The Queen says she can’t look down with her crown on or her ‘neck would break’

Queen Elizabeth II has opened up about her crown – saying it is not only tricky to balance, but also very heavy and her "neck would break" if she looked down while wearing it.

The monarch made the revelations in a 2018 BBC documentary in which she discussed the 65th anniversary of her coronation.

When she was crowned in 1953, she wore the St. Edward's Crown – which was previously used by George V and George VI for their coronations too.

The crown – which weighs 2.23kg (4.9lbs) – was named after Edward the Confessor and is on public display in the Jewel House at The Tower of London.

Interestingly, Queen Victoria decided to use a smaller crown as she was concerned about the weight of the St. Edward's Crown, The Sun reports.


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During her 67-year reign, Queen Elizabeth II has worn the Imperial State Crown at the State Opening of Parliament, usually once a year.

The crown is set with 2868 diamonds, 11 sapphires, 11 emeralds and 269 pearls, according to the Royal Collection Trust .

Describing the crown as "unwieldy", The Queen said: "You can't look down to read the speech, you have to take the speech up.

"Because if you did, your neck would break – it would fall off.


“So there are some disadvantages to crowns, but otherwise they’re quite important things.”

Alastair Bruce, an expert on the Crown Jewels who had a conversation with Her Majesty in the documentary, said: “It’s difficult to always remember that diamonds are stones and so they’re very heavy."

The Queen added: “Yes, fortunately my father and I have about the same sort of shaped head. But once you put it on it stays. I mean it just remains on.”

The Imperial State Crown saw its arches lowered to create a smaller, more feminine object for the then-27-year-old Queen, The Telegraph reports.

As part of the documentary, The Queen also shared memories of the coronation of George VI which she attended when she was just nine years old in 1937.

Charlotte Moore, BBC Director of Content, said: “It is a real honour to have Her Majesty The Queen revealing her intimate knowledge of the Crown Jewels – and fond childhood memories from when her father was crowned King George VI  in this very special film for BBC One.

“In her own words, The Queen will bring to life the enduring symbolic importance of the Coronation ceremonies for modern audiences to enjoy.”

Queen Elizabeth II, 93, is the longest-reigning monarch in British history.

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