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Prince Philip demanded Queen Elizabeth’s coronation be televised.


The Royal House of Windsor reveals how Prince Philip was one of the most influential forces in the Royal Family. 

Let us talk about his decision to televise Queen Elizabeth’s coronation.

Also read: Why Queen Elizabeth is the world’s most famous introvert?

Prince Philip was made the chair of Queen Elizabeth coronation commission after the Queen ascended to the throne in 1952. The Duke of Norfolk had overall authority for the ceremony and Prince Philip decided to make his mark. One of the biggest and most controversial decisions he made was to televise the coronation.

Many senior royals including the Queen Mother were against his idea, as was Winston Churchill who said: “A prestigious religious ceremony should not become a theatrical performance.”

Queen Elizabeth was obstinate and convinced others to broadcast her coronation on the BBC in order to make her subjects feel included, regardless of class. Traditionally, attending coronations had been the preserve of royalty and the upper classes of society. 
But on June 2, 1953, more than 20 million Britons were actually invited to watch the ceremony from the comfort of their homes. Earlier that year, it was publicly proclaimed that the crowning would be televised.This eventually resulted in a huge boost to television sales, and the erection of new transmitters. Many of them even chose to throw viewing parties in churches, hospitals, festival halls and other public places. 
Also read: The Governess Who Spilled The Queen’s Secrets.

Originally a compromise was drawn whereby cameras would be permitted “west of the organ screen” to allow the procession to be filmed.Eventually, Queen Elizabeth agreed that the entire ceremony could be televised. But she had one condition, which was, that she would not be filmed close-up. The only portion of the ceremony that was off-limits was the Queen’s anointing, which was deemed too sacred to broadcast.The BBC broadcasted the coronation in black and white, but they also filmed it in colour and experimental 3D. To make sure that Commonwealth citizens living in Canada could also enjoy the ceremony, RAF Canberra jets flew rolls of film from London to Montreal.

In totality, around 277 million people across the world watched the coronation, an extraordinary number at that time.After pledging his allegiance to the Queen, Philip kissed his wife on the cheek – an unscripted move which the Queen Mother didn’t like.