What Are The Objects That Will Be Placed On Queen Elizabeth II's Coffin?

Jewelry and monarchs go together like peanut butter & jelly, and the British royal family is no exception. As Historic Royal Palaces explains, the Crown Jewels are some of the most illustrious and famous jewels in the world. It is Britain's most valuable jewel collection and contains over 23,000 gemstones and 100 different objects. All of these treasures are bestowed to the Royal family itself and are seen as the pride of British legacy. Some of these treasures include the coronation spoon, which is important for coronation ceremonies, and the Koh-i-Nûr diamond, one of the most valuable in the world. 

As one might guess, these jewels are locked up pretty tight in the Tower of London's Jewel House, which is under constant armed surveillance. Many treasures in this collection come from Charles II's reign, as he had an entirely new set of them made after prior crown jewels were dismantled. As stated by Time, a few Crown Jewels will be placed on Queen Elizabeth II's coffin, as is custom for tradition. The three Crown Jewels to be laid are as follows: The Sovereign's Orb, Sceptre, and imperial state crown.

What is the Sovereign's Orb

The first stop on the Crown Jewel explanation tour is the Sovereign's Orb. As the Royal Collection Trust reports, the orb was first created in 1661 for King Charles II and was a commission that goldsmith Robert Viner fulfilled. According to London's National Portrait Gallery, Viner initially lived a wealthy and influential life but ran into major financial troubles down the line. The government borrowed an exorbitant amount of money from Viner but never repaid it. His most well-known contribution was being the official royal goldsmith, having made Charles II's regalia. 

As Historical Royal Palaces explains, the orb is rather symbolic, representing the divinely bestowed power from God that royal monarchs possess. This is apparent in its orb's design as well, as there is a bejeweled cross on top, symbolizing this religious meaning. In addition, the orb was often used for coronation ceremonies and will be one of three Crown Jewels laid atop Queen Elizabeth's coffin

What is the imperial state crown?

The Imperial State Crown is perhaps the most recognizable adornment of royalty, given its iconography. As Vogue explains, St. Edward's Crown is the center jewel piece of the British monarchy. The crown as people know it today was originally created in 1937 for Queen Elizabeth II's father, King George VI. His coronation was announced, the occasion required a set of regalia to be made in his honor. The crown itself boasts an incredible 2,868 diamonds, 11 emeralds, 269 pearls, four rubies, and 17 sapphires. 

As Historic Royal Palaces states, the crown's gems are historically significant. St Edward's Sapphire, for example, is important for its relation to St. Edward the Confessor, as he allegedly had it during his life. Along with the sapphire, there are the Cullinan II diamond, Black Prince's Ruby, the Stuart Sapphire, and many more iconic jewels. The crown will join the Sovereign's Orb on top of Queen Elizabeth's coffin. 

What is the Sovereign's Sceptre

Last but certainly not least is the great Sovereign's Sceptre. The sceptre was first used in 1661 when Charles II got coronated and has been a major addition in every single royal coronation in history. Historical Royal Palaces explains that the sceptre is an object of immense importance and opulence in the royal collection. For starters, it's one of the most lavishly bejeweled pieces in the whole of Britain. The diamond in the center was cut from the Cullinan Diamond, the single largest uncut diamond found. It rests regally on the sceptre, beaming with its staggering 3,106 carats. The beautiful gem was added to the sceptre by King George V in 1910.

As The Diamond Reserve states, the sceptre comes complete with the following jewels: 333 diamonds, 31 rubies, seven sapphires, one amethyst, six spinels, and 15 emeralds. On top of that, the rod itself is beset with gold, creating a magnificently beautiful frame, and an overall treasure worthy of a monarch. The Sovereign's Sceptre is among the three Royal Jewels that will rest atop the queen's coffin, marking the end of Queen Elizabeth II's royal era.