The Surprising Way the Queen’s Father Hid the Crown Jewels in WWII

Heavy is the pinnacle that wears the crown—and that is explicit true of the Imperial State Crown, one of the iconic “Crown Jewels” of Britain, which weighs in at practically two kilos. One of the crucial awe-inspiring items within the Crown Jewels’ assortment, the showstopper comprises 2,868 diamonds, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, 269 pearls, and 4 rubies. In 1953, Queen Elizabeth wore the gorgeous image of the British monarchy at her personal coronation celebration (although it was the St. Edward’s Crown that was positioned on her head on the defining second). She has additionally worn the crown on different formal events, together with the State Opening of Parliament.

The Imperial State Crown was made in 1937 for King George VI (the Queen’s father) as a replica of the crown made for Queen Victoria in 1838 with practically all the identical stones. In a uncommon tv interview for the 2018 documentary The Coronation, which chronicles the second she went from Princess Elizabeth of York to  Queen, Her Majesty advised interviewer Alastair Bruce that the Imperial State Crown was “very unwieldy” when she’s worn it. “You’ll be able to’t look all the way down to learn the speech—you needed to maintain the speech up, as a result of in case you didn’t, your neck would break, or it will fall off,” she mentioned.

At the moment, safety is extraordinarily tight across the Crown Jewels, which have been housed within the Tower of London for the reason that 1600s. Guests to the Tower can view the dazzling diadem in a darkened room within the Jewel Home protected by armed guards and stored below specially-made bulletproof glass. Friends can’t cease in entrance of the Imperial State Crown, however as a substitute stand on an airport-style conveyor belt, which strikes at a brisk place to stop anybody from lingering over the dramatic show.

Again when the Queen was only a baby, security measures to guard the valuable jewels had been far much less refined, nevertheless. Learn on to search out out what the Queen’s father did to cover the Crown Jewels from enemies throughout World Struggle II and discover the tales behind different well-known tiaras memorably worn by the ladies of the Home of Windsor.

Queen Elizabeth II proceeds through the Royal Gallery after she addressed the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster on May 18, 2016 in London, England.
Toby Melville – WPA Pool/Getty Photos

In The Coronation, it was revealed throughout World Struggle II, King George VI ordered the jewels on the then newly created Imperial State Crown be faraway from their setting and hidden in a biscuit tin after which buried in area dug beneath Windsor Citadel. The Queen’s father directed this order be carried out in secret as a result of he did not need priceless stones falling into Nazi fingers.

The order was such a well-guarded secret that even the Queen, who was simply 13 years outdated when she was despatched to Windsor Citadel along with her sister, Princess Margaret, throughout WWII, knew nothing about it. She discovered of her father’s determination to bury the jewels on the fort from Alastair Bruce, who’s a well-regarded British historian, whereas taping her interview for The Coronation documentary.

The story was revealed in letters discovered by Oliver Urquhart Irvine, a librarian and assistant keeper of the Queen’s Archives. The correspondence was written to King George VI’s mom, Queen Mary, by royal librarian Sir Owen Morshead, who advised her in regards to the King’s plans for the key chamber. Bruce recalled telling Her Majesty the unimaginable story of her father’s actions later in an interview with The Occasions. “What was so beautiful was that the Queen had no knowledge of it,” he mentioned. “Telling her appeared unusually odd.”

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The Princess of Wales, Princess Diana visit To Hong Kong as part of their Far East tour, Princess Diana wears a diamond coronet and pearls a studded gown and short jacket, Diana is attending the opening of the new Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Picture taken 8th November 1989.
Kent Gavin/Every day Mirror/Mirrorpix/Getty Photos

The ladies of the Home of Windsor have memorably worn coronets that belonged to the Queen on their wedding ceremony days, as royal protocol dictates that solely married girls can put on tiaras. Although Princess Diana wore the Spencer family tiara (which had been worn by her two elder sisters, Girl Jane Fellowes and Girl Sarah McCorquodale, at their weddings) when she married Prince Charles in July 1981, she’s going to without end be related to the Lover’s Knot tiara, certainly one of her favourite items given to her as a present from the Queen that she wore on numerous events. Per Tatler, the iconic tiara was first provided to Diana by the Queen to put on on her wedding ceremony day, however the future Princess of Wales selected her household heirloom as a substitute.

The Lover’s Knot tiara was commissioned for Queen Mary in 1913 by the royal jeweler Garrard. Set in silver and gold, the tiara is roofed with diamonds and ringed with 19 hanging baroque pearls. Queen Mary handed down the gorgeous crown to Queen Elizabeth, who ultimately gave it to her new daughter-in-law.

