Bonn – Haus der Geschichte (1714 State Crown of King George I)

I had wondered why there were so many staff at the UK exhibition at the Haus der Geschichte, but having seen the exhibits, I’m sure that many were actually security guards. Given some other little incidents at German museums recently, this seems a very wise precaution. HM Queen Elizabeth II has lent this 1714 State Crown from the Royal Collection, first used for the crowning of King George I. This is of course highly relevant to the museum, since King George I was German, the first Monarch from the House of Hanover.

Only the empty gold frame of the crown now remains as the stones were used in a lighter replacement for Queen Victoria, so King William IV was the last to use it as his Coronation. The crown was discarded by the Royal Family and it somehow came into the hands of the Amherst family who placed it on long-term loan at the Museum of London. Later acquired by the Prince of Brunei, it was returned back to the Royal Collection as a generous donation, with apparently an estimated value of a little over £500,000, but it’s of a much more important historical value.

The crown is usually on display at the Tower of London, where I assume it will be returned after this temporary exhibition ends. But what a rather lovely item to send to Bonn, although its importance was perhaps not as clearly described as it could have been on the small information panel at the museum.