The Crown Jewels worn by Queen Elizabeth II may be sparkling and beautiful, but as she says in this clip from the Smithsonian Channel’s upcoming documentary, The Coronation, in which she makes a rare candid speaking appearance, “there are some disadvantages” to it.
“It’s only sprung on leather — not very comfortable,” the 91-year-old, record-breaking royal says of the item she wore only once, at age 25 on her coronation day nearly 65 years ago. Later, she notes, “there are some disadvantages to the crowns, but otherwise, they’re quite important things.”
The Crown Jewels is part of the Royal Collection, which consists of 140 items and contains 23,000 precious stones. The headgear, known as St. Edward’s Crown, was destroyed after the English Civil War and remade for the Coronation of Charles II in 1661. The one-hour TV special, which airs on Jan. 14, traces its history and sees Her Majesty looking back and sharing memories of that fateful day on June 2, 1952, as well as the coronation ceremony of her father King George VI in 1937.
“I’ve seen one coronation, and been the recipient in the other, which is pretty remarkable,” she says. “It’s the sort of the beginning of one’s life, really, as a sovereign.