Some things in this world are a mystery to most of the population. The majority of us have never attended a coronation of a King or Queen, or even seen one on television. One reason for this is because America, and several other countries, do not have a monarchy. Another reason for this is because the role of King or Queen is a lifetime-appointment, coronations are not a frequent occurrence. In The United States, we know that we will vote for President every four years. In England and most monarchal countries, they do not know when the next sovereign will be crowned.
The historic occasion may not happen very often, but when it does it is cause for a grand celebration! BBC One collaborated with the Royal Collection Trust recently on a new documentary on the subject, called "The Coronation."
In what could only be a fascinating interview with the Queen of England, Her Royal Highness recalls the first coronation she attended. When she was 11 years old, her father King George VI became King in place of his brother, who abdicated the throne. Just look at her and her sister, Margaret, in the photo, below, taken to mark the special day. Little did the young Princess know that she would partake in that ceremony for herself just 16 years in the future.
The Queen also talks about her coronation in 1953 and the many details that go into such a momentous event. The ceremony was the first-ever televised, and over 27 million people in the U.K. - and more around the world - saw it. During the interview, the Queen lets her guard down a bit and jokes about how heavy the Crown is and explains that "you can't look down to read your notes....you would break your neck." What a fun interview! Here is a picture of the gorgeous gown she wore, designed by Norman Hartwell.
The documentary goes into great detail about mysteries surrounding the ceremony that even many English do not understand, including the Crown Jewels. Did you know that the Crown Jewels are made up of several items, including the orb, scepter, and crowns? It's not just The Crown; it's all the items combined, and they all hold a different significance. The Crown, itself, represents the Sovereign as head of the nation, while the orb shows religious and moral authority, and the scepter embodies power.
How fascinating! I never knew how much goes into an English coronation ceremony, did you? "The Coronation" airs on BBC One and The Smithsonian Channel, here in America. For those of us without those channels, we can all cross our fingers that they will air it on PBS at some point shortly. Here is a fun clip from the documentary; the Queen really is quite funny and candid! You can watch more clips on the BBC One Youtube channel. I can't wait to watch this, it looks so good!