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From crowning Queen Elizabeth II to Camilla: Journey of India’s Kohinoor Diamond taken by British

From crowning Queen Elizabeth II to Camilla: Journey of India’s Kohinoor Diamond taken by British

From crowning Queen Elizabeth II to Camilla: Journey of India’s Kohinoor Diamond taken by British

Mangalore Today News Network / News18

September 09, 2022: The Koh-i-Noor is arguably the most famous diamond in the world. The 105.6 carat dazzling ‘Mountain of Light’, with controversial origins, is now one of 2,800 diamonds, along with sapphires other precious stones, in the Britain monarch’s crown crafted in 1937. It was Queen Elizabeth II’s, until her death on September 8, 2022.



The prestigious crown will now reportedly go to Queen Camilla, as she will be crowned, when she takes her place alongside King Charles III in his coronation. A message published on the eve of Queen Elizabeth’s 70th accession this February said it was her “sincere wish” that Charles’s wife would be known on his accession to the throne as Queen Consort.

According to the Daily Mail, Camilla will also have Elizabeth II’s priceless platinum and diamond crown placed on her head on King Charles’s coronation.

The ‘Bloody’ Origin of the Kohinoor

The diamond was originally found in India’s Golconda mines in the 14th century and changed many hands over the course of centuries.

“It has been the subject of conquest and intrigue for centuries, passing through the hands of Mughal princes, Iranian warriors, Afghan rulers and Punjabi Maharajas,” the BBC said.

The Kohinoor was eventually handed to the British in 1849 under the terms of a punitive treaty signed with Maharaja of Lahore following the Anglo-Sikh war. The stone measured 186 carats then. Maharaja Duleep Singh was separated from his mother in 1847 and sent to Britain. All of 10 years old, was made to “give" the diamond to Britain, as per the treaty.

It has been part of the British Crown Jewels since then - but continues to be the subject of a historic ownership dispute among at least four countries, including India.

Unimpressed with its traditional cut, Britain recut the stone as a brilliant oval losing about 40% of its weight in the process.

In a 2018 BBC documentary, Queen Elizabeth II made a statement that not only is the crown very difficult to balance, but it could possibly ‘break her neck’ if she looked down.

Myth Around Kohinoor

The Kohinoor is said to be unlucky for men owing to its long and bloody history. The stone is known as a harbinger of misfortune for male wearers–only God or a woman can wear it without harm. The myth arises from reports of kings who have worn the diamond meeting early deaths since the 14th century.

India’s Stand on Getting Kohinoor Back

India asked for the diamond back as soon as it got independence in the year of 1947. According to a report by The Telegraph, a second request was made in 1953, the year of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation.

In the late 1900s, former Indian high commissioner to the UK Kuldip Nayar moved a petition in the Rajya Sabha demanding the return of the diamond. It was signed by 50 MPs including Manmohan Singh, who was then the opposition leader in the Rajya Sabha. The request, however, went nowhere.

In 2009, Tushar Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, said that the Kohinoor diamond should be returned as “atonement for the colonial past”.

Britain has repeatedly refused to part with the gem - Prime Minister David Cameron said in 2013 he did not think returning it was “sensible”.

Five years back, in 2016, the Indian government claimed that the Koh-i-Noor was loot and was part of the Treaty of Lahore. Then solicitor-general Ranjit Kumar, in an affidavit, claimed it was “neither stolen nor forcibly taken’.”

In an immediate U-turn, the Archaeological Survey of India claimed that that the government was making “all possible efforts to bring back the Koh-i-Noor diamond in an amicable manner”. It added, however, that there were no legal grounds to get the diamond back.

Other Countries’ Claim

In 1976, prime minister Z.A. Bhutto wrote to his British counterpart, James Callaghan, asking for the stone to be returned. Bhutto described Koh-i-Noor as part of the “unique treasures which are the flesh and blood of Pakistan’s heritage”.

In 2000, the Taliban too demanded the return of the Kohinoor, saying that the Queen should hand back the gem ‘as soon as possible’.

The Taliban’s foreign affairs spokesman, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, said that the diamond was the ‘legitimate property’ of Afghanistan and it had better claim to it than India.

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