Queen no longer wears special £31m crown 69 years after coronation complaint

It was a day of royalty, flamboyance and tradition, but the coronation was not all plain sailing for the Queen thanks to her heavy crown.

This year celebrates 70 years since Her Majesty came to the throne, but 69 since she was crowned at Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953. This is still the official day given to the celebration of the jubilee every ten years.

The coronation remains one of the most-watched TV events in British history and is remembered partly for how well it went, despite all the things that could have gone wrong.

As the Monarch for such a long time, the Queen is known for her sense of duty and approach to life as a working royal, even at the age of 96.

But that doesn't mean the Queen isn't partial to the occasional grumble about being at work.

Is the Queen's crown heavy?

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The Imperial State Crown worn by the Queen on her coronation and for the State Opening of Parliament every year is extremely heavy. Queen Elizabeth once quipped that it could "break your neck".

In a 2018 documentary, the Queen said: "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."

Set with 2,868 diamonds, 11 sapphires, 11 emeralds and 269 pearls, according to the Royal Collection Trust (RCT), the extremely heavy piece of kit was reshaped for the Queen when she took the throne.

She added: "Yes, fortunately my father and I have about the same sort of shaped head. But once you put it on it stays. I mean it just remains on.

"So there are some disadvantages to crowns, but otherwise they’re quite important things."

It isn't quite as heavy as the St Edward's Crown made for Charles II's restoration in 1661, worn briefly at the moment of coronation and weighing a hefty 2.23kg.

The RCT explained: "Because of its weight St Edward's Crown was not worn but carried in the coronation procession for over 200 years, from the reign of Queen Anne, and placed on the altar during the ceremony."

How much is the Queen's crown worth?

The value of each crown varies, though estimates put a number of £31million on St Edward's crown.

Officially speaking, the crown jewels as a whole are priceless artefacts and it is hard to put an exact figure on them. However, some experts have looked at the collection and estimated the total costs could be around £3.2bil.

The jewels also contain the largest diamond ever found, the Cullinan Diamond. Discovered in 1905, King Edwards VII decided to cut the diamond down but it took four whole days to prepare a cleaving knife to do the job.

Instead of cutting the diamond, the first blow of the knife broke it.

RCT said: "Finally, on 10 February 1908, Joseph Asscher split the stone into two. Over the next eight months, three men worked for 14 hours a day to cut and polish nine large stones from the original diamond.

"After King Edward's death in 1910, King George V had Cullinan I and II set in the Sovereign's Sceptre and Imperial State Crown respectively."

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