In what was a surprise to even the Queen, her crown jewels were once hidden in a biscuit tin

Life & style

Fearing a Nazi invasion, on orders from King George VI, the precious stones were buried under a sally port at Windsor Castle – a secret exit that was used only in times of emergency.

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | Updated: August 23, 2018 3:32:09 pm

If we were to tell you the queen’s precious crown jewels once sat inside a biscuit tin, it might sound unbelievable. But in a rather surprising revelation let out in a BBC documentary, The Coronation, the royal family’s jewels were indeed hidden in a biscuit tin during the Second World War.

Fearing a Nazi invasion, on orders from King George VI, the precious stones were carefully placed in a Bath Oliver biscuit tin and buried under a sally port at Windsor Castle – a secret exit that was used only in times of emergency. A deep hole was dug in the ground and two chambers were constructed with solid steel doors. The jewels were then locked inside, only accessible through a trapdoor, which still exists. It was planted on a site where the grass could regrow so that it could be concealed.

The operation was so secret that even the Queen didn’t know about it until the filming for the BBC documentary, which started earlier this year.

The assistant keeper of the Queen’s Archives, librarian Oliver Urquhart Irvine, unearthed the confidential letters sent to Queen Mary, George VI’s mother, and royal librarian Sir Owen Morshead. It recounted how the crown jewels were kept safe in the event of a Nazi invasion. Some jewels which are generally kept at the Tower of London were moved from the imperial state crown to Berkshire from London.

In what is an interesting scoop, a similar tin of vintage Fortis Bath Oliver Biscuits, made in England but belonging to a user in India, can be bought on eBay for fifty euros. Just in case you want to tuck away your precious stones.

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