The huge diamond took pride of place at the front of Queen Mary’s crown for her coronation in 1911, but was replaced with a replica in 1937 when the original was moved to the Queen Mother’s crown for her and King George VI’s coronation.
Buckingham Palace confirmed that Camilla will have the crown reworked to include diamonds from the late Queen Elizabeth’s personal collection instead.
It will make the Queen Consort the first consort to reuse a crown at a coronation instead of commissioning a new one since the 18th century. The last consort to do the same was Queen Caroline, the consort of King George II, who wore a crown that belonged to Mary of Modena.
According to the palace, “minor changes and additions will be undertaken by the Crown Jeweller” in order to insert jewels that are “unique to the occasion and reflects the consort’s individual style”.
The crown will be reset with the Cullinan III, IV and V diamonds, which were part of the late Queen’s personal jewellery collection and were often worn by her as brooches.
Other changes that will be made by the Crown Jeweller include removing four of the crown’s eight detachable arches to create “a different impression”.
The history of how the Koh-i-noor diamond, one of the largest-cut in the world, came to be part of the British Crown Jewels has long been fraught with controversy. It was seized by the East India Company after its victory in the Second Anglo-Sikh War of 1849.
Queen Victoria was the first royal to gain possession of it, and it has remained in the Crown Jewels ever since.
Queen Mary’s crown has been removed from display at the Tower of London to undergo the modification work.
The next time it will be seen in public will be on Camilla’s head at the coronation on 6 May.
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