On Jan. 14, the BBC will air a one-hour special on the Crown Jewels, more specifically those used in Her Majesty the Queen's June 2, 1953 coronation. In a break from tradition, the Queen will partake in this documentary, reflecting on not only her coronation, but also that of her father in 1937. The most important piece in the collection, St. Edward’s Crown, is a particular topic of interest since it is so rarely used. Put your royal knowledge to the test below and check off every fact about St. Edward’s Crown that you already knew.
St. Edward’s Crown is actually a replacement for the original medieval piece, which was melted down in 1649 when the monarchy was briefly abolished.
This particular piece is considered the most sacred of the Crown Jewels, as its placement on the monarch’s head by the Archbishop of Canterbury makes his or her coronation official.
The 4.9-lb piece is believed to date back as far as the 11th century, when it was used by Saint Edward the Confessor, England’s last Anglo-Saxon king.
Because of its weight, the crown has only been used for the coronation of six monarchs: Charles II, James II, William III, as well as George V, his son, George VI and -- most recently -- his granddaughter, the current Queen.
Many often confuse this sacred piece with the Imperial State Crown (weight: 2.3 lbs), which the Queen uses for official occasions like the State Opening of Parliament.
While St. Edward’s Crown is used at the moment of coronation, the Imperial State Crown has been worn afterwards thanks to its lighter weight.
444 precious and semi-precious stones make up St. Edward’s Crown, including rubies, sapphires, aquamarines, peridot, aquamarines and more.