King Charles III to receive Scotlands Crown adorned with nearly 100 pearls!
Made of gold, silver and precious gems, the Crown of Scotland is the centrepiece of the Honours of Scotland – Scotland’s Crown jewels – on display at Edinburgh Castle. The other priceless pieces are the Sword of State and the Sceptre. All are objects of immense significance. The Honours of Scotland are the oldest Crown jewels in Britain and among the oldest in Europe.
James V had the crown made in 1540, likely in part from the earlier Scottish crown, which was by then very damaged. When remodelling the Crown, Edinburgh goldsmith John Mosman added 41 ounces of gold mined from Upper Clydesdale, and additional gemstones and pearls.
There are 94 pearls in total on the Crown and 43 gemstones. The top is decorated with an ornate gold and dark blue enamel orb featuring small stars. A gold cross, mounted on top of the orb, is studded with a large amethyst and eight pearls. On the back of the cross is the mark “IR5”, meaning ‘Jacobus Rex V’. It’s thought that the orb is the work of a French craftsman, bought by James V in Paris in 1537.
James V first wore the refashioned crown – which weighs 1.59kg – at the coronation of Mary of Guise in 1540. Mary Queen of Scots was the first to be crowned using the new crown and sceptre together, in 1543. It has since been used at many of the major royal ceremonial events over the past five centuries.
But the Honours of Scotland have also had a turbulent time. In 1650 they were removed for safekeeping (possibly at Stirling Castle) ahead of Oliver Cromwell’s siege of Edinburgh Castle. Following the Scottish coronation of Charles II in 1651, unable to return them to Edinburgh Castle, the Honours were taken to Dunnottar Castle before being smuggled out during a siege and hidden at Kinneff Kirk. Only with the restoration of Charles II to the throne in 1660 could they return to Edinburgh Castle.