The Coronation in 1953 appeared to be a glittering triumph for the House of Windsor. But behind the scenes there was a story of rivalry at the highest level. Prince Philip was at odds with the Queen Mother and the royal establishment over his desire to modernise the monarchy, and the old Queen was uncomfortable with her daughter’s sudden rise to power. Elizabeth was caught between her husband and the traditionalists in the royal household, who lived in an archaic, unchanging world.
This documentary with dramatised excerpts and interviews examines how Elizabeth eventually agreed to televise the full coronation ceremony inside Westminster Abbey, against the initial advice of Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the Cabinet. A decision hotly contested by her advisors, it marked a dramatic change in how the monarchy communicated to the public. Unwittingly, the Queen had given a huge helping hand to the medium that would do so much to undermine her family in later years.