Queen Camilla wore the historic Coronation Necklace (Lahore Diamond), originally crafted for Queen Victoria in 1858, during the recent coronation ceremony.
The necklace features 26 diamonds, including the impressive Lahore Diamond, and has a captivating history tied to the British invasion of the Lahore Fort in 1849.
The Coronation Necklace has played a prominent role in various coronation ceremonies, and Queen Elizabeth herself wore it on her Coronation Day in 1953.
During the recent coronation ceremony, Queen Camilla adorned herself with a significant necklace known as “the Coronation Necklace.” Originally crafted for Queen Victoria in 1858, this exquisite piece showcases a remarkable collection of 26 diamonds, including the Lahore diamond, a magnificent 22.48-carat pendant.
The necklace’s captivating story traces back to the British invasion of the Lahore Fort in 1849, where they uncovered the hidden treasures of the ‘Toshakhana.’ These treasures, which remain relatively unknown to the Subcontinental community, included bags of diamonds, gharras of gold jewellery, precious stones, cashmere shawls, and relics associated with the Holy Prophet.
Dr. John Login, the fort’s administrator, diligently catalogued these treasures, although their true extent in terms of quantity and quality remains uncertain. It is likely that many of these items are now held in private collections or were undocumented at the time.
The diamonds seized during the fort invasion were subsequently used to create this extraordinary necklace, giving it its name. Today, it stands as one of the world’s most valuable and expensive pieces of jewellery, offering us a glimpse into its intriguing origin.
The Lahore diamond itself holds a rich history, once part of the Lahore Treasure in what is now Pakistan’s Punjab region. After British colonization in 1849, the diamond was presented to Queen Victoria in 1851 and became a cherished possession, prominently worn as a necklace in her Diamond Jubilee portraits.
Over the years, the Coronation Necklace played a significant role in various coronation ceremonies. Queen Alexandra wore it during her coronation in 1902, followed by Queen Mary in 1911 and Queen Mother Elizabeth in 1937.
Even Queen Elizabeth herself chose this necklace, along with its matching earrings, to grace her Coronation Day in 1953. Throughout her reign, Queen Elizabeth continued to wear this remarkable jewelry set for special occasions, including state dinners.
During the recent coronation at Westminster Abbey on May 6, King Charles assumed the role of monarch following Queen Elizabeth’s passing, officially declaring Queen Camilla as his Queen Consort. Queen Camilla radiated elegance in a stunning coronation dress designed by Bruce Oldfield, complemented by bespoke shoes crafted by British designer Eliot Zed, using the same silk fabric as her dress.
For the crowning moment, Queen Camilla adorned the illustrious Queen Mary’s Crown. This remarkable tiara, adorned with an astonishing 2,200 diamonds, was originally created for her great-grandmother, Queen Mary, in 1911 to commemorate the coronation of King George V.
The historical significance of these regal jewels added an extra touch of grandeur to the recent coronation, symbolizing a new chapter in the monarchy’s illustrious history.
Will the Lahore Diamond ever return home along with the other jewels? Who knows.