Queen Elizabeth Says Wearing A Crown Has One Significant Downside


The crown is worn by the monarch when delivering a speech for the State Opening of Parliament.

In a rare interview, the Queen herself seems to marvel at seeing the imperial crown she wore at the time, recalling how heavy it was.

The 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Queen Elizabeth, now 91, was just 25 when she became queen on the death of her father George VI in 1952, with the coronation taking place the following year.

Priceless gems from the Crown Jewels were hidden underground in a biscuit tin at Windsor Castle during the Second World War to ensure that they did not fall into Nazi hands, it can be revealed today. Chatting with BBC royal commentator Alastair Bruce, she explained: "You can't look down to read the speech, you have to take the speech up". It weighs almost 3 pounds, and Queen Elizabeth II jokes that you can't look down while wearing it or your neck might break.

One of the scenes shows the Queen describing the crown, which weighs nearly 22 pounds as "very unwieldy", to which Bruce adds: "It's hard to always remember that diamonds are stones and so they're very heavy".

The operation, meant to ensure the priceless gems did not fall into Nazi hands, was ordered by Queen Elizabeth II's father, king George VI.

The Imperial State Crown includes sapphires belonging to St Edward the Confessor and Alexander II of Scotland, a ruby from Edward the Black Prince, pearls from Elizabeth I and the Cullinan II diamond.

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"It's the sort of, I suppose, the beginning of one's life, really, as a sovereign", she said. "But once you put it on, it stays".

Queen Elizabeth on the day of her coronation (gracefully avoiding any appearance of neck strain).

Mr Bruce said the head has to be kept still when wearing it and the Queen agreed: 'Yes. "Because if you did, your neck would break".

"So there are some disadvantages to crowns, but otherwise they're quite important things".

It also features the Black Prince's Ruby, believed to have been worn by King Henry V in his helmet at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415.

Apparently the royal golden carriage was also pretty uncomortable - or to use the Queen's word, "horrible".

Despite the country being in the grip of post-war austerity, a glittering coronation was staged on June 2 the following year at Westminster Abbey.

"I remember one moment when I was going against the pile of the carpet and I couldn't move at all", she said.