Edward's Crown

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Photography of Edward's Crown

The Edward crown ( St. Edwards Crown , English Crown of Saint Edward ) is the oldest of the British royal crowns and part of the British Crown Jewels in the Tower of London . It was initially used as the coronation crown of the English monarchs and is still used today for the coronation of British monarchs .

A distinction must be made between the original medieval Edwardian crown, which was melted down in 1649 in the course of the English Civil War , and the newly created Edwardian crown in 1661, which has been preserved to this day.

The original Edwardian crown

King Edward's coin with the Byzantine imperial crown

The origin of the Crown of Edward the Confessor , to which the name of today's crown refers, is possibly in the year 1050. In this year King Edward commissioned the manufacture of an imperial crown ( corona imperiali ), for the manufacture of which large quantities of gold and precious stones were ordered were procured. At the same time, Eduard had coins minted showing him with a crown in the style of Byzantine emperors . The Edward's crown has been clearly described as an imperial bow crown since the late Middle Ages and today's Edwardian crown also has this characteristic bow shape.

According to legend, however, the crown is said to have a much older origin. Originally, Alfred the Great is said to have received the crown from Pope Leo IV during his coronation in Rome.

After Edward's death in 1066 and the subsequent conquest of England by the Normans, William the Conqueror was crowned on Christmas of the same year in Westminster Abbey , which was donated by Edward . With this coronation, Wilhelm wanted to send a strong signal for the legitimacy and continuity of his controversial successor. However, no contemporary source reports that the new king was crowned with the crown of his predecessor Eduard. Much more is described in the song of the Battle of Hastings , written in honor of the coronation , that Wilhelm had a completely new coronation crown made.

It is also not clear whether the Edwardian crown was used at the coronations of the subsequent monarchs, Wilhelm II (1087), Heinrich I (1100), Stephen (1135), Heinrich II (1154), Richard the Lionheart (1189 and 1194) and John Ohneland (1199) was used.

At the first coronation of Henry III. In 1216 a chaplet was used instead of the crown. From this, the German historian Reinhold Pauli concluded that the original Edwardian crown was among those crown jewels that were lost under King John . Arthur Penrhyn Stanley insisted that the crown and other regalia survived until 1642 and were kept in the Treasury of Westminster until the reign of Henry VIII . New research shows that from the 14th century the Edwardian crown was in Germany, namely in Trier , for a few years . The elector and archbishop of Trier Baldwin loaned King Eduard III. from England 50,000 guilders, which he needed to fight against the French in the Hundred Years War . For the loan he took the crown as collateral. The same crown was supposedly used for the coronation of Anne Boleyn in 1533 . On the orders of Oliver Cromwell , the crown was destroyed during the English Civil War.

Today's Edwardian Crown

The crown jewels of the monarchs of the United Kingdom on an engraving from 1814.

The crown was made for the coronation of Charles II in 1661 by the royal goldsmith Sir Robert Vyner, modeled on the crown that was said to be part of the Crown Jewels of Saint Edward the Confessor and that was melted down along with the other crown jewels during the English Civil War . There are no entries in the account books to indicate that the jeweler was paid for the gold. This indicates that it was delivered to him from found stocks.

Shape and design

The current crown consists of gold , silver , pearls and a total of 444 sapphires , emeralds , rubies and diamonds . The design consists of a wide coronet, the upper edge of which is curved like a wave. From the eight wave crests , four paw crosses and four fleur de lys (lilies) are formed alternately , from the crosses arise four crown stirrups, which curve outwards and dent again before they meet at the apex. The circlet has twelve gemstone rosettes. The top and bottom of the ring are adorned with pearls. The lilies and crosses are also set with diamond-framed gemstones. The temples bear precious stones in gold settings and precious stone rosettes. Above the vertex is the globe and above it is a paw cross. The globe has a band of diamonds and other precious stones on its equator. Another band of this type separates the top half of the globe from front to back. The cross has diamonds and rubies as well as a round pearl on the tip and a teardrop-shaped pearl on each side. The inside of the crown is lined with a hood made of purple velvet , which has an ermine fur border .

