Don't look down: Queen's advice on crown

Carla Harmon
January 13, 2018

"You can't look down to read the speech, you've got to take the speech up, if you don't your neck would break, it would fall off", the Queen said referring to the annual ceremony of the opening of the British Parliament, and the state speech where she reads the Government's programme.

The 91-year-old sovereign also revealed how "horrible" it was to travel in the ornate golden carriage to the ceremony at London's Westminster Abbey - the setting for every coronation since 1066.

The Queen, who spent her war years at Windsor Castle for safety, was aware of the general story but did not know the details until told by royal commentator Alastair Bruce, who presents the documentary due to be screened on Sunday.

"But once you put it on, it stays", she said of the famous crown. "I mean, it just remains itself", she said. In fact, she can't even look down at her speech if she's wearing the crown to a public speaking engagement. Because if you did, your neck would break.


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

According to reports, the crown is comprised of 2,868 diamonds, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds and hundreds of pearls, as well as a gemstone known as the Black Prince's Ruby.

The Crown Jewels, which form part of the Royal Collection, consist of 140 items containing 23,000 precious stones, and is in essence one of the world's most opulent and well-stocked jewellery boxes.

Queen Elizabeth II recalls the day when the weight of both St Edward's Crown and the hopes and expectations of a country recovering from war were on her shoulders. Not very comfortable. It can only go at walking pace.


One maid of honour is seen tripping, while the Queen giggles, and a young Prince Charles and Princess Anne play underneath her robe.

Mr Bruce said the head has to be kept still when wearing it and the Queen agreed: "Yes".

The Queen responded: "Yes, very unwieldy".

Bruce says the documentary shows the Queen's "most delightful sense of humour", as she responds to his comments with deadpan delivery.


Tune into the full documentary The Coronation, which airs in the US on the Smithsonian Channel, Sunday, Jan. 14 at 8 p.m. ET.

Other reports by iNewsToday

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