Queen Camilla’s Coronation Crown: See Her Options to Wear

The search is on for a crown for Queen Camilla.

When Camilla is crowned alongside King Charles at his coronation on May 6, 2023, she needs a suitable headpiece — but which one the couple will choose is very much up for debate.

As the controversy around the provenance of the famous Koh-i-Nûr diamond — the centerpiece of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother’s crown and the most obvious one for Camilla to use — continues, we take a peek into the royal vault to see what alternative regalia might be deemed appropriate for the historic occasion.

Queen Adelaide’s ornate crown from 1831 is one contender. Wearing a white and gold dress, King William IV’s wife commissioned a brand new coronation crown for their coronation. Rather than use loaned gems, which was standard practice at the time, Adelaide used her own diamonds for the crown, which were later removed.

Queen Adelaide.
Alamy Stock Photo

According to The Telegraph, the crown mysteriously vanished from display at the Tower of London earlier this year. But royal jewelry expert Lauren Kiehna of The Court Jeweler Tell PEOPLE the likelihood of Camilla wearing the almost 200-year-old crown is slim.

“The only original part of that crown is its frame, which is likely to be much heavier and more difficult to balance than a more modern frame because of the materials used to make it,” says Keihna.

Queen Mary’s crown.
PA Images via Getty

Similarly, the crowns of both Queen Alexandra and Queen Mary—which both held the Koh-i-Nûr diamond for their coronations in 1902 and 1911, respectively—are made of gold and silver…and likely very heavy for modern day wear.

“Alexandra and Mary wore supplementary hair pieces (like many women of their era) which would have cushioned their crowns somewhat, making them even more uncomfortable to wear now when those hairpieces aren’t used,” Kiehna notes.

Another option is to use Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother’s crown, which she wore for her coronation alongside King George VI in 1937, but remove the controversial Koh-i-Nûr diamond and replace it with crystal or another gem.

“Of the available crowns, it is by far the lightest and easiest to wear because it has a platinum frame,” Kiehna says. “I do believe that the Koh-i-Nûr will and should be removed from the crown if it is used. There’s nothing controversial about the crown itself, just the diamond.”

The Queen Mother’s Crown.
POOL WPA/AFP via Getty

The diamond (which weighs a staggering 105.6 carats) is at the center of an international row as demands grow in India for it to be returned. One of the largest diamonds in the world, it has a turbulent history with many previous owners. According to the Historic Royal Palaces website, “The East India Company took the jewel from deposed Maharaja Duleep Singh in 1849, as a condition of the Treaty of Lahore. The treaty set that the jewel be surrendered to Queen Victoria.” It is also subject to ownership claims in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Should the Queen Mother’s crown or the frame of it be used, it would make perfect sense to symbolize the nation’s previous Queen Consort.

“Charles has been careful to use jewelry to draw connections between his beloved grandmother and his wife since the start of their marriage — even giving her one of the Queen Mother’s rings as an engagement ring — and the use of her coronation crown would be a natural continuation of that narrative thread,” Kiehna says.

The Queen Mother with Princess Elizabeth on her Coronation Day in 1937.
Daily Herald Archive/National Science & Media Museum/SSPL via Getty

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Another option is to make a brand new bespoke crown, although this may not fit with Charles’s “make-do and mend” ethos. It could be deemed bad optics in the current economic climate, although they could do something far less lavish than their predecessors and opt for recycled gold and gems.

The George IV State Diadem.
Tristan Fewings/Getty

The use of a diadem has also been speculated —specifically the George IV State Diadem, which Queen Elizabeth wore on the journey to her coronation in 1953. However, as Kiehna states, a crowning, by nature, does require a crown.

“You can’t crown someone with a diadem or a tiara,” she says. “I think even trying to use anything else would be perceived as a comment on Camilla’s status, suggesting that she’s not on an equal level with previous queens consorts, which is definitely something that Charles would be keen to avoid.”

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