The Queen Broke Royal Protocol Today at the State Opening of Parliament
Pomp and circumstance were present and accounted for at today's State Opening of Parliament, but Vanity Fair reports that one major tradition wasn't. Queen Elizabeth II, who usually wears the Imperial State Crown for the big event (it's her 65th), chose to have the crown sitting next to her for the big event instead of having it perched on her head.
It's not as though she was lacking for bling, however. VF notes that while she wasn't wearing the Imperial State Crown (which has individually named gemstones such as the St. Edward's Sapphire, the Stuart Sapphire, the Black Prince's Ruby, and the Cullinan II diamond, she had plenty of other jewelry on display. The George IV State Diadem was on her head instead of the usual choice and she did wear the diamond Coronation necklace to really gild the lily, because an ermine cape just wasn't enough.
Some Twitter users thought that the choice to bring in the crown and have it sitting beside her like a pet, a severed head, or a symbol of the monarchy, was a brazen statement. That could be a stretch, but conspiracy theorists love to find anything to connect the queen to civil unrest. According to People, there's a much more practical reason: the crown weighs three pounds, making it a cumbersome accessory if there ever was one.
QEII didn't wear the Imperial State Crown in 2017, right after the snap election, and there was one other occasion in 1974, when there were two general elections, where she eschewed the jewels. Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, were both in attendance today, as well. He was in full regimental regalia and she wore her usual Greville tiara.