The origin story of a specific crown jewel is stirring up controversy at Buckingham Palace. With King Charles’ coronation set for May 6, 2023, royal observers are paying close attention to all the details that will be going into the historic event. Since Queen Camilla will also be crowned at the coronation, one such detail that’s come under scrutiny is her alleged accessory of choice.
According to various British media reports, including The Telegraph, the original plan was for the Queen Consort to wear a crown that was crafted for the Queen Mother (Queen Elizabeth’s mother and Charles’ grandmother). The Queen Mother previously wore the piece to King George VI’s 1937 coronation. But those factoids aren’t what make the crown so controversial — rather, it’s the unique diamond placed as its focal point that’s getting people talking.
The diamond in question is known as the Koh-i-Nûr diamond, which was first brought to the UK by the former East India Company. While it ultimately ended up as part of Queen Victoria’s collection, some Indians have called for it to be returned because it was taken as a result of colonization. Meanwhile, people in Pakistan and Afghanistan have also tried to exert ownership claims over the striking jewel.
Prior to the Queen Mother’s 1937 crown, which reportedly features 2,800 diamonds total, the Koh-i-Nûr diamond had been part of the coronation crown of Queen Alexandra, King Edward VII’s wife, in 1902. And in 1911, the same diamond made an appearance in yet another crown for yet another coronation ceremony — this time for Queen Mary, wife of King George V.
As for whether the 1937 crown will be Camilla’s headwear of choice, only time will tell. There’s a possibility that she will opt to have the Koh-i-Nûr diamond removed altogether to avoid any potential diplomatic style snafus, but watch this space for updates.