 1661, replacing the medieval crown, which had been cast in 1649.
The original was thought to date back to the 11th-century royal saint, Edward the Confessor, the last Anglo-Saxon king of England.
It is St Edward’s crown that appears in the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom, the Royal Mail logo and the badges of the Armed Forces.
The coronation will take place at Westminster Abbey, eight months after the accession of the monarch and the death of the Queen.
What will King Charles’ coronation be – and will there be a public holiday?
Why will Camilla be crowned – and what can happen in a ‘simpler ceremony’?
It is understood that the ceremony will include the same basic elements of the traditional service – which has maintained a similar structure for over 1,000 years – while recognize the spirit of modern times.
Charles’ coronation is expected to be on a smaller scale and shorter, with suggestions it could last just an hour.
It is also expected to be more inclusive of multi-faith Britain than past coronations, but it will be an Anglican service, with the Queen consort, Camillacrowned alongside Charles.
The number of guests will be reduced from 8,000 to around 2,000, with peers required to wear suits and robes instead of ceremonial robes, and a number of rituals, such as the presentation of gold bars, removed.
The late Queen’s coronation was a celebratory carnival, with half a million spectators lining her processional route on June 2, 1953.
Despite initial reservations, the late Queen eventually agreed to television cameras being present at Westminster Abbey to capture the historic event, with licensees doubling down in anticipation.
An estimated 27 million people in Britain watched the coronation live on their black and white televisions, and the footage was broadcast around the world.