A new BBC documentary has revealed the Queen was not too fond of her royal coronation carriage. Excerpts from the upcoming documentary, The Coronation show a relaxed Queen reminicing about the historic day she took over the crown and revealing what she did and did not like about the elaborate ceremony.
When asked about the 18th century gold carriage that carted her to Westminster Abbey, the Queen replied: “Horrible! It’s only sprung on leather. Not very comfortable.”
The coronation carriage, built in 1760 by Samuel Butler, has been used for all British monarch coronations since King George IV’s in 1821. The coach’s age and limited manoeuvrability means it’s reserved for only the grandest of state occasions including coronations, royal weddings, and the jubilees of a monarch. The coach is currently housed at the Royal Mews of Buckingham Palace and displayed for public view.
The remarkable documentary is getting plenty of hype, particularly since the Queen has rarely been interviewed in the past. She was just 25 years old when she ascended the throne and has remained steadfast under her mantra of duty before self ever since.
The documentary also features spectacular footage of the crown jewels, and the Queen touched on their importance in British society.
“There are some disadvantages to the crowns. But otherwise, they’re quite important things,” she remarked.
She also spoke about her unique experience of being both an observer and participant in a coronation, having watched her father’s coronation in 1937.
“I’ve seen one coronation and been recipient in the other, which is pretty remarkable,” she said.
“It’s sort of, I suppose, the beginning of one’s life really, as a sovereign.”
Princess Elizabeth, as she was then known, was thrust onto the throne following the sudden death of King George VI in 1952. Elizabeth was on an official royal tour of Africa with the Duke of Edinburgh when she heard the news and returned to England with the weight on the monarchy on her young shoulders.
Charlotte Moore, the BBC’s director of content, said the broadcaster was excited the Queen decided to be a part of the project.
“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,” she said.
“In her own words, the Queen will bring to life the enduring symbolic importance of the coronation ceremonies for modern audiences to enjoy.”
The documentary was filmed in association with the Royal Collection Trust and airs on BBC One in Britain on January 14.