Crown Jewels of Guelphia

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The Crown Jewels are the various items of royal regalia by the Sovereign for use during his Coronation ceremony and at a variety of other functions, such as the State Opening of Parliament. Consisting of seven principal items, the jewels were created at the behest of the first Monarch, Alexander I in early 2012 for his forthcoming Coronation held in November of the same year.

Much of Guelphia's royal regalia are inspired by vestments and accoutrements found in many of the monarchies of Europe, in particular the United Kingdom, the nation from which the very idea of Guelphia's constitutional monarchy was drawn. All of the Crown Jewels are held at Kingsbury Castle.

Crowns and coronets

Further information: Heraldic crowns of Guelphia

Crowns and coronets are often seen as representations of national sovereignty, and the various crowns of Guelphia are all used in this manner. There are two physical crowns used in Guelphia (one is actually a coronet), which has been granted to the Sovereign and Prince of Guelphia for use of important occasions. In addition to this, other members of the Royal Family and members of the peerage of the counties may use a heraldic crown on their personal coat of arms.

Crown of Guelphia

Created in 2012, the crown is used by the monarch for all state occasions. The crown is used by the Monarch at his Coronation and is also placed atop the royal coffin for the Monarch's funeral. In every year of his reign in between, the crown is used by Monarch for the most important events, such as the State Opening of Parliament. Only the Monarch can wear the crown, although a Regent is entitled to have the crown borne before him on a cushion on important state occasions. The crown is also used as a symbol of royal authority and can be seen on many coats-of-arms, badges, and other state symbols.

Coronet of the Lord High Steward

Created in 1842 for the investiture of Prince Alexander, the Coronet of the Lord High Steward is used for a variety of state occasions, usually beginning with the investiture of a duke in an elaborate ceremony that is held in Kingsbury Cathedral. Here he is crowned and becomes the first person to pledge allegiance at the feet of the Monarch. At the Coronation, the Lord High Steward also wears the crown and usually bears the Crown of Guelphia to the Anglican Archbishop, who places the crown on head of the Monarch. Similar in appearance to the other crowns and coronets, the Coronet of the Lord High Steward has no arches and has a chased rim fitted with precious stones.

Handpieces

The handpieces of the crown jewels consist of the various items that the monarch bears in either hand, such as a sceptre, sword, or an orb. Indeed, the particular handpieces of the crown jewels consist of all three items.

Sceptre of State

Measuring just over 90 centimetres in length, the Sceptre is the symbol of the supreme temporal authority for the Monarch. At the Coronation it is placed into the Monarch's right hand during the crowning, with the words "Receive the Royal Sceptre, the ensign of kingly power and justice". The coronation is one of few ceremonies where the Sceptre is used, and it is usually on permanent display in the Jewel House of Kingsbury Castle. Encrusted with pearls and small precious stones, the sceptre is surmounted by a gold cross with the Macintyre Star sapphire in the centre. The sapphire is the largest ever found in Guelphia and was discovered by a prospector in 2007.

The Orb

Crafted to represent the Monarch's role as head of a state where the Christian faith is the state religion, the Orb is a beautifully crafted globus cruciger, the ancient symbol of Christ's dominion over the world that can be seen in the crown jewels of many European monarchies. Both the cross and the hollow sphere of the Orb are made of gold and are encrusted with pearls and precious stones including locally mined diamonds, emeralds and rubies. The Orb was manufactured in 2012 along with most of the crown jewels, and was first used in the Coronation held that year. The Orb is seldom used outside the Coronation, where it placed in the Monarchs left hand just before his crowning. Like the rest of the crown jewels, it is on permanent display in the Jewel House of Kingsbury Castle.

Swords

Sword of Justice

One of two swords, the Sword of Justice is the symbol of the monarchical fount of all justice in the kingdom, and in particular, the royal prerogative of mercy. The prerogative empowers the Monarch with the ability to pardon a person convicted of a criminal act, an act he usually performs only on the advice of his Ministers of State. The sword is only used at the Coronation and the State Opening of Parliament, where it is carried before the Monarch by the Chief Justice of Guelphia as he walks from the Robing Room across the Royal Gallery and up the dais of the Great Hall. At his Coronation, and is placed in his left hand as he takes the oath.

Sword of State

The second of the two swords in the crown jewels and a symbol of military power, the Sword of State signifies the power of the Monarch as the Commander-in-Chief of the Guelphian Defence Force. The Sword is usually carried before the Monarch during the Coronation and the State Opening of Parliament, by the Chief of the Defence Force Staff, who is also the ceremonial head of the King's Bodyguard and therefore his most trusted general. Set in a beautifully gemmed scabbard, the sword itself has been manufactured without any jewels, although it is beautifully carved with motifs depicting the victories of not just New England, but the whole of Western Civilisation over her historical adversaries.

Other pieces

Coronation Bible

The Coronation Bible is a hand-crafted copy of Authorised Version of the Holy Bible that was a gift from the British government to Guelphia on the eve of Philip I's coronation in October 1912. The Bible is hand-written quill and ink in the mediaeval style on vellum, with ornate decorative art on the opening page of each of the various Books. The cover of the Bible is made of gold and set with a number of precious stones, and features St Edward the Confessor seated upon his throne surrounded by various biblical scenes. The Bible has been at every coronation since Philip I in 1912. It is upon this particular Bible that the Sovereign takes the solemn oath during the Coronation service. As with other parts of the Crown Jewels, the Coronation Bible is housed in the Jewel House of Kingsbury Castle.

Gauntlets of the King's Champion

The Gauntlets of the King's Champion are a pair of silver gilt gauntlets used by the King's Champion during the Coronation Banquet. The gauntlets are inlaid with various scenes from rivalries involving various kings in history, such as David and Goliath, and Edward IV and Henry VI of England. The office of King's Champion is vested in the peerage of the Branson Barony, the first baron of whom served as Chief of the Army Staff from 1907 to 1912. The Gauntlets are kept in Kingsbury Castle along with the other items of the Crown Jewels.

References and notes

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