mobile nav


Coronarium Crystal Crown

Plaque: Coronarium

Erection date: 5/6/1977


This stone records the visit of Her Gracious Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to St Katharine by the Tower and the unveiling of a crystal crown in celebration of her Silver Jubilee 1977 which occasion is marked by this coronarium.

This inscription is on a large slate stone positioned in the ground at the entrance into what is now Starbucks so it is tramped over by all those eager coffee lovers. 

The plaque refers to the Queen visiting "St Katharine by the Tower" which seems odd given the location of the plaque. The only site in this area that they could mean is the Royal Foundation of St Katharine which is, for the Queen in her smart but uncomfortable shoes, a limousine ride away, so surely they don't mean that (and we can find no evidence of such a visit). In 1977 St Katharine by the Tower was long-gone; the plaque should have been commissioned to read: "St Katharine Docks" (i.e. here).

Site: Crystal Crown (2 memorials)

E1, St Katharine's Dock, Thistle Hotel

Stanley Plastics made the plain acrylic block in the 60's for Kubrick but it was not used in the film. When MGM closed the Borehamwood film studios in 1970 Fleischmann acquired the block and kept it until St Katharine Docks commissioned him to provide a Silver Jubilee memorial. He carved the crown and the Coronarium Chapel was built to house it. The Crystal Crown was unveiled and displayed in the roofless Coronarium Chapel until 2000 when it was evicted in favour of a branch of Starbucks. That's when the information board was put up.

IanVisits' post alerted us to this unusual art work. The story is told at Fine Art Facts.

Another memorial which could be here but isn't (well, we didn't see it) is one to the "first ever (civilian) mobile phone call made in the UK. The call was made {to Vodafone offices in Newbury} from London’s St Katharine Docks on 1 January 1985, via the Vodafone network, by comedian Ernest Wise" ... or was it?  We learnt about this event, which took place in front of the Dickens Inn, at the ever-fruitful Londonist. Apparently the son of Vodaphone's chairman had already phoned his dad in Surrey from a New Year's Eve gathering in Parliament Square, a few hours before Ernie made his well-publicised call.

2016: The Sun reports that a plaque is going to be erected to commemorate that phone call - the plaque will be in Newbury.

View this memorial on a map

This section lists the subjects commemorated on the memorial on this page:

Information Subjects commemorated

Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II

The twenty-fifth anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II.  This wa...

Read More

This section lists the subjects who helped to create/erect the memorial on this page:

Information Created by

St Katharine Docks

SKDocks gives a brief introduction to the history of the area. A London Inher...

Read More

Queen Elizabeth II

Born 17 Bruton Street, to the Duke and Duchess of York. When she was 10 her f...

Read More

Bronislaw Niedbala

Born Poland.  His workshop was in Mitcham Goods Yard.   2015: Niedbala’s son...

Read More

This section lists the other memorials at the same location as the memorial on this page:

Information Also at this site

Crystal Crown

The information states that the sculpting was done "on this site", but the Co...

Read More