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By Katherine Hann — Head of Education, Commonwealth Museum, Bristol

Choosing suitable materials and making a replica crown

You will need

Whiteboard and pens; Coronation portrait; picture of a royal crown; wire; aluminium foil; coloured beads; felt or cotton wool; decorative materials.

What to do

Tell the children that you are going to make a replica of one of the Queen’s crowns using soft metal wire and foil. Discuss the purpose of a crown. What does it need to do and be like? Talk about how it must look impressive and last for a long time, and link this to the properties of the metals and precious stones that have been used to make the real crown.

Now ask the children to think about a crown you could make in the classroom. Does it have the same purpose as the Queen’s? It must look good, but it doesn’t need to last as long. It should also be light so that it is comfortable to wear (unlike the real crown) and be soft inside.

Ask children to suggest materials. Demonstrate how they can bend wire into the shape of a crown. They can then work in groups to make their own frames, cover them in aluminium foil, line them with material and stick on beads to represent the jewels.


Children can use the finished crowns for other activities in this topic, such as role play in history or literacy.



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