One Coronation Crown Jewel Risks Wrath of Prince William

Rod Camilla will hold would go against his anti-ivory stance; plus, other crown jewel controversies
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2023 8:45 AM CDT

The royal family will be pulling out all the stops for King Charles III's coronation on Saturday, including showing off the revered crown jewels, the gems and other ceremonial objects that are dusted off for crownings of sovereigns and their consorts. Town & Country notes the regalia isn't without controversy, however, and some will even be avoided this time around during the ceremony at Westminster Abbey for Charles and his wife Camilla, the queen consort. Most notable among the eyebrow-raisers:

  • Koh-i-Noor diamond: Perhaps the most contentious of the collection is this 105-carat stone, which sits within the crown worn by the Queen Mother, Elizabeth II's mom, during her 1937 coronation alongside King George VI. The East India Company originally handed the diamond over to Queen Victoria in 1849, and since then, India, Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan have all laid claim to it. It's said to be cursed, leaving it unwearable by male royals, per NPR. Camilla won't be wearing it on Saturday, either, to avoid anti-colonial backlash. Instead, she'll opt for a crown with more than 2,000 other, smaller diamonds. Much more on the gem here.
  • Cullinan diamond: This giant stone, the largest diamond ever found when it was dug up in South Africa in the early 1900s, was cut down into nine smaller stones, and one in particular will make a showing at the coronation: the Great Star of Africa, which takes its place in one of the scepters King Charles will carry (the same scepter that was placed on his mother's coffin when she died). In this case, South Africa wants that diamond back. Some of the other diamonds cut from the Cullinan will also appear in Camilla's crown, per Good Morning America.
  • Camilla's rod: The queen consort will herself hold a scepter during the coronation, hers made partially of ivory—hence the "debate," per Town & Country, which notes that members of the current-day royal family have lobbied against the ivory trade, and that Prince William in particular may be "furious" to see the rod included in the coronation ceremony, according to one royals expert.
(More King Charles III stories.)

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