To mark the 65th anniversary of Her Majesty The Queen's Coronation in 2018, the ABC will screen THE CORONATION, an hour-long film revealing to new generations the compelling story of the Crown Jewels and the ancient ceremony for which they are used. The Coronation will air on ABC on Sunday, 4 February at 7.40pm.
As well as hearing the Queen’s memories of the ceremony and that of her father, King George VI, The Coronation will explore the fascinating history and symbolism of the Regalia at the heart of the ancient ceremony.
The Crown Jewels, which form part of the Royal Collection, one of the largest and most important art collections in the world, consist of 140 items and contain 23,000 precious stones. These sacred objects form the most complete collection of royal regalia in the world. The Coronation will examine the role and symbolic meaning of the Crown, showing these objects of astonishing beauty in new high-resolution footage.
On 2 June 1953, on one of the coldest June days of the century and after 16 months of planning, The Queen set out from Buckingham Palace to be crowned at Westminster Abbey, watched by millions of people throughout the world. A ceremony dating back more than a thousand years was to mark the dawn of a new Elizabethan age.
Viewing both private and official film footage, The Queen recalls the day when the weight of both St Edward’s Crown and the hopes and expectations of a country recovering from war were on her shoulders, as the nation looked to their 27-year-old Queen to lead them into a new era.
In the film, The Queen says:
“I've seen one Coronation, and been the recipient in the other, which is pretty remarkable.”
For audiences unfamiliar with the story of the Crown Jewels and the regalia, the film explains their contemporary relevance to the UK as a nation and to the enduring purpose and the work of monarchy. They are symbols of the relationship between the Sovereign and the people, and the duties and responsibilities of leadership.
The Coronation tells the extraordinary story of St Edward’s Crown, which was destroyed after the English Civil War and remade for the Coronation of Charles II in 1661. It has only been worn by Her Majesty once, at the moment she was crowned. 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.
Charlotte Moore, BBC Director of Content said:
“It is truly an 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 BBC One film. The Queen’s words will bring to life the importance of the coronation ceremony for modern audiences to enjoy.”
Michael Carrington, Acting Head of Television, ABC said:
“The ABC are delighted to be the broadcast partner for this very special, historical event. The crowning of Queen Elizabeth II was a defining moment in the history of television and the modern world. We are excited to bring the symbolism and pageantry of the Crown Jewels and the Coronation to life for our ABC audiences in 2018.”
The Coronation is made by Bafta and Emmy Award winning Atlantic Productions. It is a co-production with Smithsonian Channel and ABC Television and distributed by FremantleMedia International.
The Coronation (1x60) was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director of Content and Tom McDonald, Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Specialist Factual. The BBC Commissioning Editor is Simon Young. The Executive Producer for Atlantic Productions is Anthony Geffen and Producer/Director is Harvey Lilley. The program consultant is Alastair Bruce.