Ex-British colonies are reportedly putting forward calls for the Queen’s crown jewels, which are believed to be worth a staggering $800 million, to be returned to India and Africa following Her Majesty’s death.
People are taking to social media and bringing up the history of colonialism and the belief that the Koh-i-Noor diamond and the Great Star of Africa should be sent back.
One tweeted: “I think now would be a good time to return the crown jewels back to the African nations they were stolen from, no?”
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“Kindly return the crown jewels to India. Thank you,” added another.
A third penned: “Think now is the right time to return the looted jewels from the crown jewels back to their rightful countries.”
Indian politician Shashi Tharoor has also expressed his desire for the royals to return the Koh-i-Noor.
In an article for Project Syndicate, he explained: “The British are clinging to stolen artefacts such as the Koh-i-Noor diamond, which they embedded in the Queen Mother’s tiara and shamelessly flaunt in the Tower of London.”
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The Koh-i-Noor is currently in the crown of the Queen Mother and is on display at the Tower of London. Meanwhile, the Great Star of Africa is set in the Sovereign’s Sceptre.
Worth between $140 and $400 million, the Koh-i-Noor is one of the largest cut diamonds in the world, being over 105 carats. However, it has faced a ton of controversy over the years.
When British forces conquered Punjab in 1849, the jewel became a part of the British East India Company and was shipped back to England.
In the following year, it was given to Queen Victoria. It stayed with her until her death and in her will, it was stated that it should only ever be worn by a female monarch or be carried by the wife of the head of state.
It then became a part of the crown jewels.
Although the monarchy has described it as a ‘gift’, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran have all argued otherwise and claimed it was looted.
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The Tower of London website currently states: “The Crown Jewels, part of the Royal Collection, are the most powerful symbols of the British Monarchy and hold deep religious and cultural significance in our nation’s history.”
There has also been controversy surrounding the Great Star of Africa.
Africa Archives has stated in a tweet: “Queen Elizabeth II owns the largest clear-cut diamond in the world known as the Great Star of Africa. The 530-carat gem was mined in South Africa back in 1905. It was stolen from South Africa. It has an estimated worth of $400 million.
“The British claim that it was given to them as a symbol of friendship and peace yet it was during colonialism. The British then replaced the name ‘The Great Star of Africa’ with name of Chairman of Mine ‘Thomas Cullinan’.”
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