Queen talks about her coronation in rare TV documentary appearance

The Queen has made a rare appearance in a television documentary to comment on the experience of her coronation.

The BBC programme, which tells the story of the crown jewels and the ceremony of crowning a new monarch, features the Queen chatting with royal commentator Alastair Bruce.

In the hour-long film The Coronation, the Queen recollects: "I've seen one coronation, and been the recipient in the other, which is pretty remarkable."

Alastair Bruce with the Queen (BBC/Julian Calder/PA)
Alastair Bruce with the Queen (BBC/Julian Calder/PA)

Three weeks after she turned 11, the then Princess Elizabeth saw her parents crowned at George VI's coronation at Westminster Abbey on May 12 1937.

The Queen later acceded to the throne on February 6 1952 when her father died unexpectedly in his sleep at Sandringham in Norfolk.

Despite the country being in the grip of post-war austerity a glittering coronation was staged on June 2 the following year at Westminster Abbey.

Charlotte Moore, BBC director of content, said about the programme due to be screened later this month: "It is a real honour to have Her Majesty the Queen revealing her intimate knowledge of the crown jewels - and fond childhood memories from when her father was crowned King George VI in this very special film for BBC One.

"In her own words, the Queen will bring to life the enduring symbolic importance of the coronation ceremonies for modern audiences to enjoy."

The Queen during her coronation in 1953 (PA)
The Queen during her coronation in 1953 (PA)

Objects associated with the coronation are known as regalia - sceptres, orb, ring, swords, spurs and robes - which have a specific part to play in the ritual.

The monarch is crowned by the Archbishop of Canterbury with the St Edward's Crown - made of gold and decorated with precious and semi-precious stones, including sapphires, tourmalines, amethysts, topazes and citrines.

However the best-known item is the Imperial State Crown, re-made for the coronation of George VI in 1937. It is worn at the end of the coronation service and at the State Opening of Parliament.

The format of the programme is similar to the BBC documentary Elizabeth At 90 with the Queen filmed in conversation with Mr Bruce as they watch private and official film footage.

The film also features eyewitness accounts of those who participated in the 1953 coronation, including a maid of honour who nearly fainted in the Abbey, and a 12-year-old choirboy who was left to sing solo when his overwhelmed colleagues lost their voices.

The documentary is part of the Royal Collection Season, a major partnership between the BBC and Royal Collection Trust, which also features the four-part television series Art, Passion & Power: The Story Of The Royal Collection.

In the final part of the series the Prince of Wales is interviewed about his role as the chairman of the Trust which is responsible for the care, conservation and display of the art collection, and other artefacts, built up by monarchs over the centuries.

The Coronation will be screened on BBC One on January 14 at 8pm.

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