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The coronation of King Charles III is scheduled for 6 May and is expected to be one of the most-watched events of 2023. | Source: Shutterstock
The coronation of King Charles III is scheduled for 6 May and is expected to be one of the most-watched events of 2023. | Source: Shutterstock

Controversy continues over coronation’s dazzling diamonds

Representatives at Buckingham Palace have confirmed that the crown worn by Queen Consort Camilla Parker-Bowlers at the coronation will feature the Cullinan II, IV, and V diamonds.

The coronation of King Charles III is scheduled for 6 May and is expected to be one of the most-watched events of 2023.

For the first time in modern history, Queen Consort Camilla won’t wear a newly commissioned crown, instead donning a modified version of Queen Mary’s crown.

The original expectation was that Parker-Bowles would wear the Queen Mother’s Crown, which contains the 105-carat Koh-i-Noor – believed to be the most valuable diamond in the world.

Headshot-everisto-benyera-University-of-South-Africa-professor
Headshot-everisto-benyera-University-of-South-Africa-professor
“The history of the Cullinan diamond is an epitome of the history of colonialism and imperialism. It is a history of denying Africans their humanity and their rights.”
Everisto Benyera, University of South Africa

Those plans were scrapped amid controversy as calls from India’s government, among others, to return the diamond heightened. 

The original Cullinan diamond was discovered in a mine in South Africa in 1905, weighing a staggering 3,106 carats and carrying a blue-white colour.

In 1907, the colonial government of South Africa presented the diamond to King Edward VII. The rough was cut and polished into nine separate diamonds.

Unsurprisingly, the criticism of the Royal Family over the origins of its expansive gemstone collection has continued despite the change in crowns.

"The history of the Cullinan diamond is an epitome of the history of colonialism and imperialism. It is a history of denying Africans their humanity and their rights," University of South Africa professor Everisto Benyera told ABC News.

"What we want is not just the return of the Cullinan, or the return of any of the artifacts that were stolen, what we want is the return of our humanity. We want those who perpetrated slave trade and colonialism to acknowledge their wrongdoing, first and foremost and then we can talk about reparations."

He added: "The British monarchy is aware that such a move would open it to subsequent lawsuits, problems, and the reinterpretation of its history."

Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, more than 7,000 people have signed a petition calling for the Cullinan diamonds to be returned and displayed in South Africa's museum.

The original Cullinan diamond was discovered in a mine in South Africa in 1905, weighing a staggering 3,106 carats and carrying a blue-white colour. | Source: Shutterstock
The original Cullinan diamond was discovered in a mine in South Africa in 1905, weighing a staggering 3,106 carats and carrying a blue-white colour. | Source: Shutterstock

More reading

Controversial diamond won’t appear at King Charles III coronation
Coronation crown receiving royal makeover
Renewed demands for return of legendary diamond

 











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