Queen Elizabeth II Reveals Crown Was Heavy, Could Break Neck In Documentary

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Since it's the sort of thing she never does, it's a moment to remember even if she never gets much more droll than suggesting the five-pound crown, laden with jewels, feels heavy enough to break your neck if you're not careful.

She jokingly states you can not look down when wearing the Imperial State Crown, which weighs 2lbs 13oz (1.28kgs), as your neck would "break".

"This is what I do when I wear it", she announced, spinning it around to find her favourite gem: the Black Prince's Ruby, which is said to have been worn by Henry V at the Battle of Agincourt. But once you put it on, it stays. It weighs almost 3 pounds, and Queen Elizabeth II jokes that you can't look down while wearing it or your neck might break.

"So there are some disadvantages to crowns, but otherwise they are quite important things", Queen Elizabeth II says.

In a BBC documentary marking the 65th anniversary of the Queen's coronation this year, she has revealed how "valuable" it was that he encouraged her to record memories of his ceremony in 1937, just after she had turned 11. Though it was known the jewels had been taken to the castle for safekeeping, details had not been widely discussed.

Photo The version of the Imperial State Crown the queen wore to her coronation had been made for father's coronation but was later slightly altered to fit her. Credit Pool photo by Eddie Mulholland The crown was too big for her head. "I thought they were there just to hold one's clothes".

But after her destiny changed, George VI was determined that his daughter should be fully prepared when her time came - by keeping notes during his own coronation.

Jenna Coleman plays young Queen Victoria in the series “Victoria.”
Jenna Coleman plays young Queen Victoria in the series “Victoria.”

A spokesman for the BBC said the programme, part one of a series about the Royal Collection, would see the Dean of Westminster John Hall "reveal for the first time on camera the bottle containing the anointing oil used in The Queen's Coronation in 1953".

Elizabeth, Britain's longest-reigning monarch, was crowned queen on June 2, 1953, at London's Westminster Abbey, in an ancient, grand service whose origins date back 1,000 years.

The Queen acceded to the throne on February 6 1952 when her father died unexpectedly in his sleep at Sandringham in Norfolk.

"But they are not very happy now - they don't look very happy now", she said.

When Mr Bruce remarks that it is like a ballet, with everyone knowing where to move, the Queen responds "well they jolly well ought to" after all the rehearsals.

The Coronation airs tonight on BBC One at 8pm.

The sovereign said she had to keep her head still.

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