The Queen Opens the Vault on Her Coronation

The Imperial State Crown

The Imperial State Crown

As it turns out, the bride-to-be has already tried one on for size, thanks to her reign as Homecoming Queen in high school.

Bettmann via Getty Images Queen Elizabeth, just after the crowning.

The Queen may enjoy the great privilege of wearing a crown, but the extravagant headpiece doesn't come without its downside.

The BBC documentary will see Queen Elizabeth II reflect on her memories of the 1953 ceremony as well reminiscing about watching her father, George VI, being crowned when she was just 11-years-old. "If you did look down, your neck would break".

In fact, she even broke Royal tradition for the first time in 43 years last year to have a state officer carry it instead.

"The Queen was unbelievably generous to me by making me feel very very relaxed and comfortable, and she has the most delightful sense of humour so we got through it very well, I think".

She went on: "It's the sort of I suppose the beginning of one's life really as a sovereign". The Queen said she particularly likes the Black Prince's Ruby in the crown, which was reputedly worn by King Henry V in 1415 at the Battle of Agincourt.


Heavy is the head who wears the crown, indeed!

"But once you put it on, it stays", she said.

"Horrible", she said of the ride in the four-tonne carriage from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey, where English monarchs have been crowned since 1066.

Describing her coronation speech, she said it was a struggle as if she dipped her head the crown would "break your neck". Anxious that the weight of the elaborate jewels at the centrepiece of her crown would injure her neck, she quips: "So there are some disadvantages to crowns, but otherwise they're quite important things".

Pointing out a number of pearls affixed to the crown - believed to have once belonged to Tudor Queen Elizabeth I - the Queen remarked, "They were meant to be Queen Elizabeth's earrings".

They are part of the Royal Collection and are owned by Queen Elizabeth II in the right of the Crown.

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

Latest News