Crowns of one sort or another have been a part of Queendom Website almost since Day One when a friend said to me, "Gay Ann, that site is like your private Kingdom" and I answered, "it's not a Kindgom, it's a Queendom and I'm Queen, an autocratic Queen who rules by whim."
I began stitching Elizabeth 1 long before I started Queendom Website, but I didn't think of making an ornament out of her coronation crown until later. The first crown ornament I made out of a coronation crown was many years later when I stitched Catherine the Great's amazing crown.
Then a crown for Eleanor of Aquitaine and one for Elizabeth 1. Of course when Queen Victoria came along, I decided to try and stitch the Imperial State Crown made for Queen Victoria's coronation.
As I planned to stitch Queen Victoria's crown, I learned a bit about it and how it changed for the coronation of Elizabeth II, Victoria's great great granddaughter.
When I found the photo below of the Imperial State Crown in its own Rolls Royce, I decided to stitch both.
The Cullinan Diamond
The Imperial State Crown made for Queen Victoria's coronation was different from the crown as it is today. Victoria's crown was taller, with blue velvet and the sapphire of St. Edward on the front.
The Cullinan Diamond named after Thomas Cullinan, the mine's chairman, was the largest gem-quality diamond ever found. At 3,106.75 carats, it was discovered in South Africa on January 16, 1905. The Amsterdam-based company, I. J. Asscher and Co. cut the diamond into several parts, the largest being 'The Great Star of Africa' (530.4 carats), the next 'The Lesser Star of Africa' (317.4 carats).
After the discovery of the Cullinan diamond, the sapphire was moved to the back of the Imperial State Crown and now the lesser Cullinan diamond is on the front; the greater Cullinan diamond is on the scepter.
Above: Victoria wearing the Imperial State Crown made for her coronation.
Below: her great great granddaught, Elizabeth II wearing the remodeled Imperial State Crown as it is today.
(A note to Victoria people: notice EIIR is wearing the Garter Collar.)
The Imperial State Crown riding in its own Rolls Royce
Look at this: a driver, an official escort and a guard, all accompanying the Crown. Be sure to notice the cypher at the top of the Roller. It was this photo that made me decide to stitch EIIR's version of the crown.
One More Car Story
A couple of years ago Rolls Royce produced its first ever SUV, named the Cullinan after the great diamonds. As I drive an SUV, I am most eager to go down to the local Roller Dealer and see the Cullinan. I've meant to do it for some time -- maybe I'll traipse down there to see it after I meet my December 12 deadline. Stay tuned....
My Own Personal Jewels
I've had a great time stitching all these crowns, but in reality I've never fancied having a lot of diamonds. In the years after I started Queendom Website but was still traveling to Seminars, my buddies gave me a diamond tiara all out of glass diamonds, and I had a bunch of plastic and glass diamond rings, bracelets, you name it.
One time when I forgot to take my big diamond rings with me to a seminar, I went to a local flea market after the teacher meeting and bought myself a large diamond ring to wear through the seminar. In my teaching days it seemed like all needlework teachers had large diamond rings so I thought I should join them.
My students of course noticed my ring. Wouldn't you notice a 10 carat diamond ring too?
Ahh, said I, yes, it is new in my life and I am so excited about it.
There was a jeweler in my class and she was much relieved when she found out I had just paid $9.00 for it in the local flea market. She hadn't seen it close up but she said diamonds don't do well set directly in gold. She was afraid I had been caught by a disreputable jeweler.