What is the Imperial State Crown? The diamond-encrusted crown was worn by Queen Elizabeth and other monarchs


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The Imperial State Crown is one of the most iconic crowns worn by British monarch Queen Elizabeth II during her seven decades on the throne.

Her Majesty’s heir, King Charles III, is now the sovereign monarch of the United Kingdom and owner of this royal treasure. The King, along with other members of the Royal Family, accompanied the Queen’s coffin from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, where she will lie in state until her funeral next week.

His coffin currently sits atop a raised platform draped in a royal standard with the Imperial State Crown placed upon it. The Queen was 96 when she died in Scotland at her beloved Balmoral Castle.

The crown was worn at the Queen’s coronation in 1953, following the death of her father, King George VI, and at the opening of Parliament. It is part of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom, a collection of crowns worn by the monarch to symbolize the more than 800 years of reign of the British royal family.

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Originally designed for Queen Victoria at her coronation in 1838, the crown was remade in 1937 for King Edward II to resemble St Edward’s Crown. A few months after his mother’s funeral, King Charles will be officially proclaimed king and will wear the crown of St Edward during the coronation at Westminster Abbey.

However, the Imperial State Crown will remain one of the most prized jewels in the royal collection. The crown contains the fourth largest polished diamond in the world and is adorned with almost precious stones.

Atop the crown is a 317.4 carat stone from a Cullinan diamond, which was found in Africa in the early 20th century. Four rubies, 17 sapphires, 269 pearls and thousands of small diamonds also make up the breathtaking beauty of the crown.

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The Imperial State Crown rests on the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II in Westminster Hall.
(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Specifically, the Black Prince Ruby and Stuart Sapphire are among the most famous jewels in the entire royal collection on this crown.

Although not used by the monarch, the crown is heavily guarded in the Tower of London in the Crown Jewel Collection. The public can view the Imperial State Crown in the Jewel House located in the tower.

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Only three people on Earth have the legal right to touch the crown, the monarch, the Archbishop of Canterbury during the monarch’s coronation, and the jeweler to the crown, who oversees its upkeep.


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