The Crown Jewels: The Hilarious British Comedy About The Iconic Drinking Game

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : March 28, 2024

For anyone familiar with the world of British comedies, “The Crown Jewels” is a show that needs no introduction. This iconic sitcom, which aired from 2011 to 2015, was a riotous take on the classic drinking game of the same name. The show followed a group of friends navigating the ups and downs of life, love, and inebriation, all while trying their hardest not to get too sloshed during rounds of the eponymous game. 

But for the uninitiated, “The Crown Jewels” may seem like a strange premise for a hit comedy. That’s why we’re taking a deep dive into the real-life drinking game that inspired the show, exploring its origins, rules, and why it made for such brilliant television. So raise a glass and get ready to learn all about how to play the Crown Jewels game that had audiences in stitches.

The Origins of the Crown Jewels Drinking Game

The Crown Jewels game has been a staple of British drinking culture for decades, though its exact origins are a bit murky. Some historians trace it back to the 1960s in the pubs of London, while others claim it emerged from university party games in the decades prior. Regardless of its beginnings, the game quickly spread throughout the UK thanks to its simple but diabolical premise.

At its core, Crown Jewels is about taking turns arranging random objects in specific patterns and chugging beverages when you inevitably mess up the order. Its punishing but hilarious nature quickly made it a favorite among Britain’s thirsty students and pub regulars. By the 2000s, it had cemented itself as one of the nation’s most popular and notorious drinking games.

How to Play the Crown Jewels Drinking Game

While there are some variations on the rules, the standard way to play Crown Jewels is as follows:

Materials Needed:

– 5 small objects “jewels” (bottle caps, coins, etc.)

– 1 large object “crown” (beer mug, salt shaker, etc.)

– Plenty of drinks to consume as punishments


1. Place the 5 jewels in a row on a flat surface

2. Place the crown at one end of the row of jewels


1. The first player starts by moving the object from the opposite end of the crown into the crown’s spot.

2. Then they slide the crown over one spot, covering the jewel that was just moved.

3. Play continues with the next person repeating this pattern, moving the free jewel to the crown’s old spot, then sliding the crown over one spot.

4. If a player makes a mistake and moves the wrong jewel or places the crown incorrectly, they must consume a predetermined amount of their drink as punishment (finish their cup, take x number of shots/gulps, etc.)

5. The last person remaining without messing up is the winner. Then you can reset and start a new round.

As simple as the game seems at first glance, things quickly get pretty tricky as drinks are consumed and players get (understandably) sloshed and discombobulated. Making one tiny misstep results in having to chug more alcohol as a penalty, creating a hilariously vicious cycle.

The Crown Jewels: From Game to Comedy Gold

It was this brilliant combination of deceptively simple rules and the potential for descending into absolute drunken chaos that made the Crown Jewels game such brilliant fodder for a sitcom. The show took these built-in humorous elements and ran with them to wildly funny results.

The core cast of characters followed the quintessential 622 setups of most friend-group comedies – you had the reckless instigator, the beleaguered stick-in-the-mud, the perpetually

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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