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Most of the present collection dates from around 350 years ago when Charles II ascended the throne.

The medieval and Tudor regalia had been sold or melted down after the monarchy was abolished in 1649 during the English Civil War.

Another set was used at religious feasts and State Openings of Parliament.

Collectively, these objects came to be known as the Jewels of the Crown.

In 1066, Edward died without an heir, and William the Conqueror emerged as the first Norman king of England following his victory over the English at the Battle of Hastings.

Wearing a crown became an important part of William I's efforts to cement his authority over his new territory and subjects.

The Koh-i-Noor diamond (105 carats (21 g)), originally from India, was acquired by Queen Victoria and has featured on three consort crowns.

When not in use the Jewels are on public display in the Jewel House and Martin Tower where they are seen by 2.5 million visitors every year.

The earliest known use of a crown in Britain was discovered by archaeologists in 1988 in Deal, Kent, and dates to between 200 and 150 BC.

Only four original items pre-date the Restoration: a late 12th-century anointing spoon (the oldest object) and three early 17th-century swords.

Upon the Acts of Union 1707, the English Crown Jewels were adopted by British monarchs; the Scottish regalia are known today as the Honours of Scotland.

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