Prince Charles almost broke his mother Queen Elizabeth’s priceless crown.
The incident occurred just after the queen’s coronation when the then four-year-old Prince of Wales made a grab for the prized possession, only for the mother of Princess Margaret’s former lady-in-waiting’s swift thinking and response preventing a potential disaster.
That’s according to 88-year-old Lady Anne Glenconner, who was Princess Margaret’s lady-in-waiting from 1971 until her death in 2002. She is the daughter of Thomas Coke, 5th Earl of Leicester and his wife Lady Elizabeth York.
Speaking on jeweller Annoushka Ducas’ podcast ‘My Life in Seven Charms’, Lady Anne told the tale of the young prince’s immediate fascination with his mother’s glimmering crown, which could so easily have resulted in it being smashed to smithereens.
After the host asked her if she’d ever tried the crown on herself, Lady Anne, said: "I wouldn't dare touch it. No, no, completely sacred. 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."
Lady Anne also revealed that the Queen would sometimes wear the St Edwards Crown, which is said to weigh more than 1kg and is adorned with almost 3,000 precious stones, while writing letters in order to practice for official engagements.
She added: "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The crown was originally made in 1661 for King Charles II, but although it's been traditionally used to crown monarchs since the 13th century, only a total of six have actually been crowned with it.
Tagged in Princess Margaret