Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Card of the Day: The Head of the Royal Sceptre with the Cross

Certainly the most famous scepter in the British Crown Jewels, if not the world, this majestic rod features one of the most celebrated diamonds ever cut. It is known as the Sceptre with the Cross, St Edward's Sceptre, the Sovereign's Sceptre or the Royal Sceptre and was originally made for the coronation of King Charles II in 1661—as most of the Regalia seems to have been.

In 1905, the scepter was largely rebuilt and redesigned to accommodate the Cullinan Diamond—still one of the largest diamonds in the world along with its collection of other impressive gems. Properly called the Cullinan I, or the Great Star of Africa, the diamond weighs over 530 carats. The Cullinan I can be removed from the scepter and worn as a brooch—a very heavy brooch about the size of a fist. The Cullinan diamond was the largest diamond ever found in the world and was cut into 9 different pieces with the Cullinan I the largest among them.

The Sceptre with the Cross
Crown Copyright
Used with the Permission of the
Brtish Monarchy
 This Scepter symbolizes the temporal authority of the Monarch under the Cross. During the coronation, the Monarch holds the Sceptre with the Cross in the right hand and the Sceptre with the Dove in the left while the Archbishop of Canterbury places St Edward's Crown on his or her head.

The Cullinan I
Crown Copyright
Image courtesy of
The British Monarchy
King Edward VII
with the Sceptre with the Cross in 1902
Before the Addition of the Cullinan I
Samuel Luke Fildes
The Royal Collection

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, that sure is a big sparkler !