All The Gems & Jewelry Worn To King Charles III’s Coronation
3 Minute Read
Earlier this month, some of the world's most brilliant gems got to shine in the limelight of this historic day, a handful of them for the first time in 70 years.
It's been well documented what Charles III, Britain's new king, would wear — from the St Edward's Crown to his Coronation Spoon, Scepter, Orb and The Imperial State Crown, which he wore at the end of the ceremony. This sacred collection of jewelry, known as the Coronation Regalia, is reserved for this special occasion alone, meaning the last time we saw this collection worn together was for Queen Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953.
However, it's been unclear what the rest of the royal family would wear for this momentous event. There is a history of what Queen Consorts have worn, which gave us some well-educated guesses about Camilla. Additionally, the palace released a statement that the event itself would be less formal than other coronations, meaning important figures like Catherine, Princess of Wales, wouldn't be wearing a tiara.
There was plenty left to surprise, though. Below, we highlight some of the most glittering gems from the royal event.
Camilla, Queen Consort
In keeping with tradition, Camilla wore the famous Queen Mary's Crown which was specially made by Gerrard for the coronation of Queen Mary and her husband King George V in 1911. "The crown is composed of a silver frame, lined with gold, and set with 2,200 diamonds, mainly brilliant-cut, with some rose-cut," The Royal Collection Trust explains. But importantly, Queen Mary's crown was updated for the 2023 ceremony, removing the controversial and infamous Koh-i-Noor diamond which sat at the center, and replacing it with the Cullinan's.
Another famous piece we also knew she'd wear was the Queen Consort's Ring, a symbol of the unbroken promises she will make to God and her country. A tradition that dates back to Matilda of Flanders, Queen Consort of England in 1068, the current ring used is from the coronation of William IV and Queen Adelaide in 1831. It was a historic moment to see her slip on the octagonal mixed-cut ruby ring with fourteen cushion-shaped brilliants, as it has been worn by every Queen Consort since.
Finally, the new Queen Consort also wore the iconic Coronation Necklace, outfitted with an incredible 25 graduated brilliant diamonds as well as the famous Lahore Diamond, weighing in at 22.48 carats, hanging at its center. Historically, the necklace has been worn by Queen Consorts dating as far back as Queen Alexandra, going on to be worn by Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth and most recently Queen Elizabeth II. Fittingly, she paired it with the matching Coronation Earrings, featuring a pair of cushion-cut diamond collet studs with two large, pear-shaped pendants that hang beneath. In total, it's estimated this set alone is worth some £300,000.
Catherine, Princess of Wales
The second most senior female monarch of the family, the gems worn by Catherine, Princess of Wales, who will one day also be Queen Consort, were also incredibly important. Warming the hearts of many, the Princess' choices were a nod to two important women who passed in the family, Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana.
Catherine wore the George VI Festoon Necklace, which was commissioned by King George VI for his daughter, the then-Princess Elizabeth in 1950. An incredibly decadent design that features three strands of diamonds, this necklace is made up of 105 loose collet-set diamonds taken from the royal vault that once belonged to King George VI's mother, Queen Mary. Queen Elizabeth II wore this necklace on multiple occasions during her 70-year reign, so the choice to wear it on this day was a touching moment by the Princess.
The Princess of Wales is known for wearing nods to her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana often, so it was natural to see her in a pair of earrings passed down from her on this important day. This pair of pearl and diamond earrings are actually worn by Kate often, The Court Jeweler pointing out that she is usually wearing the diamond horseshoe and laurel earrings with the "opening of the horseshoe section facing her back." For this occasion, Kate paired them with pearl drops that also come from Daina's jewelry collection, creating a royally refined look.
To round out the look, the Princess kept with the King's wishes and didn't wear a tiara, instead opting for a silver headpiece created by Jess Collett x Alexander McQueen. While it doesn't feature any precious gems, the leaf embroidery headpiece still dazzled thanks to silver bullion and thread as well as crystals.
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