The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 33 The Tower and Tower Hill


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REGALIA. Nearly all the ancient regalia, or crown jewels, were dispersed during the Commonwealth, and in consequence the present regalia date mostly from the Restoration. They are shown in a large central case, protected by an iron screen and lighted by electricity. The chief objects are the following. The Imperial State Crown, with four arches, made for Queen Victoria's coronation in 1838 and altered for Edward VII. It contains 2927 diamonds, 297 pearls, and many other precious stones, including the large uncut ruby given to the Black Prince by Pedro the Cruel in 1367 and worn by Henry V. at the battle of Agincourt, and the smaller of the 'Stars of Africa' (3093/16 carats), cut from the 'Cullinan' diamond. The Imperial State Crown, with eight arches, worn by King George V. at the Delhi Durbar in 1911, containing an emerald of 34 carats, 6170 diamonds, and many other jewels. St. Edward's Crown, made for the coronation of Charles II. The Queen Consort's Crown and Circlet of diamonds and pearls, both made for Mary of Modena, wife of James II. The Prince of Wales's Coronet, with one arch, unjewelled. The King's and Queen's Orbs, made for Charles II. and Mary II. respectively. St. Edward's Staff, 4 feet 7 inches long, surmounted by an orb supposed to contain a piece of the True Cross. The King's Sceptre, with the cross, containing the larger of the 'Stars of Africa' (516+ carats), the largest cut diamond in the world. The Queen's Sceptre with the cross, made for Mary of Modena. The Sceptre with the Dove, borne in the left hand of the sovereign at the coronation. The Queen's Ivory Rod, with the dove in white onyx. A pair of gold St. George's Spurs. A pair of enamelled Bracelets made for Charles II. The Anointing Spoon, of the late 12th century (bowl restored), and the Ampulla, in the shape of an eagle, which holds the oil for anointing the sovereign and dates probably from the time of Henry IV. (pedestal added under Charles II.), are the only objects which escaped the Commonwealth. Queen Elitabeth's Salt (1572-73), the Salt of State in the form of a tower (middle of 17th century), and eleven St. George's Salts made for the coronation banquet of Charles II. Large silver-gilt Wine Fountain, presented to Charles II. by the borough of Plymouth. Two large German Tankards (17th century). Baptismal Font and Basin made for Charles II. in 1660-61. Sacramental Flagon and Altar Dish made for William and Mary. Large plain Alms Dish, made in 1660-61, but with cipher of William and Mary, used at the distribution of Maundy money. Maces of the sergeants-at-arms, borne before the sovereign. State Sword used at the coronation of Edward VII. Model of the Koh-i-Noor (106 1/16 carats), the famous diamond that formerly belonged to Ranjit Singh, Rajah of Lahore, and is now at Windsor Castle. The side-cases contain Maces of various dates, fifteen state Trumpets of silver, the Curtana or pointless Sword of Mercy, the two Swords of Justice, the State Sword used at the opening of Parliament, and the insignia of the various Orders of Knighthood.