On 29 March 2012, a spectacular new display of the world famous Crown Jewels will be revealed at the Tower of London to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen. A major re-presentation of the Jewel House will give the Crown Jewels a home fit for the 21st century, with new displays showing the jewels like never before.
The Crown Jewels, part of the Royal Collection, are the most powerful symbols of the British Monarchy and hold deep religious and cultural significance in our nation’s history. Destroyed at the Tower after the Civil War and remade for Charles II’s coronation in 1661, the Crown Jewels signify royal authority to lead, and protect, the nation. The regalia includes some of the most extraordinary diamonds in the world, their mystique and beauty attracting around 2.5 million visitors from around the world every year.
A new introductory exhibition featuring evocative graphics, music and film footage will enable visitors to explore the importance of the Crown Jewels to the British Monarchy, the role of the Tower in protecting these treasures and the long and fascinating tradition of coronations in England.
The exhibition will focus on the coronation ceremony as its central theme. Since 1066, coronation ceremonies have taken place in Westminster Abbey, the great church built by Edward the Confessor. The displays will examine how the regalia are used during the ceremony, and explore the symbolism of each object. Newly restored film footage of Her Majesty The Queen’s coronation in 1953 will be shown to create a sense of the atmosphere on such a momentous occasion. The regalia will be newly displayed in the order that it is used in the ceremony, and Handel’s coronation anthems will be heard as visitors move through the exhibition.
The Crown Jewels will be exhibited with improved lighting to showcase their true beauty and magnificence. Other new features being introduced include tactile three-dimensional models for visually impaired visitors, and a lift offering level access to a raised viewing platform for the first time.
The Crown Jewels at the Tower of London are a unique working collection of royal regalia and are still regularly used by The Queen in important national ceremonies, such as the annual State Opening of Parliament. Film footage showing the Crown Jewels in use on such occasions will bring this to life for visitors.
The re-presentation of the Jewel House is made possible thanks to the generosity of the De Beers Family of Companies including the diamond brand Forevermark.
Michael Day, Chief Executive of Historic Royal Palaces, said:
“We are incredibly proud to unveil this new presentation of the world’s premier collection of diamonds and precious jewels. The Crown Jewels, renowned for their beauty and historical significance, capture the imagination of visitors worldwide. This new display, generously supported by the De Beers Family of Companies, gives them a home fit for the 21st century. With all eyes on London in 2012 for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games, this display will enable us to showcase Britain’s most prized treasures in all their glory.”
For further information, please contact the Historic Royal Palaces press office on 020 3166 6166 or email email@example.com – selected images of the Crown Jewels are available on request, subject to terms and conditions of use.
A Cecil Beaton portrait of The Queen holding the regalia at her coronation can be obtained from Camera Press via Elizabeth Kerr on 020 7940 9153 or firstname.lastname@example.org
General images of the Tower of London can be accessed via our press image library http://hrp.newsteam.co.uk/tower-of-london/
Please note, the Jewel House will not be closing during the works and the complete regalia will continue to be on display daily at the Tower of London. Please regularly check our website for opening hours during this time.
Historic Royal Palaces is the independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace and Kew Palace. We help everyone explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society, in some of the greatest palaces ever built. We receive no funding from the Government or the Crown, so we depend on the support of our visitors, members, donors, volunteers and sponsors. These palaces are owned by The Queen on behalf of the nation, and we manage them for the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. Registered charity number 1068852. For more information visit www.hrp.org.uk
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