The Queen claims that her preparations for her Coronation began at the age of just 11
The Queen claims that her preparations for her Coronation began at the age of just 11 when her father asked her to write an account of his enthronement at Westminster Abbey in May 1937.
During the interview which is due to be screened tonight, she admits that she has a better recall of her father’s Coronation than of her own.
Her recollection, which was written in a school exercise book, read: “To Mummy and Papa, In Memory of Their Coronation, From Lilibet. By Herself.”
It provides an account of the Coronation, from the minute she “leapt out of bed” and concludes: “I thought it all very wonderful… The arches and beams at the top were covered with a sort of haze of wonder as Papa was crowned.”
Others, including The Archbishop of Canterbury, had a more frantic day, however, and fretted about the regalia.
To ensure the St Edward’s Crown was worn the correct way round, the Archbishop attached two threads to the front.
The threads were removed, however, by a cleaner and the Dean of Westminster handed it over back-to-front.
The Queen has also revealed how uncomfortable riding in her golden carriage was.
Speaking of the ride in the four-tonne carriage from Buckingham Palace to the abbey where English monarchs have been crowned since 1066, she said: “Horrible. It’s not meant for travelling in at all.
“I mean, it’s only sprung on leather. Not very comfortable.”
When asked if she was in it for a long time, she paused before responding: “Halfway around London. It can only go at a walking pace.
“The horses couldn’t possibly go any faster. It’s so heavy.”
The Queen now 91, was just 25 when she became monarch on the death of her father George VI in 1952, with the coronation taking place the following June when she had turned 27.
She said: “It’s the sort of, I suppose, the beginning of one’s life really as a sovereign.
The Queen has revealed how uncomfortable riding in her golden carriage was
“It is sort of a pageant of chivalry and old-fashioned way of doing things really. I’ve seen one coronation and been the recipient in the other, which is pretty remarkable.”
Giving her personal recollection, the Queen also revealed how she had struggled with her coronation dress, which was embroidered in silk with pearls, and gold and silver thread.
She said: “I remember one moment when I was going against the pile of the carpet and I couldn’t move at all.”
The documentary also featured informal footage taken behind the scenes, including images of her son and heir Prince Charles, then aged four, and his younger sister Anne playing underneath the queen’s long robe.
The Queen now 91, was just 25 when she became monarch on the death of her father George VI in 1952
She quipped: “Not what they’re meant to do.”
Princess Elizabeth wore two crowns for the occasion, the St Edward’s Crown, which she has never worn since, and the diamond-encrusted Imperial State Crown which she wears at formal occasions such as the opening of parliament when she delivers a speech outlining the government’s legislative plans.
Smiling, she added: “You can’t look down to read the speech, you have to take the speech up. Because if you did, your neck would break and it would fall off.
“So there are some disadvantages to crowns but otherwise they’re quite important things.”