The Crown Jewels by Anna KeayOften called “the finest jewelry collection in the world,” the crown jewels were created to be the physical embodiment of English sovereignty. This collector’s edition of The Crown Jewels features a specially bound copy of Anna Keay’s book together with a facsimile of Joseph Robins’s panoramic representation of Queen Victoria’s 1838 coronation procession in Westminster Abbey.
The two books are presented together in a striking gift box. The fold-out panorama is four inches high by ten feet long, and it depicts Queen Victoria and other principal participants in the coronation ceremony in procession through the Abbey. The original copy, held in the Royal Library at Windsor Castle, would have been published as a souvenir in the days preceding photography and has never before been reproduced.
These are the most priceless crown jewels in the British monarchy's vault
The collection — now housed at the Tower of London — includes everything from gigantic diamonds to swords to an inch tall, jewel-encrusted salt shaker. For centuries, the crown jewels were kept at Westminster Abbey. But in , when the English Revolution abolished the monarchy, all the items were destroyed or sold off. Some were even melted down and made into coins. Much of the collection dates back to his coronation, but plenty of other treasures have been added since then.
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The Crown Jewels are the ceremonial treasures which have been acquired by English kings and queens, mostly since The collection includes not only the regalia used at coronations, but also crowns acquired by various monarchs, church and banqueting plate, orders, insignia, robes, a unique collection of medals and Royal christening fonts. Edward the Confessor reigned , who deposited his Royal ornaments for safe-keeping in Westminster Abbey, may have been the first monarch to assemble a regalia. These have been replaced or altered over the succeeding centuries. The Crown Jewels suffered their most disastrous fate following the execution of Charles I in the seventeenth century.
This post covers visiting the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London, including what they are, where they are kept and, how you can get tickets to see them. You can skip this post and purchase tickets to the Tower of London and Crown Jewels here.
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This time honoured ritual emphasizes the continuity and majesty of the British monarchy. The oldest items in the present coronation regalia date from the Restoration, when they were made for the coronation of King Charles II. The original Crown Jewels were destroyed by Oliver Cromwell following the execution of Charles I in , as they were then considered to be redundant. In an appalling act of historical vandalism, Cromwell had the entire collection sold or melted down and made into coin. Many of these irreplaceable and historic pieces, collected over the centuries, were Saxon or Medieval and included Alfred the Great's State Crown and the eleventh century crown of Queen Edith, wife of Edward the Confessor. There is no certain depiction of the most precious item of the collection, the Crown of St. Edward the Confessor, re-named King Alfred's crown after the Reformation.