St. Edward's Crown

St. Edward's Crown

St Edward's Crown was one of the English Crown Jewels and remains one of the senior British Crown Jewels. It is the official coronation crown used exclusively in the coronation of a new monarch. It was made in 1661 for the coronation of the restored King Charles II, as the original crown was destroyed under Oliver Cromwell's order during the English Civil War.

The crown made for King Charles II is reputed to contain gold from the earlier crown (destroyed by order of Cromwell), which may have been a copy of that lost by King John in 1216, itself probably the crown of St Edward the Confessor; and pearls owned by Queen Elizabeth I.

The crown's design includes a base with four crosses pattée alternating with four fleurs-de-lis, above which are two arches surmounted by a cross. In the centre is a velvet cap with an ermine border. The crown is made of solid gold and set with 444 precious stones. Formerly, it was set with jewels hired for the coronation and then the crown was dismantled, leaving only the frame. However, in 1911, the jewels used were set permanently.

Traditionally, it is the crown used in the coronation of the Sovereign. Queen Victoria and Edward VII chose not to be crowned in it because it weighs 4 lb 12 oz (2155 g). They chose to be crowned with the lighter Imperial State Crown.

St. Edward's Crown has been used as a symbol of royal authority since 1953 in the Commonwealth Realms, and can be seen on coats-of-arms, badges, etc.

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