St Edward’s Crown will be resized ahead of King Charles’ coronation

The movement of the priceless crown was shrouded in secrecy (Picture: Reuters)

St Edward’s Crown has been removed from the Tower of London and will be resized for the King before the coronation.

Buckingham Palace said the historic centerpiece of the Crown Jewels had been taken to allow alteration work to begin ahead of the May 6 ceremony.

The priceless crown movement has been kept secret until it is safely delivered.

It is believed that versions of St Edward’s Crown have been used for 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.

In a statement, Buckingham Palace said on Saturday: “St Edward’s Crown, the historic centerpiece of the Crown Jewels, has been removed from the Tower of London to allow alteration work to begin ahead of the coronation of the Saturday, May 6, 2023.”

The coronation of King Charles III will take place on May 6 (Picture: PA)

The coronation of King Charles III will take place on May 6 (Picture: PA)

The coronation will take place at Westminster Abbey, eight months after the accession of the monarch and the death of the queen.

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 recognizing the spirit of our times.

Charles’ coronation is set to be on a smaller scale and shorter, with suggestions that it could be as short as an hour.

It is also expected to be more inclusive for multi-faith Britain than past coronations, but it will be an Anglican service, with the Queen Consort crowned 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.

It comes after reports the King was planning a scaled-down and ‘cheaper’ ceremony than the late Queen in 1953, which lasted around three hours, in recognition of Britain’s cost of living crisis.

The coronation of Elizabeth II was a festive carnival, with half a million spectators lining its processional route on June 2.

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.

Elizabeth II after her coronation

The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II took place in 1953 (Photo: Getty Images)

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.

The uncrowned Queen Elizabeth II set off from Buckingham Palace in the Golden State Coach, with the procession of some 250 people including traditional representatives of the crown, church and state as she entered the abbey .

Her coronation dress, by fashion designer Norman Hartnell, was a white satin gown and was encrusted with diamonds, gold and silver bullion, seed beads, crystals, pale amethysts and sequins to create a glitter effect.

The service, which took place before a congregation of over 8,000, began with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Geoffrey Fisher, declaring to the assembled bishops: “Gentlemen, I present to you Queen Elizabeth, your indisputable queen.

After the ceremony, trumpets sounded and royal salutes were fired at the Tower of London and elsewhere.

Each Commonwealth prime minister had his own carriage for the long procession back to the palace and the coronation chicken was invented for foreign guests who were to be entertained afterwards.

The night ended as hundreds of thousands of people on London’s Victoria Embankment watched a lavish coronation fireworks display.

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