The Crown Jewels

The Crown Jewels Of Scotland

The oldest survivors of the UK regalia, the Honours of Scotland, were shaped in Scotland and Italy during the reigns of James IV and his son James V and first used collectively at Stirling Castle for the coronation of Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1543. The crown, itself a remodelled version of the original, was first used by James V in 1540, four years after the remodelling of the sceptre that Pope Alexander VI had presented as a gift to James IV. The final item, the Sword of State, was also a gift of a pope, in this case Julius II in 1507, and the famous break is believed to have occurred when the honours were smuggled out of Dunnottar Castle in 1652.

Following the Acts of Union in 1707, the Honours were locked away inside the Crown Room in Edinburgh Castle for more than a century until it was reopened, apparently by a group that included the novelist Sir Walter Scott, with permission of the future George IV. They were used for the final time during the coronation of Charles II at Scone in 1651 and are currently on display inside the same room at Edinburgh Castle.