“The Diamond Jubilee gives us the chance to celebrate with pride all that The Queen means to us – whether as a nation or as one of her children.”
So states The Prince of Wales in his own personal television tribute to The Queen to be shown on BBC One on Friday evening as the curtain raiser for the Jubilee weekend.
Drawing on archive news reels and never-before-seen home movies and photographs, The Prince reflects back on Her Majesty’s 60 year reign – both as the nation’s Queen and as his own mother.
Throughout the film, The Prince shares memories and recalls events from The Queen’s public and private life, adding his own commentary and insights.
Among the great public moments of the reign for which The Prince provides additional insight is the Coronation in 1953. In one sequence, he recalls how The Queen practised wearing the Coronation crown:
“I remember my Mama coming, you know, up, when we were being bathed as children, wearing the crown. It was quite funny – practising.”
And in private cine camera footage, taken on Coronation day behind the scenes at Buckingham Palace, we see Her Majesty juggling the dual role of mother and Queen as she walks along the corridor of Buckingham Palace and poses for official photographs. Watching the footage some sixty years later, The Prince comments on his mother’s “amazing poise” and, later, her “natural grace”.
The Prince shares with us some footage from various family holidays, including one sequence, filmed by The Queen, in which we see a young Prince Charles and Princess Anne playing and being buried in the sand at Holkham beach in Norfolk, accompanied, of course, by the corgis.
There are also cine film sequences on board Britannia, at Windsor and Balmoral, all of which give the viewer a fascinating insight into the life of the Royal Family in the 1940s and 1950s.
The Prince tells his audience: “My Mama takes great pride in her family, from being a young mother at the start of her reign, to now being a great grandmother twice over.”
In his tribute, The Prince also draws extensively from news archive to remind us of key public moments such the spectacle of the Coronation, and The Queen’s many overseas tours and visits:
“…I think just the sheer number of Heads of State who are coming to the Jubilee celebrations shows the respect and affection with which my mama is held all around the world” he says.
On the Commonwealth, The Prince comments:
“I so admire the way she’s managed to hold that unique association – the Commonwealth – together.”
The Prince also points out that The Queen has opened Parliament in Britain 59 times, adding “I’ve always thought my Mama looks absolutely wonderful in that tiara” before noting that two of her twelve Prime Ministers were not even born when she came to the throne.
He says “…the fact that my Mama has been a constant feature on the scene has provided that sense, I think, of continuity in a time of immense change over 60 years.”
He continues by saying that the Jubilee provides an “opportunity for celebration, remembering the things that help to define us, perhaps.”
In his tribute, The Prince also shares with us again more personal public moments, such as his mother and father visiting him on sports day in 1957 and his investiture as Prince of Wales in 1969, for which, he tells us, they rehearsed in the gardens of Buckingham Palace.
Although much of the film is rooted in childhood memories, The Prince is keen to take this opportunity to pay tribute to his mother throughout her reign, from the moment she became Queen on safari in Kenya through to last year’s historic visit to Ireland.
The Prince concludes:
“…The Queen has provided an amazing record of devotion, dedication and commitment.”
By following the same patterns, The Prince says that Her Majesty has helped to “anchor things a bit and give reassurance that something is there which is perhaps a little more timeless than other things which are changing all the time.” NOTES TO EDITORS
A Jubilee Tribute to The Queen by The Prince of Wales will be broadcast on BBC One at 8pm on Friday 1st June 2012.
News clips are available to broadcasters before transmission from BBC publicity for news use only, embargoed until 2200hrs Thursday 31st May 2012.
Three photographs are available from Clarence House Press Office and/or BBC Publicity, also for news use only, embargoed until 2200hrs Thursday 31st May 2012.
The cine footage and photographs 1 and 2 (Coronation image and Holkham Beach image) remain copyright of Buckingham Palace and can only be used as part of the film in perpetuity or as reporting specifically on the film until 31st December 2012. After this date, new permission will be required from Buckingham Palace for their use by news organizations. Photograph 3 is copyright of British Pathé.