The Coronation: the spellbinding history of Queen Elizabeth II’s crown

Jan 14, 2018 by

by Ellie Harrison, Radio Times:

In this remarkable documentary, the Queen is reunited with the weighty symbol of monarchy she’s only ever worn once.

When the Queen was crowned on 2 June 1953, the nation gathered to witness the extraordinary day, crowding around television sets that had sold in unprecedented numbers in the weeks beforehand. Editors worked night and day to turn the TV footage into a movie, and A Queen Is Crowned, narrated by Laurence Olivier, was airing in cinemas around the world within days of the event. Now, in a remarkable documentary to be shown on BBC1, the Queen herself talks on air for the first time about her own memories of it, and examines St Edward’s Crown with which she was crowned – and which she has never worn since.

The 1953 coronation was an unforgettable occasion for everyone involved. In bleak post-war Britain the inauguration of the young Queen in an ancient ceremony provided the ideal opportunity to celebrate British history and to anticipate a brighter future. As Winston Churchill put it, “Let it not be thought that the age of chivalry belongs to the past”, and a ceremony, both medieval and modern, was staged to rival any of any age. The high point was the moment of coronation in Westminster Abbey, when the Archbishop of Canterbury placed St Edward’s Crown on the sovereign’s head.

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