Camilla to avoid jaw-dropping jewel to escape ‘trend of misfortune’

Queen Camilla in first solo engagement as Queen Consort

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Buckingham Palace confirmed this week Queen Camilla will be donning the crown Queen Mary wore at the coronation of King George V when Charles is officially crowned in May. The headpiece will be modernised to fit Camilla’s taste and will not include the controversial Koh-i-Noor diamond as its piece de resistance. Jewellery expert Raissa Bailey told the late Queen also avoided donning the stunning diamond because of an ongoing dispute with India but she also warned the gem had been linked to a “trend of misfortune” among its wearers.

The Bradford Exchange creative director said: “In contemporary news, the Koh-i-Noor diamond which sits on the Queen Mother’s Crown is making headlines for its exclusion from the Coronation of King Charles by Queen Consort Camila.

“This rare and astounding stone boasts a size and carat weight that would leave most of us breathless. However, the stone’s dark history makes it one of the least worn or celebrated gems in the Royal collection.

“With concrete origins unknown, the stone is associated with war and bloodshed as it changed hands over the centuries. Politically, the stone is part of an ongoing conversation over British possession of foreign treasures and rightful ownership.

“While the Crown has never offered to return it to any of its claimants, it is not worn because of the dark history of death and loss that has accompanied the wearer.”

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She pointed out that three of the last four Queen who wore the diamond had suffered a series of misfortunes that to this day still influenced the “superstitious” members of the Royal Family.

Bailey said: “Having been acquired by Queen Victoria during her reign, every queen that has worn the jewel has lost her husband and at least one child during her lifetime.

“This trend of misfortune was enough to keep Queen Elizabeth II from wearing it and now Camila has also decided to respect the superstition and is rejecting it as a part of her regalia.

“The superstitious nature of many Royals and the gems they adorn dates back to medieval times when the stones were believed to hold certain properties or characteristics.”

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Indeed, Queen Victoria famously lost her beloved husband Prince Albert in 1861 and spent the rest of her life in mourning.

Seventeen years later to the day, she lost her daughter Princess Alice to diphtheria. Alice’s daughter, Princess Marie, also succumbed to the disease after it spread through the Grand Duchy of Hesse and by Rhine’s household in Darmstadt.

Victoria also outlived sons Prince Alfred, who died of throat cancer a year before his mother, and Prince Leopold, who succumbed to a brain haemorrhage exacerbated by his haemophilia following a fall.

Her successor, Queen Alexandra, also outlived her husband Edward VII by 25 years and lost two children, Prince Alexander John at birth in 1871 and Prince Albert Victor in 1892.

Prince Albert Victor, who was heir presumptive to his father Edward VII, was engaged to be married to Princess Victoria Mary of Teck but his death resulted in the wedding of his intended with his younger brother, the future George V.

Much like her two predecessors, Queen Mary outlived her husband and three of her sons.

Her youngest boy, Prince John, died aged 13 after spending the majority of his life shielded from the public due to a condition that caused him severe seizures.

Her second-youngest, Prince George, the Duke of Kent, was the first senior member of the Royal Family to die while in active service with the RAF after his plane crashed during a non-operational flight in Scotland.

And Mary also survived George VI, the father of the late Queen Elizabeth II.

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