The Prince and the Pauper – Chapter Sixteen – Fun Fact

Have you seen the movie Frozen? If so, do you have an image in your mind where Elsa removes her gloves in order to hold onto two objects while she is being crowned queen? Maybe you’re aware of what is happening there, maybe you’re not. Although that movie does not take place in England, a similar scene would play out at a British coronation ceremony. And those objects she is holding relate to today’s Fun Fact. Today our Fun Fact for Ch. 16 focuses on…

THE CROWN JEWELS

Keep reading or watch the video more information about these strange objects that are often a part of official royal ceremonies.

Reference in The Prince and the Pauper

“…next comes the Chancellor, between two, one of which carries the royal sceptre, the other the Sword of State in a red scabbard, studded with golden fleurs-de-lis, the point upwards…” (p. 98)

As a part of the preparation for a royal banquet, the narrator mentions a royal sceptre and sword. These are two common examples of what we refer to as objects in the Royal Jewels collection.

Royal Jewels

St Edward’s Crown

  • Most sacred of all the crowns
  • Only used in moments of crowning
  • Made for the coronation of Charles II
  • The stones/gems weren’t permanently added until 1911 (they were just rented and returned after the coronation originally)

Sovereign’s Orb

  • Contains many original gemstones
  • Symbolizes the Christian world
  • Cross mounted on a globe
  • Placed in monarch’s right hand before being placed on the altar

Jewelled Sword of Offering

  • Australia (indigenous) – widows wear white mourning caps called ‘kopis’ made from plaster (1 week – 6 months)
  • Eastern Asia – white mourning clothes represent purity and rebirth
  • Cambodia (Buddhism) – family of someone who dies wear white in mourning
  • France – deuil blanc meaning “white mourning”

The Sovereign’s Sceptre and Rod

  • Monarch receives them in each hand before crowning
  • Symbolizes the monarch’s pastoral care for his or her people
  • Scepter with cross Used at every coronation since Charles II

The Imperial State Crown

  • One of the newer items
  • Contains historic jewels
  • The crown the monarch wears as they leave Westminster Abbey after the coronation
  • Contains 2,868 diamonds

Fun Facts

  • The oldest item is from the 12th century (Coronation Spoon)
  • 23,578 precious stones make up the Crown Jewels
  • 140 objects are embedded by the Crown Jewels
  • They’ve been stolen

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References

https://theculturetrip.com/europe/united-kingdom/england/london/articles/11-things-didnt-know-united-kingdoms-crown-jewels/

https://www.rct.uk/collection/themes/Trails/the-crown-jewels

https://www.hrp.org.uk/tower-of-london/history-and-stories/the-crown-jewels/#gs.1j4frp

https://www.rct.uk/collection/31726/the-jewelled-sword-of-offering

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