The princess first wore the tiara to the Opening of Parliament simply months after her wedding ceremony after which on a number of official state visits, however when she wore it with the famous Elvis dress and jacket designed by Catherine Walker in 1989 on a visit to Hong Kong (pictured), it was a defining second in trend historical past. The pearl encrusted costume completely complimented the regal tiara. She wore it once more later that very same yr to the British Style Awards. In an interview for my e book, Diana The Secrets and techniques of Her Model, the late designer Oscar de la Renta advised me, “[Diana] had great star high quality and that costume created such a second for her. When she walked into the room, there wasn’t anybody who did not discover. In that costume, she was a glittering imaginative and prescient.”

Diana so loved the Lover’s Knot tiara that she wore it usually regardless of reportedly getting horrible complications from it, in keeping with Vogue. After her divorce from Prince Charles, nevertheless, the princess returned her favourite tiara to the Queen, the outlet experiences.

In a touching tribute to her late mother-in-law, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, has proven the identical affection for the timeless tiara, generally often called the Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara. In accordance with Folks, after Diana’s loss of life in 1997, the tiara was not seen until 2015, when Kate wore it at a reception at Buckingham Palace. Since then, the duchess has chosen the sentimental piece for many state occasions, together with the Diplomatic Corps annual reception in 2018.

RELATED: 10 Photos That Perfectly Capture Princess Diana’s ’80s Style Evolution.

Chinese President Xi Jinping with the Duchess of Cambridge (left) and Queen Elizabeth II at a state banquet at Buckingham Palace, London, during the first day of his state visit to the UK.
Dominic Lipinski – WPA Pool /Getty Photos

Kate has worn many tiaras since her wedding ceremony to Prince William in 2011, however certainly one of her most memorable tiara moments got here in Dec. 2013 when she selected to wear the Lotus Flower tiara with a pale blue robe on the annual diplomatic reception at Buckingham Palace. Also called the Papyrus tiara, it was a favourite of Princess Margaret. The fragile fashion, which options dainty diamonds and pearls, was additionally worn by the Queen Mom.

The royal recycler is understood to put on her favorite outfits over and over again and her alternative of tiara is not any exception. Already a grasp of diplomatic dressing, in 2015, Kate opted to wear the Lotus Flower tiara once more (pictured right here) at a state dinner given for the president of China, Xi Jinping, and paired the glowing topper with a stunning red bespoke gown designed by Jenny Packham in a nod to China’s flag and the nation’s cultural perception that pink brings good luck and happiness.

One royal supply advised Greatest Life, “Catherine all the time places a substantial amount of thought into what she wears and when to put on each merchandise in her wardrobe. Carrying the Lotus Flower tiara a couple of years after becoming a member of the Royal Household was a delicate signal of confidence with out being too showy. The duchess is the queen of understated class.”

RELATED: The One Thing the Queen Didn’t Like About Kate Early On, Says Insider.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave Windsor Castle in the Ascot Landau carriage during a procession after getting married at St Georges Chapel on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.
Chris Jackson/Getty Photos

When she married Prince Harry in Could 2018, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, was loaned Queen Mary’s Bandeau tiara from Her Majesty’s non-public assortment. The diamond headpiece initially belonged to the Queen’s grandmother, who had it created in 1932 utilizing a diamond brooch she obtained as a present when she married the long run King George V in 1893. Queen Elizabeth inherited the tiara below the phrases of her grandmother’s will when she died in 1953.

Beautiful in its luxurious simplicity, the tiara was common as a versatile headband design with sections of interconnected ovals and pavé diamonds set with giant and small sensible diamonds. Meghan wore Queen Mary’s removable brooch of 10 sensible diamonds as the middle stone, however different royal girls have worn the tiara with totally different stones at its middle.

In 2019, the Duchess of Sussex told the story behind selecting the tiara in an audio recording for the royal wedding ceremony outfits exhibition at Windsor Citadel (through the Los Angeles Occasions). “Harry and I had gone to Buckingham Palace to fulfill with Her Majesty, the Queen, to pick out one of many choices that had been there, which was an extremely surreal day, as you may think about,” she recalled. “That one, as we tried them on, stood out. I feel it was simply excellent as a result of it was so clear and easy, and I feel additionally, to that time, an extension to what [wedding gown designer] Clare [Waight Keller] and I had been making an attempt to do with the costume, which was have one thing that could possibly be so extremely timeless however nonetheless really feel trendy.”

RELATED: This One Royal Will “Never Forgive” Harry and Meghan, Say Insiders.

Diane Clehane is a New York-based journalist and creator of Imagining Diana and Diana: The Secrets of Her Style. | The Stunning Means the Queen’s Father Hid the Crown Jewels in WWII


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