The Indian-origin gem may be taken out of the crown or the crown may not be worn by Queen Consort Camilla at the event next year.
By: Chandrashekar Bhat
The controversial Kohinoor diamond is unlikely to be part of the royal spectacle during the upcoming coronation of the new monarch, considering the “political sensitivities” surrounding the Indian-origin gem.
Media reports previously said Queen Consort Camilla would get to wear the crown containing the 105-carat precious stone held in a detachable platinum mount.
However, it is now expected that the gem may be taken out of the crown or the crown may not be used at all at the coronation, scheduled for May 6 next year.
One of the largest cut diamonds in the world, the Kohinoor has long been the subject of an international controversy as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan have claimed its ownership.
A source admitted that the original plan was for the Queen Consort to be crowned with the late Queen Mother’s crown when King Charles III would accede to the throne.
“But times have changed and His Majesty The King is acutely sensitive to these issues, as are his advisors,” they told the MailOnline.
“There are serious political sensitivities and significant nervousness around them, particularly regarding India,” the source said.
The diamond, believed to be mined near Guntur in south India during the mediaeval era, passed into British hands in the 19th century, when the East India Company gained control of the Sikh empire of Punjab.
Sikh king Ranjit Singh had taken it from an Afghan ruler who had sought sanctuary in India, according to historical accounts.
After he died in 1839, the Sikhs and the British fought a war. Following a peace treaty, Singh’s minor heir handed over the diamond to the British.
Also known as Koh-i-Noor or mountain of light, the diamond was subsequently displayed at the 1851 Great Exhibition in London.
It later became part of the British regalia – mounted on the crowns of Queen Alexandra and Queen Mary and reset into the current one.
A spokesperson for India’s governing Bharatiya Janata Party is quoted as saying any use of the crown jewel during the coronation would bring back “painful memories of the colonial past.”
According to historian William Dalrymple who co-authored a book on the Kohinoor, the gem “is a massive diplomatic grenade.”
He told the MailOnline, “It is actually part of a wider disconnect of a number of things that Indians get very upset about to do with the colonial period.”