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The centrepiece of the Crown Jewels, Britain's 17th century St Edward Crown has been removed from display to be altered for the coronation of King Charles III, said Buckingham Palace on Saturday, as quoted by the news agency AFP.

The palace informed that the solid gold crown, encrusted with rubies, amethysts, sapphires, garnet, topazes and tourmalines, will undergo "modification work" for Charles III's coronation at Westminster Abbey on May 6 next year.

The historic crown is the centrepiece of the Crown Jewels, a large collection of royal regalia housed in the Tower of London that attracts more than a million visitors per year, as per AFP reports.

The crown, which was last worn by Queen Elizabeth II at her coronation in 1953, has a purple velvet cap with an ermine band, is just over 30 cm (one foot) tall and very heavy.

Charles III, 74, will be crowned along with his wife, Queen Consort Camilla. The ceremony will be followed by a national holiday on May 8. The crown was made for King Charles II in 1661 to replace a mediaeval crown though to date back to Edward the Confessor.

The original crown was melted down by parliamentarians after the execution of Charles I. It was only carried in coronation processions because it was too heavy to wear. Later, the crown was altered to make it lighter for the coronation of King George V in 1911 but still weighs 2.23 kilograms (nearly five pounds), AFP reported. 

King Charles III will wear the historic crown the moment he is crowned. When he leaves Westminster Abbey, Charles will wear the more modern Imperial State Crown, also used for occasions such as the opening of parliament.

Set with over 2,000 diamonds, the Imperial State Crown was created in 1937 for the coronation of King George VI, the father of Elizabeth II.

Charles immediately became king when his mother died on September 8. He also took over as head of state of 14 Commonwealth countries, including Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

 

(With AFP reports)

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