Having watched the King’s coronation, I was struck with the ceremonial similarities to both Freemasonry and Mormonism.
The Sovereign’s Orb has been an official part of the coronation since 1661. Joseph Smith Jr.’s Liahona was conceptualized in the 1820s.
Perhaps the young prophet recalled hearing or reading about the Sovereign’s Orb during that time. On 29 January 1820 George III passed away and George IV became King. George IV died in 1830, and William IV reigned for the next seven years. These are critical years for persuasions in the Book of Mormon.
This strange decoration would have been fascinating to a young man – perhaps even magical.
No claim is being made that Joseph Smith was inspired to create the Liahona based on the Sovereign’s Orb, but no one can argue there was no possibility he could have been familiar with it.