Why Queen Camilla's Coronation Crown Is Sparking Controversy
Queen Camilla wore Queen Mary's crown for King Charles's coronation on May 6, 2023. According to Buckingham Palace, prior to King Charles III's coronation, the accessory was removed from display at the Tower of London for modification work, marking the first time a Queen Consort's crown has been reused since the 18th century as typically, a new commission is made for the accessory. The Queen Mother previously wore the piece to King George VI's 1937 coronation.
Buckingham Palace shared a few of the changes that will be made to the jewels on the piece, originally crafted by Garrard. The crown was reset with the Cullinan III, IV, and V diamonds from Queen Elizabeth II's personal collection, which she often wore as brooches, and four arches were removed. But it's the fate of the Koh-i-Nûr diamond jewel that sparked controversy.
The Koh-i-Nûr diamond was first brought to the UK by the former East India Company. While it ultimately ended up as part of Queen Victoria's collection, some Indians have called for it to be returned because it was taken as a result of colonization. Meanwhile, people in Pakistan and Afghanistan have also tried to exert ownership claims over the striking jewel. It has since been removed from Queen Camilla's crown.
Prior to the Queen Mother's 1937 crown, the Koh-i-Nûr diamond had been part of the coronation crown of Queen Alexandra, King Edward VII's wife, in 1902. And in 1911, the same diamond made an appearance in yet another crown for yet another coronation ceremony — this time for Queen Mary, wife of King George V.
Ahead, see how the crown appeared in 1937, and see its transformation on Camilla for the May 6 coronation.
— Additional reporting by Sarah Wasilak