Buckingham Palace shared the news recently that Queen Camilla will be crowned during the coronation ceremony with Queen Mary’s Coronation Crown. The crown, made in 1911, was originally set with the Koh-i-Noor Diamond, a 105.6-carat gemstone that is currently part of the crown jewel collection. The diamond has a long, complex history that traces back to present-day India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
In 1849, the Koh-i-Noor was ceded to Queen Victoria by Maharaja Duleep Singh after the Kingdom of Punjab was annexed by the British East India Company. The treaty that gave the diamond to Victoria has been seriously questioned, in part because the young maharaja was only eleven years old when he signed over the diamond. Today, the diamond is claimed by India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, and it hasn’t been worn by a British royal since the death of the Queen Mother.
Various press outlets have been covering the issue of the Koh-i-Noor in light of the upcoming coronation. I shared my thoughts on the subject with Mark Landler at the New York Times and with Janet Davison of CBC News.