HRH Princess Royal opens Crown Jewels
Today (29 March 2012), Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal officially opened a new display of the world famous Crown Jewels at the Tower of London which has been completed to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen. A major re-presentation of the Jewel House has given the Crown Jewels a home fit for the 21st century, with new displays showing the jewels like never before.
Her Royal Highness was welcomed by General Lord Richard Dannatt, Constable of the Tower of London, as the Yeoman Warders (also known as ‘Beefeaters’) stood on parade. The Princess Royal was introduced to the Chairman and Chief Executive of Historic Royal Palaces, the independent charity that manages the Tower of London, before meeting staff who worked on the project. Her Royal Highness unveiled a plaque commemorating the occasion and was then presented with a bouquet by a young resident (daughter of a Yeoman Warder) and a raven, a gift from a Somerset breeder to Her Majesty The Queen to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee. The raven will join seven other resident ravens at the Tower of London.
The re-presentation of the Jewel House includes a new introductory exhibition featuring evocative graphics, music and film footage enabling 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 examines how the regalia are used during coronation ceremonies, and explores the symbolism of each object. Newly restored film footage of Her Majesty The Queen’s coronation in 1953 is shown to create a sense of the atmosphere on such a momentous occasion. The regalia has been 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.
Improved lighting has also been introduced to showcase the true beauty and magnificence of the Crown Jewels. Other new features 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.
The re-presentation of the Jewel House is made possible thanks to the generosity of the De Beers Family of Companies.
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 or images, please contact the Historic Royal Palaces press office on 020 3166 6166 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
The new Crown Jewels display opens to the public today (29 March) at the Tower of London. For the latest admission prices and opening times, please visit www.hrp.org.uk Telephone bookings: 0844 482 7799 (from UK)
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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