The Irish Crown Jewels

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  • Dublin Castle

The Order of St. Patrick

In 1783, King George III established the Order of St. Patrick. Members of aristocratic or noble families, who were deemed worthy, were granted knighthoods and then became Knights of St. Patrick. The granting of knighthoods was seen as a way of rewarding and ensuring loyalty.

The ceremony of Knighthood took place in St. Patrick's hall. The reigning monarch presided over events. The Irish Crown Jewels was the name given to the valuable, jewelled objects which the monarch wore during the ceremony. They were decorated with diamonds, emeralds, rubies and other precious stones.

The Mysterious Case of the Missing Crown Jewels

The Irish Crown Jewels were stored in a bank vault when not in use. In 1903, it was decided that they should be stored at Dublin Castle where a new strong room had been installed. However, the safe where the jewels were to be stored was too wide to fit through the doorway of the strong room. It was then decided that the safe and its precious contents would be stored in a room which had seven locks, as well as the two locks on the safe itself.

The jewels were discovered missing four days before a visit by King Edward VII in 1907. The King was furious - he had intended to bestow a Knighthood on Lord Castletown of Queen's County. Instead, the ceremony was cancelled.

The finger of blame was pointed in many directions but the whereabouts of the Irish Crown Jewels still remains a mystery.