The Queen Consort will be crowned alongside King Charles at the coronation on May 6 at Westminster Abbey.
The crown which features the controversial Koh-i-Noor diamond has only ever been worn by the Queens of Britain but now is due to be set aside in order to “reflect the Monarch’s role today and looks towards the future”, the Palace said. According to The Telegraph, another option for the Coronation is the crown worn by Queen Adelaide in 1831. The decision of using the crown which previously belonged to the late-Queen Mother for Camilla’s crowning was decided many years ago when it was provisionally agreed Camilla would be proclaimed Queen Consort.
Despite the previously decided agreement, a source told Mail+: “His Majesty the King is acutely sensitive to these issues, as are his advisors. “There are serious political sensitivities and significant nervousness around them, particularly regarding India.” On Wednesday, the controversy was reignited when a spokesman for India’s leading party told The Telegraph: “The use of the crown jewel Koh-i-Noor brings back painful memories of the colonial past.
“Most Indians have very little memory of the oppressive past. Five to six generations of Indians suffered under multiple foreign rules for over five centuries. “Recent occasions, like Queen Elizabeth II’s death, the coronation of the new Queen Camilla and the use of the Koh-i-Noor do transport a few Indians back to the days of the British Empire in India.” The crown which makes up the Crown Jewels features 2,800 diamonds and the front cross cradles the 105-carat Koh-i-Noor diamond.
The diamond was found in India and was subsequently gifted to Queen Victoria by the last Sikh emperor of India who was ten years old at the time. However, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and the Taliban are all claiming that the diamond belongs to them and should be returned. William Dalrymple, co-writer of Koh-i-Noor: The History of the World’s Most Infamous Diamond said, “it’s a hugely sensitive stone” and called the issue of its use in the coronation a “massive diplomatic grenade”.
According to a report in The Times, it is understood that Camilla is highly likely to choose to wear a different, cheaper crown and the Palace will not have a new one commissioned. While no decision has officially been made, 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.”
The late-Queen adored the divisive crown and even wore it on the way to her own coronation in 1953 but wore the Imperial State Crown during the ceremony. The former Monarch also sported the crown on her way to every state opening of Parliament until 2019 when she opted for the Imperial State Crown after it got too heavy to wear.