On June 2nd 1953, on one of the coldest June days of the century, after 16 months of planning, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II set out 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. Now, in what has become the longest reign of any British monarch, the Queen shares her memories of that day as well as the Coronation of her father, King George VI, in 1937.

Exploring the role and symbolic meaning of the Crown Jewels in the centuries-old coronation ceremony, The Coronation shows these objects of astonishing beauty in new high-resolution footage. A combination of HD cameras and special 4K lenses reveal the incredible secrets and forensic details of a set of regalia that have a rich history of their own. Amongst the many glorious objects revealed, the film 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.

Shedding an entirely new perspective on this world-famous event, The Coronation brings together, the eyewitness accounts of those who participated, including the maid of honour who nearly fainted in the Abbey and the 12-year-old choirboy who was left to sing solo when his overwhelmed colleagues lost their voices.

Viewing rarely seen private and official film footage of the day, the Queen recalls the day when the weight of both St. Edward’s Crown and the hopes and expectations of a nation recovering from war were on her shoulders, as the nation looked to their 27-year-old Queen to lead them to a new era.

Using the Queen’s recollections and new footage of the Crown Jewels, The Coronation reveals the story of this glittering ceremony.

Photo: Her Majesty the Queen with archive footage
Photographer Julian Calder © Royal Collection Trust/ Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018

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Credits (Click to expand)

Royal Commentator & Programme Consultant

ALASTIAR BRUCE

Narrator

KEELEY HAWES

With Special Thanks to

HISTORIC ROYAL PALACES

ROYAL COLLECTION TRUST

THE ROYAL HOUSEHOLD

SUNDERLAND MUSEUM & WINTER GARDENS

TOWER OF LONDON

Private ciné film

By gracious permission of

HM THE QUEEN AND

HRH THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH

Other Archive sources

ALAMY

AP ARCHIVE/BRITISH MOVIETONE

BBC MOTION GALLERY

BFI NATIONAL ARCHIVE

BRITISH PATHÉ

CRITICALPAST

DEAN & CHAPTER OF WESTMINSTER

FOOTAGE FARM

GETTY IMAGES

ITV ARCHIVE

MARY EVANS PICTURE LIBRARY

MIRRORPIX

THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES

NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY IMAGES

SKYWORKS

TOPFOTO

VICTORIA & ALBERT MUSEUM, LONDON

Sound Recordists

SIMON PINKERTON

FREDDIE CLAIRE

MARC HATCH

Lighting

CHRIS KNOLL

ANDY CLARKE

Art Directors

GEMMA CLANCY

ALEC WALKER

Visual Effects

ZOO LTD

Colourist

VICKI MATICH

On-line Editor

ANDREW MITCHELL

Dubbing Mixer

MATT SKILTON

For Atlantic Productions

VINCENT PRETORIUS

MIMI GILLIGAN

CLAUDIA PERKINS

Archive Researchers

JENNY BORTHWICK

JACQUI EDWARDS

Production Secretary

ANYA CHICK

Production Coordinator

CAT POLLOCK

Production Manager

SAMANTHA TILYARD

Head of Production

IAN SNYDER

Original Music by

TY UNWIN

Additional Music

AUDIO NETWORKS

CADENCE

Camera Assistants

WILLIAM HADLEY

PHILIP EDKINS

NAOMI HANCOCK

ANDREEA GRUIONIU

Additional Cameras

ROD CLARKE

DOMINIC COLCHESTER

STEPHEN ROBINSON

Director of Photography

MIKE ROBINSON

Supervising Producer

LAURA NASH

Editor

STUART DAVIDSON

Commissioning Editor

SIMON YOUNG

Produced & Directed by

HARVEY LILLEY

Executive Producer

ANTHONY GEFFEN

ATLANTIC PRODUCTIONS for BBC

BBC

In association with Smithsonian Channel

and ABC Television

© Atlantic Productions Limited MMXVIII

Distributed by

FREMANTTLEMEDIA INTERNATIONAL