Page images






The present Regalia of England is not of any very remote antiquity, for, in the Wars of King Charles the First's reign, the former Crowns, &c. were either lost, sold, or destroyed; and on these accounts, for the Coronation of his Son, those which are now used, were first manufactured. The Regalia, collectively speaking, consists of five Crowns, as many Sceptres, four Swords, two Rings, one golden Orb, one pair of golden Spurs, various splendid Robes, and a golden Vessel and Spoon for the Anointing ;-all which it is intended in this place particularly to describe.

The first and principal Diadem, denominated St. Edward's Crown, with which his Majesty is invested, is so called in commemoration of the ancient one, which was kept in Westminster Abbey till the beginning of the great Rebellion, when, with the rest of the Regalia, it was sacriligiously taken away. It is a very rich Imperial Crown of gold, embellished with pearls and precious stones of various kinds, as diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires, with a mound of gold on the top of it, encircled with a band of the same, embellished also with precious stones; and upon the mound a cross *

All the Crosses which decorate the English Crowns are of that kind which are termed in heraldry Pattée; i.e. narrow in the centre, and expanding at the four ends. Guillim derives the word from the Latin, Patula, which signifies broad, open, or expanded. The word Mound is an heraldic expression for a globe, and is derived from the French, Monde, the world.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]
[ocr errors]

of gold, decorated in a similar manner, having three very large oval pearls, one at the top of the cross, and two others pendant at the sides of it. This Crown is composed, as all those of England are, of four crosses, and as many fleurs de lis, upon a rim or circle of gold, all embellished with precious stones, from the tops of which crosses arise four circular bars, or arches, which meet at the top, and at the intersection is the pedestal, whereon is fixed the mound. The cap, within the Crown, is of purple velvet, lined with white taffeta, and turned up with ermine, thickly powdered in three rows. (Vide plate 4, fig. 1.)

The Crown of State, is so called, because it is worn by the King at all such times as he comes in state to the Parliament House, and also on his return to Westminster-Hall. It is very magnificent, being embellished with several large rose and table diamonds,* and other precious stones, besides a great number of pearls; but it is most remarkable for a particularly large ruby, set in the middle of one of the four crosses, esteemed worth ten thousand pounds, as also that the mound is one entire stone, of a sea-water green colour, known by the name of an Aqua-marina.+ The cap is also of purple velvet, lined and turned up as the former. (Fig. 3.)

The Queen's Circlet, which her Majesty wore in the proceeding to her Coronation, is a rim or circle of gold,

* Jewellers have given to diamonds various names alluding to the manner in which they are cut. Table is an expression used when a diamond is made perfectly flat on the top, and it also signifies the principal face. The word Rose is applied to those stones which are flat beneath, but have the upper part cut into several angles, which usually terminate in a point.

+ Aqua marina, i. e. the water of the sea, a name given by jewellers to the precious stone called a Beryl, on account of its colour. This stone, which is very rarely to be met with of the size mentioned above, is found in the East Indies, about the gold mines in Peru, and sometimes in Silesia, in Germany.

richly adorned with large diamonds, beautifully set with a string of pearls round the upper edge. The cap is purple velvet, lined with white taffeta, and turned up with ermine, richly powdered. (Fig. 2.)

The Queen's Crown, wherewith her Majesty was crowned, is a rich Imperial Crown of gold, set with diamonds of great value, intermixed with precious stones of other kinds, and some pearls. It is composed of crosses and fleurs de lis, with bars or arches, and a mound and cross on the top of the arches, after the same manner as the King's Imperial Crowns, differing from them only in size, being lesser and lighter. The cap is of purple velvet, lined with rich white taffeta, and turned up with ermine, or Minever pure, richly powdered. (Fig. 15.)

The Queen's rich Crown, which her Majesty wore in her return to Westminster Hall, is likewise of gold, but so splendidly embellished with diamonds and pearls, that scarcely any of the metal is visible. It is also an Imperial Crown, composed of crosses and fleurs de lis, with arches and a mound, as is her Majesty's other Crown. The cap is purple velvet, lined with rich white Florence taffeta, turned up and richly powdered with ermine. The whole value of this Diadem, as it has been used at former Coronations, has been computed at one hundred and eleven thousand nine hundred pounds sterling. * (Fig. 17.) The five Sceptres are as follow :

St. Edward's Staff, in length four feet eleven inches and a half, is a staff or Sceptre of gold, having a foot of steel, about four inches and a quarter in length, with a mound, and cross at the top; the ornaments are also

[ocr errors]

The following is an estimate of the value of the different jewels which are contained in this magnificent Diadem :

« PreviousContinue »