One of the most glamorous perks of being the monarch is access to all the priceless jewels, but it turns out Queen Elizabeth isn’t the biggest fan of all that sparkles!
In a revealing new documentary, Queen Elizabeth speaks rather matter-of-factly about the royal jewels — and there’s no denying her sense of detachment. While she takes the Crown Jewels’ cultural and symbolic role very seriously, she’s just not interested in jewelry on its own, an expert says.
“The Queen is entirely disinterested in jewelry as a person,” says Alastair Bruce, who spoke with the Queen for The Coronation documentary, which airs on the Smithsonian Channel on Jan. 14 at 8 p.m. ET.
“There are plenty of people I know who are excited about what they have in a box in their bedroom. The Queen is the guardian of a considerable quantity of jewelry, setting aside the Regalia, but “I don’t see her as somebody who’s particularly interested in diamonds and sitting there [cooing over them] like Elizabeth Taylor.”
He adds, “Jewelry is one of the elements that helped her deliver the fact that she is Queen to the people she comes in contact with. It’s the trappings, and all these elements and symbols are seen by her as part of the job.”
During the documentary, that’s also broadcast on BBC One in the U.K. on Sunday, she is seen with the magnificent 4lb, 12oz St. Edward’s Crown that is placed in front of her for the first time since her Coronation nearly 65 years ago, and discusses the intricacies of the lighter (nearly 3lb) Imperial State Crown.
The 91-year-old monarch displays a wry sense of humor during the documentary, and she surprisingly remarks at how “sad” the pearls on her Imperial State Crown seem – as they should be “alive” in the sea.
She has certainly mastered the art of not appearing to enjoy the trappings of royalty and the fabulous artifacts that surround her and the sheer luxury of her position. This is a woman, who despite her estates, castles and racehorses, has modest tastes.
“The British public quite like the fact that she doesn’t go off on holiday on a beach by the Mediterranean but gets into country clothes, walks around in the rain and gets eaten by the midges in Scotland,” Bruce says.
“She doesn’t appear to be exploiting the office for her own good. The symbols of the Regalia reminded her a bit of all that. That this is not for me, she learned it too from her father. I am making conjecture but the evidence is sort of there.”