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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 21 May 2024

Kohinoor crown for Camilla when Prince Charles becomes king

The diamond is now on show in the Tower of London among the crown jewels

Amit Roy London Published 08.02.22, 03:42 AM
The Kohinoor diamond on the front cross of the British crown and a portrait of Queen Victoria wearing the diamond

The Kohinoor diamond on the front cross of the British crown and a portrait of Queen Victoria wearing the diamond Sourced by The Telegraph

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, will get to wear the Kohinoor diamond when Prince Charles is crowned king, it is claimed by the Daily Mail.

Its exclusive story on Monday is headlined: “Camilla is to be given the Queen Mother’s priceless 1937 crown containing the Kohinoor diamond to wear at Charles’s coronation — and he won permission to call her ‘Queen Camilla’ in his vows years ago.”

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In her message to her subjects to mark her Platinum Jubilee on February 6, the Queen said that it was her “sincere wish” for Camilla to be styled “Queen Consort” — rather than “Princess Consort” — when Charles succeeded her “in the fullness of time”.

It does seem likely that there have been behind the scenes discussions between Charles and his mother on this issue for some years.

The claim that Camilla will get to wear the Kohinoor will come as a surprise, though. It is routinely claimed as “stolen property”. The uncut “mountain of light” was given to Queen Victoria by Maharajah Duleep Singh when he was a small boy. Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, had it cut to bring out its brilliance.

The Kohinoor is now on show in the Tower of London among the crown jewels. It came out briefly during the Queen Mother’s funeral on April 9, 2002.

Legend has it that it brings bad luck to whoever wears the diamond but the Queen Mother was “101 years and 238 days” old when she died on March 30, 2002.

The Kohinoor was worn by her in her crown in 1937 when she became Queen Consort to King George VI.

According to the Mail, “the Queen Mother’s crown features 2,800 diamonds with a large stone given to Queen Victoria in 1856 by the Sultan of Turkey as a gesture of gratitude for British support during the Crimean War. The front cross holds the famous 105-carat Kohinoor diamond, which originated in India, in a detachable platinum mount.”

The diamond has been the subject of a book, Koh-i-Noor: The History of the World’s Most Infamous Diamond, by William Dalrymple and Anita Anand. Dalrymple has said: “If you ask anybody what should happen to Jewish art stolen by the Nazis, everyone would say of course they’ve got to be given back to their owners.

“And yet we’ve come to not say the same thing about Indian loot taken hundreds of years earlier, also at the point of a gun. What is the moral distinction between stuff taken by force in colonial times?”

Anand says the Kohinoor should stay in the Tower of London but should be taped off by Scotland Yard to denote “it’s a crime scene”.

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