The British queen is being sued by a team of prominent businessmen and celebrities from India, who are demanding the return of the Kohinoor diamond, which forms part of the British crown jewels.

Queen Elizabeth.

Queen Elizabeth. Image by Michael Gwyther-Jones / CC BY-SA 2.0

Unearthed in Andhra Pradesh in the 13th century, the diamond was once the eye on a revered statue of a Hindu goddess and was later mounted onto Delhi’s legendary Peacock Throne, before being appropriated by the British government as a trophy during the annexation of the Punjab. The stone was once the largest diamond in the world, but it was recut to 105.6 carats in Victorian times and is currently set in the Queen Mother’s Diamond Crown. The legal challenge focuses on the circumstances in which the jewel was obtained, inspired by the Holocaust (Return of Cultural Objects) Act, which has been used to force the return of artworks seized by Nazi Germany. Read more: