Oh, what's she like?
Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde
Queen Elizabeth II is the longest reigning British monarch, having devoted an impressive 65 years to the crown, so it’s pretty difficult to imagine her as a bored little girl during her father’s own coronation.
However, extracts from the Queen’s diary reveal that’s exactly how she felt during the lavish ceremony that saw her father crowned King.
That’s right – before she was able to hire her own assistant to break in her new shoes for her, and way before the real boss of the royal household, her granddaughter Princess Charlotte, came along, our Elizabeth was just an 11 year-old girl at an exhausting coronation.
At the time of the diary extract, the Queen was known as Princess Elizabeth of York. She wrote about the day her father, King George VI, became the ruling monarch on 12th May 1937.
Details from her perspective include rising at 5am and taking an early breakfast before dressing in a gown of ‘silk and cream lace’, with ‘little gold bows all the way down the middle and puffed sleeves with one little bow in the centre’.
Elizabeth also goes on to explain that after kissing her mother goodbye, she boarded the carriage with her little sister, Margaret, and they headed to Westminster Abbey.
‘I thought it all very, very, wonderful and I expect the Abbey did, too. The arches and beams at the top were covered with a sort of haze of wonder as Papa was crowned, at least I thought so,’ she writes.
However, it wasn’t enough to keep young Elizabeth preoccupied and she states that the whole thing was ‘inordinately long’, confessing: ‘At the end, the service got rather boring as it was all prayers.’
But she did admit that she and her grandmother ‘smiled at each other’ in relief once it was all over.
The coronation apparently left the now-Queen so exhausted that her legs ‘ached terribly’ and she was tucked up in bed by 6pm.
To be fair if we’d been at a huge ceremony for the best part of fourteen hours, we think we’d do the same…