The diameter is 20.9 cm, the height of 30.5 cm, the weight 2.155 kg. Originally, the gemstones were taken from other artifacts or even borrowed for the respective coronation; since the coronation of George V in 1911, the stones have remained in the crown. The pearls are believed to have come from the possession of Queen Elizabeth I.



During the coronation , the Edwardian crown is usually used for the actual coronation act, while at the end of the ceremony the Imperial State Crown is worn; George I only wore the state crown. Victoria and Edward VII chose the Imperial State Crown because of its lower weight. George IV wore a specially made crown for him during his coronation , it was not until George V that the Edwardian crown was used again. George VI too . and Elizabeth II were crowned with her.

The Crown of Edward as a symbol on a street sign in Canada

Rulership sign

A heraldic two-dimensional representation of the crown has been found at the behest of Queen Elizabeth II since 1953 in the Commonwealth of Nations in flags and coats of arms, in badges of military and police units, in logos of government institutions and other private organizations with ties to the monarchy for authority of the ruling monarch. For example, it is used as a helmet crown or to crown the heraldic animals in the various flags and coats of arms of the provinces and territories of Canada . Use of the crown is subject to the monarch's consent. Before 1953, a heraldic representation of the so-called Tudor crown was used. In Scotland , a heraldic two-dimensional representation of the Scottish crown is mostly used instead of the Edwardian crown .


  • Jürgen Abeler : Crowns. Sign of rulership of the world. 3rd improved and enlarged edition. Orb-Verlag Pies, Wuppertal 1976.
  • Claude Blair (Ed.): The Crown Jewels. The History of the Coronation Regalia in the Jewel House of the Tower of London. 2 volumes. Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London 1998, ISBN 0-11-701359-5 .
  • Heinz Biehn : All the crowns in the world. Thiemig, Munich 1974, ISBN 3-521-04051-8 .
  • Heinz Biehn: The crowns of Europe and their fate. Limes Verlag, Wiesbaden 1957.
  • Martin Holmes: The Crowns of England. In: Archaeologia. Vol. 86, 1937, pp. 73-90, doi : 10.1017 / S0261340900015356 .
  • Martin Holmes: New Light on St. Edward's Crown. In: Archaeologia. Vol. 97, 1959, pp. 213-223, doi : 10.1017 / S0261340900010006 .
  • Martin Holmes, Hervey DW Sitwell: The English Regalia. Their History, Custody & Display Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London 1972, ISBN 0-11-670407-1 .
  • William H. St. John Hope: The King's Coronation Ornaments. In: The Ancestor. No. 1, 1902, ZDB -ID 1285585-6 , pp. 127-159 .
  • Anna Keay: The Crown Jewels. Thames & Hudson, London 2011, ISBN 978-0-500-51575-4 .
  • Percy Ernst Schramm : Signs of rule and state symbols. Contributions to their history from the third to the sixteenth century (= writings of the Monumenta Germaniae Historica. Vol. 13, 1–3, ZDB -ID 964449-0 ). With contributions from other authors. 3 volumes. Hiersemann, Stuttgart 1954–1956.
  • Edward Twining : A History of the Crown Jewels of Europe. Batsford, London 1960.
  • Edward Twining: European Regalia. Batsford, London 1967.

supporting documents

  1. Chronicon Monasterii de Abingdon, ed. By Joseph Stevenson, London 1858, p. 463; Barlow, Frank, Edward the Confessor, London 1970, p. 279.
  2. Claude Blair (Ed.): The Crown Jewels. The History of the Coronation Regalia in the Jewel House of the Tower of London. 2 volumes. Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London 1998, p. 108.
  3. Guy von Amiens, The Carmen de Hastingae Proelio, ed. By Frank Barlow, Oxford 1999, pp. 48-52.
  4. Without an author's name: Trier's Archbishop and the British Crown. Trier Newspaper v. August 2, 2013. Last accessed August 2, 2013