Squint/Opera designed a suite of engaging films that helped to transform the Crown Jewels exhibition at the Tower of London. The exhibition provides a ‘shoulder experience’ to the adjacent Treasury and was completely re-vitalised as part of the first major change to the Jewel House for over a decade. The new exhibition created a seamless visitor journey through the Jewel House.
Historic Royal Palaces
Museums & Attractions
Design a suite of new media for the Crown Jewels Experience at the Tower of London.
Squint/Opera helped to transform the area leading up to the Treasury into an engaging exhibition space, effectively communicating the long and complex history of the Crown Jewels whilst engaging visitors from start to finish.
We designed media content with implicit movement, guiding visitors through the space; a continuous left-to-right flow subtly nudged them towards the next segment, creating a rhythm. This and timed media sequences ensured a smooth visitor flow and managed dwell times.
The immersive digital media we produced for the exhibition provides a detailed historical reference that grounds the narrative and creates a powerful contrast with the actual objects’ presence. There is a sense throughout that past and present are truly meeting. As visitors traverse through the space, they are introduced to five key narratives around the Crown Jewels.
The first room explores the theme of Monarchy, showcasing a number of state crowns of past kings and queens. Displayed on two synchronised immersive displays, this area takes the audience from Edward the Confessor to the present-day King Charles III, emphasising the timelessness of monarchy and the role of the Crown Jewels as powerful royal symbols.
The next room, Origins, is split into three sections. The first explores the journey of the Kohinoor diamond and its history as a symbol of conquest. The second story sheds light on the destruction of the Crown Jewels during the execution of Charles I and the English Civil War. The third narrative explores the history of the Cullinan diamond, which is set in the Sovereign’s Sceptre.
Building up the momentum, the third room in the exhibition, Procession, portrays the excitement and anticipation surrounding the coronation procession. This area includes three large, synchronised projections, which feature real footage from past coronations, including Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation procession in 1953.
In the final sections of the exhibition, visitors watch exquisite, high-definition footage of the coronation regalia, contextualising them in a compelling visual narrative. Macro shots of St Edward’s Crown flow in contrast to micro shots of the intricate detail of the Anointing Spoon.
Enriching and exciting, this narrative-driven exhibition approach enhances the anticipation and understanding of the visitor as they build up to their visit to the Treasury, providing a cohesive and engaging visitor experience throughout the Jewel House.
Creating such an intricate exhibition is not without challenges, of course. The team had to utilise a wealth of historical images as well as contemporary photographs. This required an amalgamation of media from varying eras and differing qualities, being crafted into a cohesive visual narrative.
The Crown Jewels exhibition exemplifies how the power of immersive storytelling and the skilful use of media can transport visitors across time, offering them a unique look into the rich tapestry of English history. With a keen eye for detail and respect for historical accuracy, this exhibition provides an enriching and engaging experience from start to finish.