The newly crowned Queen Elizabeth II waves to the crowd from the balcony at Buckingham Palace on June 2, 1953. Her children Prince Charles and Princess Anne stand with her.
Hulton Archive—Getty Images
By Talia Avakian / Travel + Leisure
January 12, 2018

For the first time since her coronation in June 1953, Queen Elizabeth II is sharing rare details of the event in a new documentary airing on BBC One.

In the hour-long program “The Coronation,” Queen Elizabeth gives viewers her personal account of the memorable event that took place 65 years ago, sharing just what it was like to be in her shoes.

In the interview, Queen Elizabeth delves into some of the difficulties that can come with having to wear a crown that weighed more than two pounds.

“You can’t look down to read the speech, you have to take the speech up; because if you did your neck would break, it would fall off,” she says of the coronation.

And how the crown fit wasn’t quite an issue.

“Fortunately, my father and I have about the same sort of shaped head,” the Queen says in part of the interview about the crown’s fit. “But once you put it on, it stays; I mean it just remains on.”

The Queen also discusses what it was really like to ride in the famed golden carriage that transported her that day, revealing the journey was “horrible” as the carriage is “only sprung on leather.”

As she looks back on the memorable event that took place in June of 1953, the monarch also recounts humorous tidbits like when her coronation dress got caught on the carpet, and reflects on what it was like to witness one coronation and then receive the crown herself.

“It is sort of a pageant of chivalry and old-fashioned way of doing things, really,” the Queen recounts of the day. “I’ve seen one coronation and been the recipient in the other, which is pretty remarkable,” she adds.

The documentary also includes behind-the-scenes footage of the coronation, showcasing the Queen’s son, Prince Charles, and his younger Sister, Anne, on the day of their mother’s crowning.

“It’s sort of, I suppose, the beginning of one’s life really as a sovereign,” the Queen says in the interview.

The documentary, which airs on BBC One Sunday at 8 p.m., is part of a Royal Collection Season created between the BBC and the Royal Collection Trust that showcases details of the family’s life and the collection itself.

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