Rich with history and responsibility, the Imperial State Crown can be a heavy burden to bear. But for Queen Elizabeth II, wearing the crown comes with far more practical concerns.
“You can’t look down … Because if you did, your neck would break — it would fall off,” the queen said in “The Coronation,” a new documentary coming to The Smithsonian Channel.
“So there are some disadvantages to crowns, but otherwise they’re quite important things,” Elizabeth added.
In a rare on-air interview, the queen recounts her 1953 coronation with remarkable candor. When asked about her miles-long ride around London in the Gold State Coach, the queen recalled it was “not very comfortable.”
“Horrible,” she said. “It’s not meant for traveling in at all.”
The queen also remembers grappling with her unwieldy coronation gown.
“I remember one moment when I was going against the pile of the carpet and I couldn’t move at all,” she said.
Despite the physical discomfort her coronation caused, the queen recognizes the event’s significance.
“It’s the sort of, I suppose, the beginning of one’s life, really, as a sovereign,” she said.
“The Coronation” airs on The Smithsonian Channel on Jan. 14 at 8 p.m.