Indians Demand UK Return 105-Carat Diamond Following Queen’s Death

Vintage illustration of the State Crown of Queen Mary, Consort of George V, part of the Crown Jewels of England (chromolithograph), 1919. The crown contains 2,200 diamonds, including the famous Koh-i-Noor, Cullinan III and Cullinan IV gems. Credit: GraphicaArtis/Getty Images
Vintage illustration of the State Crown of Queen Mary, Consort of George V, part of the Crown Jewels of England (chromolithograph), 1919. The crown contains 2,200 diamonds, including the famous Koh-i-Noor, Cullinan III and Cullinan IV gems. Credit: GraphicaArtis/Getty Images

Following the death of UK's longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, some people in India are calling for the return of a diamond called Koh-i-noor that was set in a crown made for the queen's mother.

Shortly after the queen's passing, Twitter users began demanding the 105-carat, oval-shaped jewel be returned to where it was originally found. The request comes as some former subjects of the British Empire challenge the legacy of the monarchy, particularly its history of colonialism.

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother with her Crown and a wreath. Credit: Peter Jordan - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

The diamond, which is reported to be one of the most expensive jewels in the world, is the central stone of the Queen Mother's Crown. Believed to have been mined in India, the diamond was reportedly one of the stones on the famed Peacock Throne.

But after changing hands several times amid a period of violence, it ultimately ended up in the possession of the young Maharaja Duleep Singh. The British forced him to sign a legal document that included a provision requiring the jewel be turned over to the British.

There are reportedly no plans to return the jewel, and some reports speculate that the diamond will go to King Charles III's wife, Camilla, the UK's new Queen Consort. While on a visit to India in 2016, Britain's former Minister for Asia and the Pacific Alok Sharma said, "It is the UK government’s view that there aren’t any legal ground for restitution of the diamond."

The newly coronated King George VI and his family greet their subjects from a balcony of Buckingham Palace. Credit: Getty Images