HM Tower of London, one of the most famous
buildings in the world, was constructed following the Norman conquest
in the 11th century to dominate London. The Royal Armouries is responsible
for all the displays in the White Tower, the central keep of the
castle complex, and for researching and recording the history of
the Tower and the many institutions which have grown up there.
Our displays contain many of the examples of royal arms and armour
in the Royal Armouries collection, including armours of Henry VIII,
Charles I, Charles II and James II. They also reconstruct many of
the historical displays of arms and armour for which the Tower is
famous, including the Grand Storehouse which was destroyed by fire
Whilst the vast bulk of the arms and armour
of the Royal Armouries has moved to the new Royal Armouries in Leeds,
there remain a few mildly interesting pieces in the tower.
The platinum crown of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother is on display,
set with the now cut Koh-i-noor diamond. The promo video that endlessly
plays to the visitor mentions briefly the history of the Koh-i-noor
diamond and it's passing from Ranjit Singh to Queen Victoria. Look
hard in one of the alcoves and the original setting of the diamond
(an armband) can be seen set with a fake stone to give an indication
of its original size and setting.