charles-coronation

Prince Charles' near-mishap with the Queen's coronation crown

Princess Margaret's former lady-in-waiting recalled memories from the day in 1953

Danielle Stacey

Prince Charles was only four when he attended his mother, the Queen's coronation on 2 June 1953. And as a young child he was understandably fascinated with the monarch's new crown - which nearly resulted in a major mishap!

Speaking on a podcast in October 2020, Princess Margaret's former lady-in-waiting, Lady Anne Glenconner, has revealed the Prince's cheeky attempt to get his own hands on the beautiful headwear. 

Lady Anne, who served as a maid of honour at the ceremony, was asked by jeweller Annoushka Ducas MBE on her podcast My Life in Seven Charms, whether she had ever tried the crown on.

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WATCH: All about the Queen's 1953 coronation 

"I wouldn't dare touch it. No, no, completely sacred," Lady Anne said. "Prince Charles got his paws on it, however old he was, when we got back to Buckingham Palace.

"Because [the Queen] took it off, put it on a table, and Prince Charles made a beeline for it. And we thought he was going to drop it. We thought, 'Oh my goodness, that would be a bad omen'. But luckily, I think my mother, as a lady-in-waiting, seized it from him and took it away."

The Imperial State Crown weighs more than 1kg and is adorned with 2,901 precious stones, including the Cullinan II diamond – making it very, very heavy.

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The Imperial State crown

Lady Anne also revealed that the Queen would wear the crown while she was writing letters, saying: "I think Prince Charles says he remembers going in and seeing her [wearing it]. And asked her why she's wearing it and she said she was practicing."

The monarch once commented on the crown's weight during a BBC documentary. She 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. So there are some disadvantages to crowns, but otherwise they're quite important things."

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Annoushka Ducas speaking to Lady Anne Glenconner

Annoushka's podcast My Life In Seven Charms teases out key moments from the life of a celebrity guest in a relaxed chat where memories are called up and re-imagined into treasurable objects – the charms.

Other guests in series one included former British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman OBE and fashion director and CEO of Tank Magazine, Caroline Issa.

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