In a new documentary airing on 14 January, Queen Elizabeth gives a rare interview and speaks of how the crown she wore during her coronation was exceptionally heavy, so much so that "your neck would break".
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Despite the physical discomfort her coronation caused, the queen recognizes the event's significance. It weighs almost 3 pounds, and Queen Elizabeth II jokes that you can't look down while wearing it or your neck might break.
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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The Queen wore the Imperial State Crown following her coronation and often wears it when she reads the Queen's Speech during the State Opening of Parliament. "Because if you did, your neck would break and [the crown] would fall off".
After succeeding the throne after the death of her father George VI, the Queen explains how she had the crown adjusted to make it more feminine and smaller.
'So there are some disadvantages to crowns, but otherwise they're quite important things'.
She also said the golden ceremonial carriage used for her coronation was "horrible". 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".
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The 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. "It's only sprung on leather, not very comfortable".
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.
The British monarch joked that her ancestor's pearls are "not very happy now" and have been "hanging out for years, " adding: "The trouble is that pearls are sort of live things, and they need warming". "It's so heavy", she said.
The documentary is part of the Royal Collection Season, a major partnership between the and Royal Collection Trust, which also features the four-part television series Art, Passion And Power: The Story Of The Royal Collection.
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