The special precious stones from the British crown were hidden in a simple can of cookies at Windsor Castle during World War II. It is such a weird and desperate story that BBC TV made a documentary movie about it. After all, the simple decision that was made of fear to lose the identity and national proud has worked so well!

Precious Stones
Precious Stones

The Top Secret

Those precious stones, including the famous ruby of the Black Prince adorning the crown, were hidden under a secret exit in a medieval castle. That exit was used only in case of an emergency. The stones were hidden by the order of King George VI, the father of Elizabeth II, so the values would not fall into the hands of the Nazis.

It was a great secret that even Elizabeth II, who lived in Windsor Castle for security reasons from 1939 to 1945, did not know where those precious stones were hidden. These details were clarified by Oliver Urquhart Irvine, Assistant Superintendent of the Royal Archives. Many decades later, the secret was revealed by Royal Librarian Owen Morshead’s “incredible collection of letters” to Queen Mary, the daughter of King George VI. The documents of Owen Morshead tell how a hole was dug in the limestone, and two hideouts with steel doors were installed there. The hatch that led to the hiding place where the tin box was hidden remains until today.

Interview of the Queen

The Queen Elizabeth II said that the 1.28kg crown of the British Empire, placed on her head during the opening ceremonies of the parliament, is very clumsy. She said that it is the only good thing that the shapes of head of her father and her head are almost the same. But as soon as she put the crown on, it stays that way. The monarch said the head with the crown attached should be kept straight because it is heavy and can fall down.

Precious Stones
Precious Stones

She cannot move her head down to read a speech, so it is necessary to lift that speech or piece of paper up. Because if she moves her head, her neck could break, or the crown can fall. So, crowns have some disadvantages, but on the other hand, they are quite important symbols and must be treated with extra attention.

A crown was made especially for the coronation of King George in 1937. This crown is decorated with 2,868 diamonds, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, and hundreds of pearls. Four of these pearls were on earrings of king’s mother Queen Elizabeth I. Among other things, the crown has the ruby of the Black Prince. It is believed that King Henry V had this ruby on his helmet during the Battle of Azenkur in 1415. Queen Elizabeth II has repeatedly said that looking at this ruby makes her feel special. It is said that the pen of King Henry V was inserted into that ruby which was on his helmet.