Royal Warrant-holding companies have gifted a new Processional Cross to Her Majesty The Queen to mark the Platinum Jubilee.
The Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Processional Cross will be used at religious services and State occasions, including at the Cenotaph, and will replace the current cross in the Chapel Royal, St. James’s Palace, London. It will be used during weekly services there and in other places of worship and on Royal visits around the UK and overseas. It appeared at the National Service of Thanksgiving for The Queen’s reign at St. Paul’s Cathedral on Friday 3rd June during the Platinum Jubilee Central Weekend.
The cross has been made by Royal Warrant-holding company, Thomas Lyte, Goldsmiths and Silversmiths, from one of their designs chosen by Her Majesty. The silver-gilt cross is made of 2.8 kilograms of sterling silver and mounted on a staff of oak from the Sandringham Estate to stand at a height of 2.2 metres. The project took 340 craft hours, involving every aspect of silversmithing, many of these skills dating back to antiquity.
The central octagon features the Christogram IHS, Jesus Hominum Salvator (Saviour of Men), which is encircled by a ring bearing 70 lozenges, acknowledging the 70 years of Her Majesty's reign. Inspired by Her Majesty’s Coronation Bouquet, the arms of the cross have been detailed with orchids and lilies-of-the-valley from England, stephanotis from Scotland, orchids from Wales, and carnations from Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man.
The cross’s wooden staff was turned by QEST Scholar Joey Richardson, who selected the oak and sketched the national floral emblems – Tudor rose, daffodil, shamrock and thistle – and applied the designs to the staff, with a pyrography wood burning tool and hand painting to bring the flora to life.
The Royal Warrant Holders Association (RWHA) launched an appeal amongst its 700-plus member companies to fund the construction of the cross, which also enabled almost a quarter of a million pounds to be raised for distribution to local charities across the UK through the RWHA’s Charity Fund in the Platinum Jubilee year and beyond.
Having been presented to Her Majesty The Queen at Windsor Castle on 20th May, the Platinum Jubilee Processional Cross was shown to members at the Association’s Annual Lunch at London’s Guildhall on 25th May. It now rests in the care of the Chapel Royal.
Mark Leishman, Executive Director of the RWHA, said:
“The Association was keen to ensure that its Platinum Jubilee gift to Her Majesty was practical and would be pressed into immediate service. The existing cross was in need of replacement and as an organisation with its roots in British craft, and one fortunate enough to number many highly skilled craftspeople among its members, the gift of a new cross was ideal.
The whole project also embodies a strong element of charitable giving and thus, on behalf of all our member companies, we felt able to present it to Her Majesty with great pride and affection.”