During times of war, special safeguards are often put in place to protect important artifacts. Sometimes these safeguards are so secret, years pass before they come to light.
Now, new facts regarding the crown jewels — and the steps taken to protect them from the Nazi regime — are being revealed.
As it turns out, even the Queen is learning a thing or two!
The crown jewels are, as Yahoo! explains, a collection of “crown, robes, and other regalia kept in the Tower of London for over 600 years.” As you might imagine, the crown jewels are priceless.
During World War II, the Royal Family began to fear the crown jewels would fall into the wrong hands.
The Nazis were known to amass art and other valuables, because as the Independent explains, “The Reich desperately needed foreign currency to fund the war effort.”
A plan was concocted to keep the crown jewels safe. King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II, ordered them hidden.
Their hiding place has been the subject of intense speculation over the years.
According to The Times, some “theories have included them being kept in a vault in Canada, a secret tunnel at a prison in Devon and a cave in Wales.”
The truth, however, is even more surprising — and more common — than you might think. As it happens, the crown jewels were placed inside an ordinary “biscuit tin.”
The tin was then carefully buried on the grounds of Windsor Castle. The tin was buried in such a way that it was accessible only through a special trapdoor.
The plan was then kept secret for years. So secret, in fact, that the Queen herself was not even aware of all of its details.
Recently, BBC researcher Alastair Bruce, preparing a new documentary about the Queen’s Coronation, began pouring over old correspondence.
It was then Bruce discovered the full details of the plan, which he discussed with the Queen during their interview.
As Yahoo! explains, “Her Majesty had been aware that the jewels were hidden at Windsor by 1940, when the government was trying to hide stocks of water, but had no idea where they were buried — or that they were hiding in a biscuit tin.”
Safely hidden, the crown jewels never fell into the wrong hands. What do you think of their hiding place?
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