A television documentary has been billed. It’s the first time Her Majesty has spoken on camera which is no small event. She is a notoriously camera-shy monarch.
As other royal households fell, hers has only grown in power.
The Coronation, Queen Elizabeth sparkles in a way that almost doesn’t permit you to take your eyes off her. She is indeed in the face of all that glitter, still very much the star of the show.
The documentary’s focus is two key pieces of the Crown Jewels. What are those?
It’s the St Edward’s Crown, which Her Majesty has worn only once, at her coronation. And The Imperial State Crown, which she wears to big-ticket royal occasions, such as the state opening of parliament. Then there is a handful of supporting pieces, such as the sceptre and orb, the ampulla and spoon and a few other bits and bobs.
What was the interview all about? How was it?
The interview, such as it is, was plainly brief. It made up only a fraction of the documentary and spread thinly throughout. The strength of the documentary lies in its very intimacy. Queen Elizabeth pokes at the crowns with some curiosity. Then, she remarks casually saying: “Weighs a ton”.
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But in real terms, they’re a bit overwrought and far from the rock stars of the Queen’s jewellery collection.
These pieces which actually come with truly remarkable histories include the George III tiara, the Vladimir tiara, the Prince Albert brooch and Granny’s Chips. It is also known as the Cullinan III and IV, a brooch of two giant diamonds.
The last pieces of those two make an appearance in this documentary. It is reunited with the larger Cullinan stones that are mounted in the head of the Sovereign’s Sceptre and the Imperial State Crown. Queen Elizabeth says: “It’s the first time since the coronation that all these pieces of the Cullinan diamond have been back in proximity to each other”.
The notion that this is the first time ever Her Majesty has spoken on television is plainly untrue.
But, it is the first time ever she has been questioned on television. Though when you pay attention, all the questions are focused on the coronation jewels and were no doubt approved ahead of time. To say the truth, she has spoken in several documentaries and answered questions on the mike but that was off camera.
If at all you want an insight into her world, there are better documentaries which might interest you. What you do get, however, is startlingly intimate.