THE CROWN Jewels attract visitors from all over the world to marvel at the priceless royal artefacts.
The Queen usually wears her glittering Imperial State Crown for the State Opening of Parliament but isn’t today due to it being a paired-back Covid-secure event – but how much is the headpiece worth?
The Queen poses here with the St Edward’s Crown, which she wore during her coronation in 1953Credit: BBC
How much are the crown jewels worth?
The Crown Jewels is a collection of 140 ceremonial objects boasting a spectacular 23,578 precious gemstones.
It is part of the wider Royal Collection and are a symbol of 800 years of British Monarchy.
It includes the sovereign’s coronation regalia, the largest set of regalia in the world and the only working set in Europe.
The crown jewels are not insured against loss and are unlikely to ever be sold. They are officially priceless.
How much is the Imperial State Crown worth?
The Queen’s diamond-encrusted Imperial State Crown is so heavy that she can’t look down in speechesCredit: AFP
For many of the Queen’s formal occasions, such as the Opening of Parliament, she wears her striking Imperial State Crown for proceedings.
The sparkling headpiece is set with 2,868 diamonds, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds and hundreds of pearls.
It measures 31.5cm (12.4 in) and weighs 2.2lbs (1kg), and the Queen reveals it is so heavy that she can’t look down in speeches.
She previously said: “You can’t look down to read the speech, you have to take the speech up.“Because if you did, your neck would break and it would fall off.”
There is no official record on how much the Imperial State Crown is worth by itself.
The Crown Jewels were hidden in a biscuit tin in the Second World War to protect them from the NazisCredit: Andrew Holt
Who owns the crown jewels?
The crown jewels are still in use by the royal family during ceremonies, like during their coronation.
They are not owned by the state but by the queen herself in right of the Crown.
Their ownership passes from one Monarch to the next and they are maintained by the Crown Jeweller.
The Crown Jeweller, who is a member of the Royal Household, cleans the precious objects at The Tower of London every January after visit hours are over.
Some of the older more fragile items, like the Coronation Spoon, are cleaned by experts at the British Museum.
Where are the crown jewels kept?
The crown jewels are kept – not just under lock and key – but under armed guard in the Jewel House at the Tower of London.
But they weren’t always so heavily guarded.
During World War II George VI ordered the priceless gems to be hidden in the grounds of Windsor Castle in a biscuit tin in case the Nazis invaded.
The secret was so closely guarded, even the Queen didn’t know until recently.
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