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Queen Elizabeth II dishes on weight of the crown in documentary

The Queen Elizabeth II, dressed in royal regalia, posed for this special Jubilee picture in the Throne Room of Buckingham Palace, after she had delivered the traditional Queen's speech at the 1976 official State Opening of Parliament. She wears the Imperial State Crown and the Robe of State, also known as the Parliamentary Robe. Around her neck is the Jubilee Necklace of diamonds and pearls and the chain is the Collar of the Order of the Garter, Britain's premier order of Knighthood. Her gown is of white silk with bands of gold and silver embroidery.

LONDON — Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II has revealed the secrets of giving a speech while wearing a weighty crown, in unusually candid comments in a new documentary on her 1953 coronation and the symbolism of the crown jewels.

Among the revelations of the BBC program airing Sunday is that the crown jewels were kept safe during World War II by being hidden in a biscuit tin buried at Windsor Castle. Although it was known the jewels had been taken to the castle 20 miles (32 kilometers) west of London for safekeeping, details had not been widely discussed.

The queen also discusses the challenges of being head of state. She jokes that she can’t look down while wearing the Imperial State Crown — which weighs 2 pounds 13oz (1.28 kilograms). The crown is worn by the monarch when delivering a speech for the State Opening of Parliament.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – JUNE 21: The Imperial State Crown is carried to the ceremony during the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster on June 21, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. This year saw a scaled-back State opening of Parliament Ceremony with the Queen arriving by car rather than carriage and not wearing the Imperial State Crown or the Robes of State.

“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,” the queen said in excerpts released ahead of the program. “So there are some disadvantages to crowns, but otherwise they’re quite important things.”

In the program, the queen notes that the crown has been reduced in height since being worn by her father, King George VI.

“Fortunately, my father and I have about the same sort of shaped head,” the queen said. “But once you put it on, it stays. I mean, it just remains on.”