Europe

King ‘wants’ Camilla to wear controversial diamond for coronation

Charles 'would like' Camilla to wear Koh-i-Noor crown says Levin

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Royal commentator Angela Levin has reported that King Charles III allegedly “wants” his wife the Queen Consort to wear a crown containing the controversial diamond despite issues raised by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Ms Levin, speaking to TalkTV’s Julia Hartley-Brewer, said she believes Camilla will “choose another” crown in spite of her husband’s wishes as the Queen Consort is keen not to create “problems with India” while the UK Government is negotiating a trade deal with them. Foreign secretary James Cleverly said on Thursday morning that the decision over whether to wear the crown containing the gem will be left to the palace.  

Ms Levin: “King Charles would like Camilla to wear that. I’m quite sure that she doesn’t mind. She can choose any one of 40 tiaras. 

“But, they feel this might affect the deal they are doing with India and that is very important at the moment because everything is so tricky now.” 

Ms Hartely Brewer said: “I would have thought, with all the problems facing India and all the other countries around the world, that what some lady on the other side of the world is wearing is the least of their problems.” 

Ms Levin said: “King Charles does really want her to do this but I am quite sure she will choose another one.” 

The Government has said it is down to Buckingham Palace to decide whether the controversial Koh-i-noor diamond should be used in the coronation of the Queen Consort.

The governing party of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi is reported to have expressed concern that the famous gem, which was seized by the East India Company and given to Queen Victoria in the 19th century, would provide an unwelcome reminder of the British Empire.

Foreign secretary James Cleverly said: “Ultimately, decisions like that are for the palace. The palace is really very good at assessing the public, and indeed the international mood.”

He added: “We have a fantastic relationship with India and the Indian people. It is a decision for the palace and I have no doubt the coronation will be an absolute celebration.”

The historic 105.6 carat treasure was presented to Victoria by the East India Company in 1849 and became part of the Crown Jewels.

The Queen Mother’s coronation crown, made especially for her 1937 coronation, features the sparkling gem, which sits in the front cross-pattee in a detachable platinum mount, according to the Royal Collection.

Options could include the removal of the diamond and its mount, replacement with a crystal replica, or Camilla could opt for another crown. Palace officials are understood to be reviewing whether she should wear the jewel, with the King acutely aware of the sensitivities.

She is due to be crowned in a similar but simpler ceremony as part of the King’s coronation on May 6 next year in Westminster Abbey.

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According to the Telegraph, a spokesman for Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party said: “The coronation of Camilla and the use of the crown jewel Koh-i-noor brings back painful memories of the colonial past. “Most Indians have very little memory of the oppressive past. Five to six generations of Indians suffered under multiple foreign rules for over five centuries.

“Recent occasions, like Queen Elizabeth II’s death, the coronation of the new Queen Camilla and the use of the Koh-i-noor does transport a few Indians back to the days of the British Empire in India.”

The Koh-i-Noor, which means Mountain of Light, was discovered in the Golconda mines in what is now the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

The large, colourless diamond then passed between Mughal princes, Iranian warriors, Afghan rulers and Punjabi Maharajas before it was given in 1849 to the East India Company, which offered it to Queen Victoria.

India, along with Pakistan and Afghanistan, have long argued over who has the rightful claim to the gem. It is said to bring bad luck to any man who wears it. Prince Albert had the Koh-i-Noor re-cut to improve its brilliance and conform to contemporary European tastes.

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