Horrible carriage, unwieldy crowns: Queen Elizabeth’s candid views of coronation and royal jewels

LONDON (Reuters) – Talking for the 1st time about her coronation 65 several years in the past, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth has uncovered how not comfortable riding in her golden carriage to the ceremony was and how wearing the Imperial State Crown risked “breaking your neck”.

FILE Photograph: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth walks by the Royal Gallery in the Palace of Westminster during the State Opening of Parliament in London, Britain, Might 25, 2010. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor/File Photograph

Elizabeth, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, was topped queen on June 2, 1953 at London’s Westminster Abbey, in a historical, grand services whose origins date back 1,000 several years.

In a incredibly rare, individual account for a BBC documentary to be aired on Sunday, she speaks candidly about the celebration and some of the Crown Jewels which enjoy a symbolic job in the ceremony.

“Horrible,” she mentioned of the journey in the 4-tonne carriage from Buckingham Palace to the abbey where English monarchs have been topped since 1066. “It’s only sprung on leather-based, not incredibly at ease.”

Elizabeth, now 91, was just 25 when she turned queen on the death of her father George VI in 1952, with the coronation having place the adhering to yr.

“It’s the type of I suppose the beginning of one’s lifestyle definitely as a sovereign,” she mentioned. “It is type of a pageant of chivalry and outdated-fashioned way of performing things definitely. I have observed 1 coronation (her father’s in 1937) and been the receiver in the other, which is rather remarkable.”

Giving her individual recollection, the queen also reveals how she had struggled with her coronation gown, which was embroidered in silk with pearls, and gold and silver thread.

“I remember 1 second when I was going versus the pile of the carpet and I couldn’t transfer at all,” she mentioned.

The documentary also capabilities informal footage taken at the rear of the scenes, like illustrations or photos of son and heir Prince Charles, then aged 4, and his more youthful sister Anne playing beneath the queen’s prolonged gown.

“Not what they are meant to do,” the queen quips.


Britain’s Queen Elizabeth waits just before providing her speech in the Home of Lords, during the State Opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster in London Might 8, 2013. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Charles has earlier uncovered how his mom had practiced wearing the 2.2 kg (4.9 lb) St Edward’s Crown when he was being bathed.

Elizabeth wore two crowns for the celebration: the St Edward’s Crown, which she has by no means worn since, and the diamond-encrusted Imperial State Crown which she wears at formal events these kinds of as the opening of parliament when she delivers a speech outlining the government’s legislative designs.

“You simply cannot glance down to study the speech, you have to choose the speech up. For the reason that if you did, your neck would crack and it (the crown) would tumble off,” she mentioned smiling. “So there are some shortcomings to crowns but in any other case they are very essential things.”

FILE Photograph: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth just before the State Opening of Parliament in the Home of Lords in London, Britain, Might 27, 2015. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett/File Photograph

The documentary reveals her peering inquisitively and then grinning as she taps at pearls hanging on the 1 kg (2.3 lb) crown, two of which are mentioned to have been acquired by her Tudor namesake Queen Elizabeth I.

“They ended up meant to be Queen Elizabeth’s earrings,” she mentioned. “They really don’t glance incredibly satisfied now. Most pearls like to be living creatures so they’ve just been hanging out here for several years which is alternatively unfortunate.”

Elizabeth has by no means presented a formal job interview during her prolonged reign and Coronation qualified Alastair Bruce, whom the queen spoke to for the software, mentioned their 1-1/2-hour conversation had been a “conversation”.

“You really don’t inquire the queen a immediate issue, so you pose a comment that the queen then responds to,” he instructed reporters.

He mentioned he had the impression the queen was likely not fond of the major crown and was “very practical” in her remedy of the crown jewels.

He cited how during their conversation the crown had been a little out of the queen’s arrive at so he questioned the crown jeweler to enable transfer the table it was on a bit closer.

As an alternative, the queen herself pulls the table toward her.

Bruce mentioned: “If you glance incredibly closely, the table suddenly just goes ‘woomf’ and the crown ‘woomf’ and the crown jeweler is remaining there with practically nothing and she suggests ‘well you know, it’s my crown.’”

Modifying by Stephen Addison

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