The Queen: A More Informal Mood Behind the Scenes

To any watching admirer, she makes it look easy. As with so much in the business of royalty, the reality is a little more laborious.
The Queen has given a rare glimpse into the perilous business of wearing the Crown Jewels, as she describes a crown so heavy she must keep her head lifted for fear of breaking her neck.
The crown, which was worn at the end of the Coronation and for most State Openings of Parliament since, was adapted slightly for her, following the death of her father.
The discreet alteration to the Crown saw its arches lowered to create a smaller, more feminine object for the then-27-year-old Queen.
The programme, a one-hour documentary which forms part of the Royal Collection series, also includes the Queen’s personal footage showing, a voiceover remarks, “a more informal mood behind the scenes”.
Handling the crown confidently, the Queen pointed to four pearls hanging underneath the arches, two of which are believed to have belonged to Mary Queen of Scots and bought by her Elizabeth I.
“They were meant to be Queen Elizabeth’s earrings,” she said. “But they’re not very happy now. They don’t look very happy now.
“Most pearls like to be sort of living creatures so they’ve just been out, hanging out here for years, it’s rather sad. So they don’t look very happy.”
“Quite dead,” Bruce observed.
Laughing, the Queen replied: “Well, I’m afraid so. I mean, the trouble is that pearls are sort of live things, and they need, and they need warming.”
Speaking at a press screening for the programme, Bruce shared memories of his time with the Queen, disclosing: “She was very practical with the Crown Jewels in a way I wasn’t quite expecting.”

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