At the conclusion of the Coronation service, King Charles traded St. Edward's Crown for his own. He rode back to Buckingham Palace with Queen Camilla in the GoldState Coach while wearing the Imperial State Crown.
The crown weighs a hefty 2.3 lbs (1.06kg) and is encrusted with nearly 3,000 stones, including 2,868 diamonds, 273 pearls, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, and five rubies. The 317-carat Cullinan II diamondat its heart is thought to be worth £400 million on its own, putting the total value of the necklace somewhere between £3 billion and £5 billion. The value of the crown, however, has been deemed "nearly impossible" to quantify by a number of experts. The crown is part of the Crown Jewels collection, which royal expert Alastair Bruce has said has little monetary value.
The crown, which has a solid gold frame and is 12 inches tall, is set with 444 precious and semi-precious stones, including tourmalines, garnets, rubies, sapphires, amethysts, and sapphires. The crown has an ermine-trimmed headband and a band with four fleurs-de-lis and four golden crosses-pattée. A central orb and cross are supported by jeweled arches that surround a velvet cap and unite at the top. Due to its weight and short duration, it is replaced by the Imperial Crown following the event.
According to the British Royal Family website, the term "imperial state crown" dates back to the fifteenth century, when English rulers chose a crown design closed by arches to symbolize that England was not subject to any other earthly power.
This Imperial State Crown was constructed for King George VI's Coronation in 1937, but it is based on a crown fashioned for Queen Victoria in 1838 by the Crown Jewellers of the period, Rundell, Bridge & Rundell.- British Royal Family website
For Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation, it was reduced by an inch.
The original St. Edward's Crown was destroyed by Oliver Cromwell in the 17th century when he ordered the destruction of the monarchy, therefore a replica was made for Charles II's coronation in 1661.
In 1907, the government of the Transvaal (modern-day South Africa) presented Edward VII with the Cullinan II stone, a gift cut from the biggest diamond ever recorded (a 3,601-carat stone discovered in Africa in 1905). In the center of the diamond cross is the Stuart Sapphire, the oldest jewel in the royal collection and rumored to have been placed in a ringworn frequently by Edward the Confessor. Above the central diamond in the crown is the Black Prince's Ruby, which legend has it Henry V wore to the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. Fur and purple velvet line the crown's edge.
See the official crowning of King Charles III
Queen Elizabeth II wore the crown every year during the State Opening of Parliament during her reign. The BBC reports that in 2018, the monarch made light of the weight of the document resting atop her head, saying, "You can't look down to read the speech, you have to take the speech up because if you did your neck would break." The Queen began donning a lighter crown at the ceremony in 2019 and eventually wore no crown at all by 2021.
The crown is usually kept safe at the Tower of London, where it serves as a focal point of the Crown Jewels display. In more recent times, though, it was used to cover Queen Elizabeth II's casket for her royal funeral.
Queen Elizabeth II has honored the St. Edward's Crown by making a likeness of it the universally recognized royal emblem for HM Revenue and Taxes, police badges, passports, and the Royal Mail throughout her reign. The Crown is typically kept at the Tower of London despite an attempted heist in 1671.
It was taken out of the Tower of London and resized especially for His Majesty King Charles I before his coronation. The delivery of the precious crown was a well-guarded secret.
The crown made for Queen Mary at Garrard (who also made Princess Diana's engagement ring) for King George V's coronation in 1911 was "re-cycled" for the coronation of the Queen Consort. The contentious Koh-i-Noor diamond is no longer included in the crown that was used for the coronation of the Queen Mother, which has been replaced by a purple crown adorned with sparkling diamonds. Since India lays claim to the Koh-i-Noor, one of the largest polished diamonds in the world, its use may have created diplomatic tension.
The use of Queen Mary's Crown, according to Buckingham Palace, is done so in the "interests of sustainability and efficiency," and is "the first time in recent history that an existing crown will be used for the coronation of a Consort instead of a new commission."