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The Crown Jewels of Great Britain and the Commonwealth

Every year millions of visitors visit the Tower of London in the United Kingdom, guarded by Yeoman Warders ('Beefeaters') to see the spectacular display of The Crown Jewels, which are part of the Royal Collection.

Since the early 14th Century,The Jewel House at the Tower has been used for the secure storage of the precious ceremonial objects, the Crown Jewels.  Previously,Westminster Abbey was the chosen place of storage of these priceless and historic pieces, but the Abbey was found to be unsafe. In 1671, a Colonel Blood attempted to steal the Crown Jewels, as did others over the centuries, yet none succeeded.  The current display of the Crown Jewels was opened by Her Majesty The Queen in 1994.

The very essence of the Crown Jewels display are symbolic and ceremonial objects, very much at the heart of the coronations of English Kings and Queens. They include the crowns of Sovereigns, Consorts and Princes of Wales, both past and present, sceptres, orbs, rings, swords, spurs, bracelets and robes, all of which have a specific part to play in the ritual of the English coronation service and are know as the Regalia. The modern day British monarchy still use much of the Regalia in ceremonies, something which many of their European counterparts do not continue.

 

Princess of Wales' engagement ring, now worn by Kate Middleton and known globally.

The tiara worn by Kate Middleton on the occasion of her marriage to Prince William.  More about the Queens personal diamond jewellery collection in our next post.

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