Crown Jewels in Tower of London
The Jewels at the Tower and Westminster Abbey
Until 1649, the coronation regalia (or the crown, orb, sceptres and other objects used in the coronation) were all kept at Westminster Abbey, the coronation church since 1066. As these sacred objects could not leave the abbey, kings and queens had their own personal regalia made to wear and use during their reign. Since the 1100s the Tower has been a stronghold for the nation's valuables, including the personal jewels of the Monarch.
In July 1377 Richard II’s coronation procession left the Tower and sets off to Westminster in style. In a magnificent display, the boy-king Richard II processed through the streets of London which were lavishly decorated and bustling with entertainers. The following day, the ten year-old was crowned in Westminster Abbey. For the next 300 years, coronation processions started from the Tower.
The English Revolution
Monarchy was abolished during the English Revolution. Following the execution of Charles I in 1649, all crowns and any other symbols of monarchy in the treasuries at Westminster Abbey or the Tower of London were marked for destruction. Broken up and defaced, much of the gold and silver from these medieval and Tudor crowns was melted down and made into coins at the Mint, also at the Tower of London.