London: King Charles’ wife Queen Consort Camilla will not be donning the contentious Kohinoor diamond for her coronation at Westminster Abbey in May, Buckingham Palace announced.
Queen Mary Crown was taken out of the Tower of London’s collection in order to be modified for the event on May 6 and decorated with gems honoring the late Queen Elizabeth II, it said.
Camilla’s choice of crown has long been a subject of speculation with some reports suggesting earlier that she wanted to wear the crown Charles’ grandmother, the Queen Mother, wore and which bears the Kohinoor. The decision might be taken over fear of backlash over the crown which is estimated to be worth up to $400 million.
Moreover, Camilla’s choice of the Queen Mary Crown for her coronation may only have a duplicate of the original. The choice also marks a first as since the 18th century, Camilla will be the first consort to reuse a crown at a coronation.
“The choice of Queen Mary’s Crown by Her Majesty is the first time in recent history that an existing crown will be used for the Coronation of a Consort instead of a new commission being made, in the interests of sustainability and efficiency,” Buckingham Palace said.
The Kohinoor diamond kept changing hands among many Central Asian kings before finally falling into the hands of Sikh ruler Ranjit Singh in 1813. After returning the diamond to India, Singh passed away in 1839. The British were finally able to obtain the sought-after stone, nevertheless, in 1849.