This program has a new location.
David Thomas has a special way with jewels. He designed the wedding rings for Diana Spencer and Prince Charles, and he was Diana’s personal jeweler until the day she died. He formed a very close relationship with the Royal Family and was appointed Britain’s Royal Crown Jeweler by the Queen in 1991.
The British crown jewels symbolize the sovereign’s power and a nation’s royal heritage. Housed since the early 14th century in the Jewel House at the Tower of London, the jewels include the crowns of sovereigns, consorts and Princes of Wales both past and present, as well as scepters, orbs, rings, swords, spurs, bracelets and robes, all of which have a specific part to play in the ritual of the English coronation service.
Only a single person other than the monarch is allowed to touch the crown jewels. During his tenure as royal crown jeweler from 1991 to 2007, Thomas was the man entrusted with that obligation and honor. Spend a day exploring the history, symbolism, and splendor of these treasures.
Through illustrated talks, he covers the history of the Tower of London’s Jewel House; the role and responsibilities of the crown jeweler; and the crowns, gems, and silver that make up the regalia. Thomas also offers insights into some of the items in the private collection of Queen Elizabeth II.
Participants provide their own lunch
$50 student rate available for this program (valid with student ID). Please call Customer Service at 202-633-3030 during regular business hours if interested.
David Thomas offers a close-up look at the imperial state crown, worn by Queen Elizabeth at the opening of Parliament.
To listen to samples of British music, click here>>
See the Crown Jewels and experience London on tour—Exploring London and Paris.
Visit the Smithsonian Journeys page to see more
S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Drive, SW
Metro: Smithsonian Mall Exit (Blue/Orange)