Queen Camilla ‘will make decision to reject coronation crown mounted with controversial Koh-i-Noor diamond’
Queen Camilla ‘will take decision to shun coronation crown mounted with controversial Koh-i-Noor diamond’, painful memories of British colonialism – with Buckingham Palace looking at ‘cut-price’ alternatives
The Queen Consort could shun her late mother-in-law’s stunning diadem, worn exclusively by British queens, for the coronation next year after a backlash over a controversial diamond contained within it.
Although the iconic silver, gold, diamond and pearl piece was made for George IV in 1820, it has since only ever been worn by female family members.
The priceless piece features 2,800 diamonds with the front cross holding the famous 105-carat Koh-i-Noor diamond, one of the largest cut diamonds in the world.
The huge diamond originated from India and is said to have been given to Queen Victoria by the last Sikh emperor of India – who at the time was 10 years old.
But the gifting of the diamond is disputed and there are claims in at least three countries, including India, to have the jewel returned.
Speculation over the crown the Queen Consort will wear next year was thrown into chaos yesterday after India’s ruling party said that wearing the diamond would bring back ‘painful memories of the colonial past.’
It is now understood Camilla is likely to decide against wearing the crown, The Times reports, and Buckingham Palace will opt for a cheaper alternative rather than have a new crown commissioned. Palace insiders continue to insist that no decision has been made, but King Charles was previously said to have wanted his wife to wear the controversial jewel as a nod to his late mother.
The controversy over the diamond blew up after Buckingham Palace announced that the date of the King and Queen’s coronation would be May 6 2023.
A source close to the palace told The Times: ‘I would have thought they would err towards keeping India happy. ‘The priority is the Commonwealth these days, and diversity. Those are two very important things going on.’
There is the option to remove the Koh-i-Noor from the crown and replace it with a different stone, but some are concerned that this would send a message about the legitimacy of the diamond having been given as a gift.
The palace is now said to be actively considering other options, looking back as far as 200 years. Among the contenders are a little-known crown worn by Queen Adelaide in 1831, The Telegraph reports.The crown is a part of the Royal Collection but was removed from display at the Tower of London earlier this year.
There is also the Diamond Diadem, a crown worn by King and Queen consort since Adelaide, but it has never been used in a coronation ceremony before. Many of those with a passion for royal regalia believe the King George IV Diamond Diadem would be the perfect option.