That’s billion with a B.
While King Charles III (formerly known as Prince Charles) technically ascended to the throne immediately following his mother Queen Elizabeth II’s death, his formal coronation will not take place until 2023. There hasn’t been a coronation in 70 years (the queen’s took place in 1953), so it’s hard to know what exactly will go down. But, this is the royal family, after all, so we can expect to see certain traditions that have been in place for over a century. Plus, the royals never miss a moment to make a sentimental fashion statement (see: Kate Middleton’s pearl funeral jewelry.)
So the king’s coronation next year (date TBD) will unsurprisingly be chock-full of meaningful jewels and memorabilia, known as the Coronation Regalia (part of the Crown Jewels), that have historically been used at coronations throughout the years. The shocking part is the staggering monetary value of all these items.
Once all is said and done, Charles will be decked out in nearly $4 billion (!!) of coronation regalia. Yes, billion, with a B. “How could one man possibly wear that much jewelry?” you might ask. But the collection is comprised of the St. Edwards Crown, Sovereign’s Ring, Imperial State Crown, Sovereign’s Sceptre with dove, Sovereign’s Sceptre with the cross, Sovereign’s Orb, Gold Ampulla, the Spurs, and the Sword of Offering, all littered with gem stones like diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and pearls.
In fact, the St. Edwards Crown hasn’t been worn in 200 years, because of its sheer weight (clocking in at 4.9 pounds). Even more impressive is the Sovereign’s Scepter with Cross, which holds the world’s most expensive diamond, the Cullinan, believed to be approximately 530 carats and estimated to be worth $430 million.
According to experts at U.K. jeweler Steven Stone, the grand total is estimated to be a whopping $3.8 billion. “The Crown Jewels contain some of the most precious and famous jewels in the world — including the Coronation Regalia,” the company’s leading expert Maxwell Stone told Crisscut Magazine. “Comprised of the sacred objects used during the coronation ceremony, we can expect to see the Coronation Regalia in the near future, during King Charle’s III’s coronation ceremony.”
He added, “Laced with history, it’s incredibly difficult to value the Coronation Regalia. Each piece is extraordinary — from the Sovereign’s Scepter with Cross, which contains the $430 million (£400 million) Cullinan diamond to the Sovereign’s Ring, which features an octagonal sapphire, overlaid with four rectangular-cut and one square-cut ruby that form a cross.”