The Crown Jewels are displayed to millions of visitors every year, guarded by Yeomen Warders, ‘Beefeaters’, in the Tower of London. The Jewel House at the Tower has been used for the secure storage of the Crown Jewels since the early 14th century, when Westminster Abbey was found to be unsafe. Although attempts have been made to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower, notably by Colonel Blood in 1671, none have succeeded. The present display of the Crown Jewels was opened by Queen Elizabethh II in 1994.
The Crown Jewels are the ceremonial and symbolic objects associated with the coronations of English Kings and Queens, referred to as the Regalia. They include the crowns of Sovereigns, Consorts and Princes of Wales, past and present, sceptres, orbs, rings, swords, spurs, bracelets and robes, all of which have a specific part to play in the ritual of the English coronation service. Much of the Regalia is in use to the present day.
The British crown is named after St Edward the Confessor. The original was worn by him at Christmas in 1065. It was used to crown William I in 1066, William II; 1087, Henry I; 1100, King Stephen, twice for Richard I in 1189 and 1194 and King John in 1199. It is also reputed to have been used in the coronation of Anne Boleyn in 1533.
The crown was destroyed under the orders of Oliver Cromwell following the execution of King Charles I in 1649 along with most of the rest of the royal regalia. The gold objects, including pieces probably dating back to the time of Edward the Confessor in the eleventh century, were sent to the Mint for melting down, the gemstones were removed from their settings and sold.
At the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660, King Charles II ordered new Regalia, including a replica St. Edward’s crown. It is is made of gold and decorated with precious and semi-precious stones, including sapphires, tourmalines, amethysts, topazes and citrines, and weighs a substantial 2.23kg (4lbs 12oz).
It was briefly stolen by Thomas Blood in 1671 and flattened with a mallet in an attempt to conceal it but was quickly recovered and restored.
It has since been used at the coronation of many British monarchs and was last used to crown Queen Elizabeth II on 2 June, 1953.
To be a king and wear a crown is a thing more glorious to them that see it than it is pleasant to them that bear it.
King Charles XII of Sweden crowned himself, and arrived at his own coronation with the crown already on his head.
At the age of fifteen, when he became sole king of Sweden, he declared that he had been born to the crown and that the actual act of coronation was irrelevant. As a result, he rode to the church with his crown already on his head. He slipped when he arrived at the church, and the crown fell off, being caught by a chamberlain before it hit the ground.
He refused to take the traditional royal oath, and at the most important moment of the ceremony, placed the crown on his own head.
When Napoleon declared himself Emperor he had a new crown made for his coronation in 1804. It was made in mock medieval style and he named it the Crown of Charlemagne comparing himself to the Holy Roman Emperor.
At his coronation he was initially crowned with a laurel crown and then briefly put the Crown of Charlemagne on his own head before touching it to the head of his wife, Joesphine.
The Crown of Finland was designed in 1918 but never used because they became a republic before the coronation.
The Goldcrest's Latin name (Regulus regulus) means 'little king' presumably because of its 'crowning' gold stripe.
In ancient Greece, victors at the Isthmian and Nemean games were crowned with celery.
Until the reign of Victoria, the gems in the Crown Jewels were hired from the crown jeweller for coronations for 4% of their value.
When King Edward VIII abdicated in 1937, he left Britain, taking the Prince of Wales Crown with him. It was returned after his death.
King James I’s wife, Anne of Denmark, acted in plays at court and would borrow items of the Crown Jewels to use as props.
The White House: I don't know whether it's the finest public housing in American or the crown jewel of the prison system.
The Russian crown jewels were used as collateral for a loan of $25000 from the Republic of Ireland in 1920.