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Duchess of Cornwall Camilla to Inherit the Kohinoor

Duchess of Cornwall Camilla to Inherit the Kohinoor

As people – particularly Brits devoted to the Royal Family – mourned Queen Elizabeth II’s death on Friday, others had a different agenda. Amid all the memes surrounding the Queen’s immortality (or lack thereof), some follow one particular discourse – the Royal Family’s collection of “borrowed” jewels from various commonwealth nations. 

The Queen’s infamous crown adorned with several “looted” jewels has been the topic of online discussion since her untimely demise. The Imperial State Crown has 2,868 cut diamonds, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, and 269 pearls. Among others, the ‘Great Star of Africa’, the Cullinan Diamond was presented to Edward VII. Mined in South Africa in 1905, it is the largest uncut diamond and is still part of Queen Elizabeth’s sceptre. It originally weighed 3,100 carats. After it was cut into several smaller pieces, the largest drop-shaped diamond was fit into the sceptre. It is now worth around 400 million USD (Rs 3,100 crores). However, the most detested and sought-after conquest remains the Kohinoor Diamond of Indian origin. 

The Kohinoor, originally a Mughal-cut stone weighing 191 carats, was revered in Hindu mythology and is claimed to be cursed. Because of its origin in Mughal-era India, countries like Pakistan and the Taliban in Afghanistan have long fought over its ownership. With the expansion of the British East India Company in the 19th century came an eye on the priceless stone. It was also displayed at the 1851 Great Exposition in London after it came under Queen Victoria’s possession. Visitors were appalled by how “plain” the stone was. It was then resized into an oval-shaped diamond, now only weighing 105.6 carats.

Queen Victoria initially wore the Kohinoor as a brooch. Eventually, it became part of Queen Alexandra’s crown. It was placed at the front of the crown worn by the late Queen’s mother for her coronation in 1937. 

Netizens worldwide are now demanding the jewels be returned to their rightful places in their respective countries. However, it is unlikely for this to happen. Several media reports state that the Kohinoor-studded platinum crown will go to the next monarch – King Charles III or rather, his Queen consort, Camilla Parker Bowles. Earlier this year, the Queen had announced she wished for Camilla to be referred to as the Queen Consort. The reason Prince Charles himself can’t wear the crown is a popular folklore-induced belief that the Kohinoor is a harbinger of misfortune for men and that only God or women can wear it safely.

This decision, however, remains contentious as several people still hold the Royal family accountable for the late Diana, Princess of Wales’ death. Prince Charles’ divorce from Diana was provoked by his affair with Camilla. The duo married later in 2005, with Camilla being granted the title of Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall. 

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The official coronation for Prince Charles’ ascension to the throne as England’s new monarch is expected to take place on Saturday. 

 

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