Queen Elizabeth II reveals what it’s like to wear the prestigious Imperial State Crown.
"It’s much smaller, isn't it?" the 91-year-old queen tells royal commentator Alastair Bruce in a preview of Coronation, a documentary that explores the story of the Crown Jewels and the ceremony that passes the kingdom's highest title from one monarch to the next.
Queen Elizabeth became the head of the monarchy at the age of 27 on June 2, 1953, with millions watching as she was crowned at Westminster Abbey. The three-pound diamond encrusted Imperial State Crown was worn by Her Majesty at the end of her coronation and for most state openings of Parliament.
"Very unwieldy," she adds. "Fortunately my father and I had the same sort of shaped head. When you put it on, it stays."
“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,” she says. “So there are some disadvantages to crowns, but otherwise they’re quite important things."
After her coronation ceremony, her gold coach was led by eight gray horses, but the queen says it was a bumpy ride.
"Horrible. They're not meant to be traveling in at all. It's only sprung on leather. Not very comfortable," she explains. "We could only go at a walking pace. The horses couldn't possibly go any faster."
Meanwhile, the Royal Scepter is topped by the "Star of Africa" diamond. At 530 carats, it's the largest cut diamond in the world.
The Coronation airs on the Smithsonian Channel at 8 p.m. on Jan. 14.