Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Queen's Controversial Crown

I was interested in finding out about the crown the Queen of England wore during her diamond jubilee celebration.  Apparently, one of the oldest and famous diamonds known, the Koh-i-Noor diamond, adorns the royal crown.  This diamond came into the possession of Queen Victoria in 1850.  Two years later, she had it cut to a smaller 109 carats to adorn the royal crown.   This meant a  loss of weight of almost 43%.  It was then set in the queen’s crown, in frontal position.   This is the same crown Queen Elizabeth wore during her diamond jubilee celebration.

But there is a controversary that has been going on for many years as to who is the rightful owner of the diamond.

According  to the legend, this diamond is more than 2000 years old.  It was mined, at some point, in the 12th or 13th century A.D. in southern India and it quickly became a gleaming prize for a succession of dynasties  It has belonged to various Hindu, Persian, Raiput, Mughal, Turkic,  Afghan, Sikh and British rulers who fought bitterly over it at various points in history and seized it as a spoil of war time and time again. It was most recently looted by the East India Company and became part of the British Crown Jewels when Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India in 1877.

Currently Queen Elizabeth's crown is on display at the Tower of London.

But India wants the diamond back.  They claim that the Kohinoor was taken away illegally or rather stolen and it should be given back to India.   Apparently, England does not agree. 

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