Britain's queen dishes on crown weight in documentary

The UK's Queen Elizabeth II on Friday spoke of the risks associated with wearing the British Imperial State crown, explaining that its precious stones make it very heavy to wear, along with other memories she wished to share in a unique BBC production. Elizabeth wore two crowns for the occasion: the St Edward's Crown, which she has never worn since, and the diamond-encrusted Imperial State Crown which she wears at formal occasions such as the opening of parliament when she delivers a speech outlining the government's legislative plans.

According to UK's The Telegraph, the footage is shown as part of an hour-long BBC One documentary The Coronation which airs in the United Kingdom this weekend and features behind-the-scenes footage of the Queen, capturing her sense of humour and life in the palace.

The Queen also reveals the Gold State Coach is "not very comfortable" and features footage of her speaking about her mischievous children and a dress so heavy she got stuck on the carpet.

"The only word I can come up with is medicinal, like cough syrup", she said.

On the subject of her father's day, which included a minor but live debacle over which way the crown was supposed to be placed on his head, the Queen disclosed she has a "much better" recollection of 1937 coronation than her own because "I wasn't doing anything". She was coronated 16 months later. "Because if you did, your neck would break and it [the crown] would fall off", she said smiling.

"It's fun to see", Queen Elizabeth said.

During World War II, the royal family took recourse to extraordinary measures to protect the most precious diamonds at Windsor Castle, a new documentary revealed. "So there are some disadvantages to crowns, but otherwise they're quite important things".

It was known that the crown jewels had been taken to Windsor Castle, but during the BBC programme it emerged they were kept in a hole dug under a secret exit from the castle.

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Vanessa Coleman