Culture, UK

London’s Crowning Glory

If like the millions of others watching the Queen’s Funeral you would like to get up more close and personal to the British throne then of course you can at London‘s Crowning Glory.

The Crown Jewels which you see on the Queen’s coffin won’t, of course, be going with her to her final resting place.

As they’ll be needed to put on Charles’s head at the coronation.

While in between they’ll be encased back in the Tower of London.

Royal watchers will see the significance that the new British king has kept his birth name of Charles (he didn’t have to).

Because the crown jewels which we all gawk at were first put on the head of Charles II (his dad Charles I had his chopped off).

The new Crown Jewels

What a gem: The Crown Jewels

The Crown Jewels were destroyed at the Tower after the Civil War.

But they were remade for Chuck’s Coronation in 1661, which more respectfully was known as the Restoration.

Royalist or Republicans alike can marvel at the aesthetic of the Crown Jewels.

And the greater collection of 23,578 gemstones.

As we have on our travels in Britain’s capital.

Many of which are still used in royal ceremonies today such as the State Opening of Parliament.

And for those who want a greater insight into the new King then his coronet from his investiture as Prince of Wales from 1969 has also been on display since 2020.

It’s gold and platinum and set with diamonds and emeralds with a purple velvet and ermine cap of estate.

Yes, it’s true that Charlie has been preparing for this job all of life and he really will be down with the kids as the King of Bling.

Now if you let your imagination run away with you.

And wonder what they would look like on you, better keep it in your head rather than try and put in on it.

Because security though you might not see it is off the scale.

An Irish heist

Pocket it: Blood and his pals

Not that that stopped Colonel Thomas Blood (I guess the clue is in the title) try to make away with the crown in 1671.

Yeoman Warder Darren Hardy will tell you the whole dastardly story of London’s Crowning Glory on YouTube.

Of how the turncoat and his companions managed to outwit the Jewel House Keeper in the Martin Tower and snatch the jewels.

Blood, nicknamed ‘The Father of Treasons’ was Irish (naturally) and as they might say in modern parlance was ‘known to the authorities’.

A parliamentarian during the Civil War he had his lands taken after the Restoration and did not take that well.

He and his accomplices tried to seize Dublin Castle only for their plot to fail and his pals get executed…

Blood got away, well they do say Blood will out!

Obviously a man of derring-do he took it to the crown again.

When he hatched his plot to make away with the Crown Jewels.

Bloody Hell

Casing the joint: In London

On May 9, 1671, Blood, disguised as a priest duped the Jewel Housekeeper to hand over his pistols.

His three accomplices then emerged and forced their way into the Jewel House.

Only to be caught by the keeper’s son who raised the alarm.

One of the gang shoved the Royal Orb down his breeches.

While Blood flattened the Crown with a mallet and tried to run away.

The gang was arrested and Blood was brought before the king.

Who lucky for him was in a good mood that day…

Perhaps Nell Gwynn had lavished him with oranges or more.

And far from punishing Blood, Merry Monarch Charles restored his estates in Ireland.

And made him a member of his court with an annual pension.

Now we wouldn’t advise testing this Charles as the outcome might be very different this time.

A bit of Blarney

To the Tower: With a Beefeater

Blood, who had obviously used some Irish Blarney to win Charles around became a bit of a celebrity of his day.

And when he died his body had to be exhumed because the public didn’t believe he was dead.

This and much more, of course, you can find out.

From exploring 1000 years of English and British history at the Tower.

It is without doubt London’s Crowning Glory.

 

 

  

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