While we can only imagine what it must be like for Queen Elizabeth II on coronation day in 1953, she actually didn’t sound very happy as she shared memories of the event in a rare interview with BBC since 2018. After a seemingly bumpy ride in her golden carriage, the late British monarch nearly broke her wardrobe because of her dress and even risked breaking her neck because the tiara was too heavy.
For her special day, Queen Elizabeth’s dress was designed by British fashion designer Norman Hartnell. It is made of white satin, embroidered with gold and silver threads with the symbols of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, and decorated with pearls. Although very beautiful, it turned out that the dress was not very practical. The Queen recalled how the heavy dress made it a bit difficult to move forward, saying: “I remember there was a moment when I was walking against the carpet and I couldn’t move.” On her way back to Buckingham Palace, Queen Elizabeth donned the new purple gown produced by a team of 12 tailors and 3,500 hours to complete.
Above her diamond necklace, earrings, brooches and other priceless jewels, Queen Elizabeth has to wear quite a lot of jewelry to complete the look. On her way to Westminster Abbey, she donned the State Crown of George IV, now depicted on stamps in the United Kingdom. Produced in 1820, it features a rose, shamrock and thistle, and is set with 1,333 diamonds and 169 pearls.
During the coronation, St Edward’s Crown was placed on her head. Made of solid gold in 1661, it weighs 4 pounds and 12 ounces, and is so precious that only the queen, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the crown jeweler can hold it. Although, despite its merits, Queen Elizabeth doesn’t seem too appreciative of that.
Finally, the queen donned the diamond-encrusted Royal Crown on her return journey to Buckingham Palace. Despite its beauty (I mean, it To be decorated with 2,901 precious stones), Queen Elizabeth doesn’t seem too fond of this historic object. “Once you’ve put it on, it stays,” she told the BBC. “And you can’t look down to read the speech, you have to bring the speech up. Because if you do, your neck will break, it’s going to fall off. So there’s some disadvantage to that. crowns, but otherwise, they’re pretty important things.”
Scroll to see more glimpses of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation attire, then dig into the details of the controversy behind Queen Camilla’s tiara Coronation of King Charles III on May 6, 2023.