Update 14 December: In line with government guidance, the Tower of London will be closed from 16 December.
From 19 February 2020, HRH The Prince of Wales’s Investiture Coronet will be on public display in the Jewel House of the Tower of London for the first time. The coronet, part of the Royal Collection, will be joining coronets of two other Princes of Wales and will be displayed alongside the Crown Jewels within the vaults of the Tower.
HRH The Prince of Wales’s Investiture Coronet is made of gold and platinum and set with diamonds and emeralds with a purple velvet and ermine cap of estate. It was designed by the architect and goldsmith Louis Osman (1914-1996) and presented to HM The Queen by the Goldsmiths’ Company for HRH The Prince of Wales’s investiture as Prince of Wales at Caernarfon Castle on 1 July 1969.
Whilst a contemporary interpretation, the design of the coronet follows historical precedent dating back hundreds of years. It is made of 24-carat Welsh gold with four crosses patee and four fleurs-de-lys. The orb mounted on the top of the arch was engraved by Malcolm Appleby, MBE (b. 1946) with The Prince of Wales’s insignia. This is surrounded by thirteen diamonds arranged as the constellation of Scorpio, the astrological symbol that represents The Prince’s date of birth. The diamonds set horizontally represent the seven Gifts of God on one side and the seven Deadly Sins on the other.
Alongside the coronet, the rod used in the 1969 investiture, previously made for the 1911 investiture, will also be going on display. The ceremonial rod, designed by Welsh sculptor Sir William Goscombe John (1860-1952), is made of gold with a silver-gilt crown finial encasing a cabochon amethyst, supported by three putti with arms aloft, above cast Prince of Wales's feathers and the motto Ich Dien.
Historically, investitures had taken place in front of Parliament, but in 1911 it was decided to hold the ceremony in Wales. During the investiture, the Prince is bestowed with the Honours of the Principality of Wales - a coronet, a golden rod, a mantle, a sword and a ring.
Charles Farris, Curator Historic Royal Palaces, said, “We’re delighted to be displaying, at the Tower of London, HRH The Prince of Wales’s Coronet worn at his investiture in 1969. The coronet will be housed within the Jewel House and is a unique opportunity for it to be shown alongside two earlier examples of Prince of Wales coronets. Created over a period of nearly 250 years, each coronet is both distinctive and yet follows a design first specified by King Charles II in 1677. Therefore, these beautiful objects are at once expressive of both transformation and timelessness.”
This will be the first time the coronet and the rod have been displayed at the Tower of London, having previously been on display in various locations including Cardiff, at the National Museum of Wales. To reflect the heritage of the new display, items will be labelled in both English and Welsh language.
Notes to editors
For further information and images, please contact Cat Steventon in the Historic Royal Palaces press office on 0203 166 6302 or email [email protected]
Historic Royal Palaces is the independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle. We help everyone explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society, in some of the greatest palaces ever built. We raise all our own funds and depend on the support of our visitors, members, donors, sponsors and volunteers. With the exception of Hillsborough Castle, 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. Historic Royal Palaces cares for Hillsborough Castle under a separate contract with the Northern Ireland Office. Registered charity number 1068852. For more information visit www.hrp.org.uk
The Royal Collection is among the largest and most important art collections in the world, and one of the last great European royal collections to remain intact. It comprises almost all aspects of the fine and decorative arts, and is spread among some 15 royal residences and former residences across the UK, most of which are regularly open to the public. The Royal Collection is held in trust by the Sovereign for her successors and the nation, and is not owned by The Queen as a private individual. www.rct.uk