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Assorted regalia from the Crown Jewels
The Crown Jewels

The Crown Jewels are the most complete collection of royal regalia in the world

Banqueting and church plate

During the Restoration, new banqueting and ceremonial church plate was commissioned and stored by the Jewel House in the Tower of London. These items are considered part of the Crown Jewels, in addition to the regalia used by the monarch during the coronation service.  

New plate was particularly required for Charles II's coronation banquet, which was held at Westminster Hall, a short walk from Westminster Abbey. Ritual feasting, with its elaborate drama and display, was an important opportunity to assert the king's wealth and status, but the existing gold plate for this purpose had been sold. The Jewel House therefore set about getting lavish new vessels for the dining table.

The Chapel Royal at Whitehall Palace also needed refurnishing with the most important liturgical or public worship implements, including altar dishes and chalices. The gold and silver-gilt pieces made for Charles II and his brother, James, Duke of York form one of the most ornate collections of seventeenth-century church plate today.

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