Is there a Christian message in the Crown Jewels?


During the coronation the King is invested with objects which have a symbolic meaning: the Sovereign’s Orb, Sceptres, crowns and sword.
King George VI being crowned and Queen Elizabeth I with her crown jewels

The Orb, on which a cross is mounted, was made for Charles II’s coronation in 1661 and features hundreds of precious stones.

At the Coronation the Archbishop of Canterbury delivers the Orb to the King and says: “Receive this Orb, set under the Cross, and remember always that the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdom of our God, and of his Christ.”

The words are designed to remind the monarch, and those watching, that no earthly authority is absolute; all power is given in trust to be exercised on behalf of others, and in line with values of integrity and fairness.

The Sovereign’s Sceptres are used at the coronation. The Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross – seen during the late Queen’s funeral service - represents the sovereign's temporal power and is associated with good governance.

The Sovereign’s Sceptre with Dove, represents the Sovereign’s spiritual role, with the enamelled dove with outspread wings representing the Holy Spirit.

At the coronation the Archbishop of Canterbury hands them to the King and says: “Receive the Royal Sceptre, the ensign of kingly power and justice; and the Rod of equity and mercy, a symbol of covenant and peace.

"May the Spirit of the Lord which anointed Jesus at his baptism, so anoint you this day, that you might exercise authority with wisdom, and direct your counsels with grace; that by your service and ministry to all your people, justice and mercy may be seen in all the earth: through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.”

The King, in fact, wears two crowns at his coronation. The first is St Edward’s Crown, named after St Edward the Confessor, and topped with a sphere, known as a monde, representing the world, and cross to represent the Christian world. It is the one placed on the monarch’s head during the crowning.

The Imperial State Crown, or Crown of State, also topped with a monde and cross, is the crown the monarch exchanges for St Edward's Crown at the end of the Coronation Service. It is used for the procession out of the Abbey.

Curtana, the sword of mercy, is blunted – a reflection of the Biblical mandate to defend the poor and defenceless.

Celebrating faith, service and community

Learn more about the Coronation, get your resources, and share your congratulations to King Charles and Queen Camilla.