Royal household hid crown jewels from Nazis in biscuit tin

Alastair Bruce in conversation with Queen Elizabeth II for The Coronation

BBCAlastair Bruce in conversation with Queen Elizabeth II for The Coronation

The Queen was just 25 when she ascended the throne following the death of her father King George VI in 1952, with the coronation taking place a year later.

She went on: "It's the sort of I suppose the beginning of one's life really as a sovereign".

Since it's the sort of thing she never does, it's a moment to remember even if she never gets much more droll than suggesting the five-pound crown, laden with jewels, feels heavy enough to break your neck if you're not careful.

"I remember my father making me write down what I remembered about his coronation".

The BBC to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's 1953 coronation
BBCThe BBC to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's 1953 coronation in rare one-off interview

"But once you put it on, it stays", she said.

One hilariously said: "The Queen handles crown like it's her baby - others hold it like someone else's!"

"You can't lean down to read your speech. Because if you did, your neck would break and [the crown] would fall off". She said, "So there are some disadvantages to crowns, but otherwise they're quite important things".

A spokesman for Buckingham Palace said: "In the programme, part of the Royal Collection season, the Queen reflects on various aspects of the coronation ceremony and the significance of the crown jewels".

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Gemstones from the crown jewels were kept safe during the Second World War in a biscuit tin hidden at Windsor Castle, a documentary will confirm.

The Queen, who spent her war years at Windsor Castle for safety, was aware of the general story but did not know the details until told by Mr Bruce.

The Monarch also spoke about her lovely coronation dress, which was embroidered in silk with pearls, and gold and silver thread.

It eventually came off because they impressed the palace with the impressive track record of Geffen's company, Atlantic Productions, and the personal expertise of presenter and royal expert Alastair Bruce.

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A restored version of the crown, made for Charles II in 1661, is the one that was worn in 1911 by George V, in 1937 by George VI and during the last coronation, of his daughter, almost 65 years ago.

The special oil is shown by Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster, during the programme called The Coronation, which also chronicles the history of the crown jewels.

This rare peek into the Queen's personality, who her grandkids call "the boss", has certainly showed the public that Britain's longest serving monarch is on board with the plan for change, too.

"Not what they're meant to do", the Queen quipped. She confessed that the headgear encrusted with 440 precious and semi-precious gems is heavy and that it is impossible to tell where the front and back are.

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The Coronation will be broadcast on BBC One at 8pm at Sunday.

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