The Queen Consort will hold the controversial ivory sceptre during the coronation despite the Prince of Wales campaigning against the illegal wildlife trade.
There was speculation the symbolic object could be dropped from the ceremony due to the King’s environmental advocacy and Prince William’s campaign against the ivory trade.
But it is understood that during the ceremony at Westminster Abbey on 6 May, Camilla will hold a gold rod topped with a cross and a second staff made of ivory and surmounted by a dove.
This has come as a surprise after the Prince of Wales’s campaign to stop the illegal trafficking of animal parts like rhino horns or elephant tusks through his organisation, United for Wildlife.
Last August, he congratulated a “significant victory” in a US court which saw a man jailed for five years for conspiring to traffic millions of dollars worth of rhinoceros horns and elephant ivory.
Britain has world-leading laws on global conservation after the Ivory Act 2018, brought in on 6 June last year, saw a near-total ban on the dealing of items containing elephant ivory.
King Charles has been known as an environmental advocate for many years, investing in the planet on several occasions and being a key figurehead of the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow in 2021.
But the ivory staff is still expected to be used in the coronation, along with other priceless regalia that form part of the Royal Collection, traditionally held in the Tower of London and managed by Historic Royal Palaces.
The ivory staff was made in 1685 and Buckingham Palace said it reflects the “taste at the time”.
A spokesperson said: “As with any historical collection of its size, it is to be expected that the Royal Collection includes items that contain ivory as this reflected the taste at the time.”
Kathryn Jones, senior curator of decorative arts, at the Royal Collection Trust, speaking about previous coronation ceremonies, said: “The Queen is also presented with two sceptres… this is again this symbol of temporal power – so with the cross. And the second sceptre, like the King’s sceptre, has the dove on the top, (and is) symbolic of equity and mercy.
“And this one the wings are folded, rather than spread, it has the same symbolism – so it’s the Holy Spirit.”
The original coronation regalia was destroyed by order of Parliament after King Charles I was executed during the Civil War, which briefly led to a republic. It was broken up and melted down into gold coins, with the jewels sold.
The ivory staff that Camilla will use was made in 1685 for Queen Mary of Modena, the wife of James II, who was the first Queen Consort to participate in a coronation ceremony following the restoration of the monarchy in 1660.
It comes as details about the King’s coronation have been revealed, with a 1.3 mile procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey for the ceremony, which will begin at 11am on 6 May.
Charles and the Queen Consort will take a shorter route than the late Elizabeth II, travelling to the ceremony in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach – a modern and more comfortable carriage.
They will use the 260-year-old Gold State Coach only on their return, breaking from tradition as the late Queen travelled both ways to and from her 1953 coronation in the elaborate – but famously bumpy – carriage.
A priceless collection of regalia from the Crown Jewels will feature during the service at Westminster Abbey, including the Sovereign’s Orb, the Golden Spurs, bracelets known as Armills, two maces, five symbolic swords, the Sovereign’s Ring, the Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross and the Sovereign’s Sceptre with Dove.