The crown, sword and sceptre are kept in a sealed display case and it was a fleeting flash when I could make out the shimmering gold filigree on its own. The bonnet and the case couldn’t be seen and I felt as if I could reach out and grab the gold crown. I couldn’t make out the bonnet which is a red/maroon colour and couldn’t identify any of the jewels, but I will never forget the instant I could make out the framework of the crown itself. I could make out the sword and the sceptre and the Stone of Destiny, which I had first seen many years ago in Westminster Abbey. There’s a lot of history about the Stone of Destiny and a lot of myth and a lot of conspiracy theories dating back to some student pranks when it went missing.
Date of visit: 8 September, 2011