St. Edward’s Crown contains 444 precious gems and is made of pure gold.
This day in 1661 marked the coronation of British king Charles II in the famous Westminster Abbey near London (unlike today, Westminster wasn’t officially part of London back then). The coronation was held on St. George’s Day, since St. George is the patron saint of England.
The coronation of King Charles II was particularly noteworthy as it was the first royal coronation in the restored British monarchy after the Civil War and the reign of Oliver Cromwell. New crown jewels had to be made for that coronation because the previous ones had been destroyed or sold away by the republican government. In 1661, a new crown was therefore produced for King Charles II: St Edward’s Crown, which is still the official crown used for the coronation of British monarchs today. It is also depicted on currency, coats-of-arms, and other objects.
The crown with which Charles II was crowned on this day includes four half-arches topped by a monde and a cross. The monde is an orb which represents the world ruled by the monarch, while the cross represents God above it. In addition, the crown includes 444 precious gems and is made from pure gold. This makes it quite heavy and sometimes problematic to use.