Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe’s Crown & Throne: Here … Then … Missing

Piero Perondi, whose native tongue is not Englsih and whose preferred title is “The Crown and Throne of the King of Kandy Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe, 1798-1815” … 

The Crown and Throne of the King of Kandy, subtracted to the King Sri Vikrama Rajasinha in 1815, and brought to England as a war trophy and placed in the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle. In fact you can see the lithographic reproduction in this book of the Crown with a brief history , entitled: “The Trophies & Personal Relics of British Heroes” (full part of the book images are attached).

The Throne and Crown were returned to Ceylon during a royal tour by the Prince Henry Duke of Gloucester in 1934, when the Donoughmore Constitution was instituted, preparatory to Self-Government. But what seemed strange to many is that the throne and the crown disappeared from the eyes of visitors to the Colombo Museum in 1956. On this topic I have heard many hypotheses, but the most frequent is that the objects had been stolen, I do not know why, by the British.

There was a famous theft at the Colombo Museum in 1961, but among other things the Crown of King Rajasinghe II, was stolen, and unfortunately destroyed by thieves in order to be able to more easily turn the gold and precious stones of the crown into money. (Attach Article Appearing in the Newspaper Sunday Times of August 28, 2011 on the topic),








There was one theft again in February 2012, but the crown of King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe, which was on display but was not stolen. (I attach an  Article Appearing in the Newspaper SundayTimes of March 25, 2012)

These thefts made many people think that the Crown now displayed in the Museum was a copy of the [item] stolen and destroyed.

This is my opinion on the disappearance of the Crown and the Throne in 1956:

Some Museum Manager sent the crown and the throne to restore, maybe then he died or changed jobs, and the Crown and Throne weren’t solicited by the restoration? Maybe? Or maybe it took a long time to restore? Who knows? In fact, in 1977, a postal series of two postage stamps with the King’s Throne and the King’s Crown came out, returned to the Museum you can see the difference of the restoration performed, compared to the one that was printed on the book, “The Trophies & Personal Relics of British Heroes”. …  as the  the image of the Crown, on the fabric part has some fraying.

I will certainly have confirmation or denial of this theory of mine when I come to Sri Lanka. Or maybe some reader of this post has the pleasure of investigating?

It would be very interesting to make this discovery!


The line of the Newspaper Sunday Times of August 28, 2011 about the theft of 1961: ….

The link of the Nerwsèpaper Sunday Times of March 25, 2012 about the theft of February 2012: …..

1°) – Cover of the book: “The Trophies & Personal Relics of British Heroes” of 1896

2°) – Internal page with Publisher and date of Publication MDCCCXCVI – (1896) and the Author of this book.

3°) – Short Story of Ceylon and of the Crown –
This text is curious and makes us understand the historical timing that the winners do for various reasons:
Here the British forget the defeat suffered by the army of King Wikrama Singha in 1803 with the failed expedition to conquer the Kingdom of Kandy, they forget to mention the Revolution of 1818 with consummate violation of the treaty of mutual assistance of 1815, and other minor things……
Not to mention defining the Dutch who lost Ceylon as “imbecility and cowardice”

4°) – The Crown of King of Kandy Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe 1798-1815  before the restoration

5°) – The postage stamps issued by the Sri Lankan Post Office in 1977, when the crown and the throne returned on display at the Colombo Museum, fully restored

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, ancient civilisations, art & allure bewitching, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, politIcal discourse, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, world events & processes

Leave a Reply