Why King Charles’ coronation crown could be worn for ‘only a few minutes’ as guests miss out on ‘wonderful’ moment

King Charles' coronation crown might only be seen briefly before being removed and 'never' worn again for a simple reason...

King Charles' coronation crown might only be worn briefly. Seen here is King Charles during the State Opening of Parliament
(Image credit: Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)

King Charles’ coronation crown could be worn for “only a few minutes” and guests could miss out on a “wonderful moment” as the ceremony draws nearer. 

As King Charles’ coronation day approaches more and more details have been announced, from the coronation concert at Windsor Castle to Queen Camilla’s coronation crown being confirmed as Queen Mary’s Crown. The crown that will be placed upon King Charles’ head during the service at Westminster Abbey, however, wasn’t the cause of so much speculation. 

It was always understood that St Edward’s Crown would be King Charles’ coronation crown of choice given its historical role in such ceremonies, but it won’t be glimpsed for very long. Instead, it seems King Charles’ coronation crown could be only worn for a “few minutes” on the big day.

St Edward's Crown on display

(Image credit: REUTERS/Jack Hill/Pool/Alamy)

St Edward’s Crown was remade in the 17th century and the original was believed to date back to the 11th century and belonged to Edward the Confessor. Discussing St Edward’s Crown with OK!, royal expert and author Hugo Vickers gave intriguing details about the part it played in the late Queen Elizabeth’s coronation.

“The St Edward’s Crown was made for Charles II. It’s a fantastically heavy crown, and it is only worn by the monarch for a few minutes during the coronation ceremony,” he said, seemingly suggesting that the weight of it is a huge contributing factor to its brief appearance. 

Hugo continued, “In 1953, Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in it while sitting in the ancient Coronation Chair, and she wore it as she was moved to the throne, where the peers then came and gave homage.”

The Queen holding her symbols of office

(Image credit: Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

After taking communion, the Queen took it off and then “briefly” put it back on again before removing it “never to wear it again during her reign”. She left the Abbey on coronation day wearing the Imperial State Crown instead. So sadly it seems that given it’s “fantastically heavy” it’s likely King Charles’ coronation crown will also be worn for a similarly short length of time, though he could also wear the State Crown later on. 

And Hugo has predicted that the ceremony could also miss out on a “wonderful moment” that Queen Elizabeth’s coronation had. Traditionally when a King is crowned the peers of the realm put on their coronets which have designs specific to their rank and after a Queen Consort is crowned the peeresses do the same.

Queen Elizabeth II at her coronation ceremony

(Image credit: Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

“I don’t think hereditary peers will be there, but I’m sure there will be a representative group of peers and they will probably wear parliamentary robes,” the royal expert claimed. “They probably won’t have that wonderful moment when the King is crowned and all the peers put on their coronets and crown themselves, and when the queen consort is crowned all the peeresses put on their coronets with their long white gloves that sweep up above their heads like swans.”

If the peers and royals with coronets don’t get this “moment”, then it’s unclear whether coronets could play a part or whether they could be worn into the Abbey. Either way, fans will still be treated to some pretty impressive royal headpieces on May 6.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!