The history of the Prince of Wales coronet, a rare crown William will wear at Charles' coronation

The Prince of Wales coronet will get its first sighting in over 50 years at the coronation

The Prince of Wales Coronet was last worn at Charles' investiture in 1969
(Image credit: Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

As more details emerge about King Charles’ upcoming coronation, people are starting to ask questions about what the other royals will get to do on the day. In particular, what are the customs when it comes to fashion and jewelry. One royal expert who oversees the TikTok account, @theroyalwardrobe, explained that, as Prince of Wales, fans can expect William to wear a coronet not worn for over five decades.

The Prince of Wales is a title reserved exclusively for the heir apparent to the British throne. After the death of Queen Elizabeth II in 2022, her son, Charles became King, and his eldest son, Prince William, took over the title.

When he becomes King, the title will pass on to Prince George.

Other famous Prince of Wales’ in the past have included Henry Tudor, best remembered by history as Henry VIII.

The title dates back to 1301. After his conquest of Wales and the execution of David III (1283), King Edward I gave the title to his son, the future Edward II.

It is specifically granted by the sovereign, and in due course, the recipient is invested as Prince of Wales. And it’s at the investiture where a rare crown, the Prince of Wales coronet – one not worn by anyone else in the Royal Family – is seen.

But one royal style expert, TikTok's @theroyalwardrobe, explained that William will likely wear this crown at King Charles' upcoming coronation

The late Queen and Prince Philip with the then-prince Charles at his investiture

(Image credit: Dennis Oulds/Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The Prince of Wales coronet, 1969

Presented to the late Queen Elizabeth II by the Goldsmith’s Company for the Investiture of Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales on July 1, 1969, this was the first time the public saw this new crown created especially for Charles.

The Investiture Coronet was designed by the architect and goldsmith Louis Osman.

The Prince of Wales Coronet, 1969

(Image credit: Rolls Press/Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

The magnificent crown features 24 carat gold, with the 4 Crosses Patées and the 4 fleur-de-Lys made from a nugget of rare Welsh gold which is also used in the wedding rings of royals.  

The coronet is reinforced with platinum and decorated with diamonds and emeralds.

The orb mounted on the top of the arch was engraved by Malcolm Appleby with The Prince of Wales’s insignia. This is surrounded by 13 diamonds arranged as the constellation of Scorpio, King Charles’ star sign.

The Prince of Wales coronet, 1969

(Image credit: MAX NASH/AFP via Getty Images)

The diamonds set horizontally represent the 7 Gifts of God on one side and the 7 deadly sins on the other.

It is not known if Prince William will have the coronet edited. For example, William is a Gemini, born on June 21.

What happened to the original Prince of Wales coronet?

The reason Charles needed a new crown made special is that his uncle, Edward VIII, took the original Prince of Wales Coronet with him as he went into exile after abdicating.

The original coronet had been created for King George V when he was Prince of Wales, and he wore it at his father’s coronation in 1902.

The original Prince of Wales Coronet was taken with Edward VII when he left Great Britain

(Image credit: Royal Collection Trust)

Edward, when Prince of Wales, wore it at the coronation of his father in 1911.

Despite taking off with an artefact of history, in 1969, it was judged impractical to charge the former king with stealing the coronet.

Jack Slater
Freelance writer

Jack Slater is not the Last Action Hero, but that's what comes up first when you Google him. Preferring a much more sedentary life, Jack gets his thrills by covering news, entertainment, celebrity, film and culture for woman&home, and other digital publications.

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