The St Edward’s Crown, the crown used by many monarchs at the moment of coronation (including Elizabeth II) is due to be taken out of the Tower of London to Westminster Abbey for today’s coronation anniversary service.
The solid gold 253-year-old crown has not been used since 1953. Ordinarily, after the Monarch is crowned with the St Edward’s crown (though many chose to be crowned with other crowns), it is never used again during that Monarch’s reign and the Imperial State Crown is used in such events as the State Opening of Parliament.
The Dean of Westminster, The Very Rev Dr John Hall, said the crown would provide “a powerful symbol of the moment of coronation”.
He told The Telegraph: “I think having the crown on the altar and the ampulla there, those are extraordinary and it will be wonderful to have them there, to have that central focus of St Edward’s Crown just feet away from St Edward’s shrine, where he is buried.”
The Ampulla is also going to be present at today’s service. The Ampulla is a vessel of fine gold in the shape of an eagle and is the oldest piece in the Coronation jewels (dating back to the 14th century). It contains the holy oil which is used to anoint the Sovereign. The head unscrews to admit the oil which is poured out through the beak.
Today’s coronation service at Westminster Abbey will be attended by many members of the Royal Family and will begin at 11am.
The Royal Family will travel by car both ways, an unusual choice, omitting the usual carriage procession one way.