So Charles, from the family of Windsor (formerly known as Saxe-Coburg-Gotha) will be getting formally “crowned as King of England, Wales, and Scotland on May 26, 2023. A few weeks ago I wrote about the opportunity this would give us to consider the imperial origins of the “Crown Jewels” that will be flaunted on that occasion and to build a campaign for their repatriation to the peoples/countries from which the British Empire grabbed them.
Now, two Washington Post correspondents in London, Carla Adam and Niha Masih, have picked up on one portion of this story, namely the history and fate of the Koh-i-Noor Diamond, which has for many decades been set in the crown worn by the “Queen Consort”, in this case Camilla, formerly Mrs. Parker-Bowles.
I had noted in my recent short essay on the matter, India, Pakistan,and Afghanistan have all made claims for the repatriation of this fabled gem. Adam and Masih add to this list of claimants both Iran and Bangladesh. Fwiw, Bill the Spouse has proposed several variants of a diplomatic solution under which all the bona-fide claimants (including Britain?) might agree to share the gem and pass it around amongst themselves. Until now, Britain and its monarchs have steadfastly refused to cede any control of it.
The “Crown Jewels” are,of course, just the tiny crystal at the tip of the truly massive body of all the lootings and plunderings undertaken by the British Empire during the 450 years in which its pirates, soldiers, and mercenaries exerted their sway all around the world. But the fact that these jewels still get openly flaunted on occasions that are still an integral part of today’s British political system cannot be allowed to pass without notice.