Over the past decade, the Royal Family has increasingly opened itself up to the public – and television has been the main means of doing so. We’ve had Princes William and Harry enjoying a banterous natter with Ant and Dec, while the Duke of Edinburgh agreed to a chinwag with that doyen of daytime telly, Phillip Schofield.
Most recently, it was the turn of the Queen, who popped up in an hour-long documentary about the Crown Jewels and her 1953 coronation.
The Coronation (BBC One) was presented by Alastair Bruce, a royal commentator, who sat down with Her Majesty to inspect the Crown Jewels and watch footage from the big day. The most interesting aspect of the documentary was the revealing of small details, such as the fact that one of the huge diamonds sent to adorn the crown was delivered to the Palace by post, and that the Coronation was interrupted just before the Queen’s entrance by a team of cleaners bustling into Westminster Abbey. These snippets, though, were about the only fun on offer.
Throughout the sections with the Queen, Bruce seemed increasingly edgy, mainly because she wasn’t exactly playing ball. If Her Majesty didn’t quite give the impression that she’d have rather been back in her quarters with her feet up, watching Pointless, she was hardly the most forthcoming of interviewees either. The Queen offered pedestrian comments about the crown being a bit heavy and the pearls looking a bit sad, and she blocked Bruce’s occasional, rather halting attempts to inject a bit of joviality with a steadfast, Boycott-esque dourness.
To be fair to the Queen, she did crack a smile at about the 55-minute mark and Bruce’s nervousness was perfectly understandable. He must have been petrified of saying the wrong thing and being arrested on charges of high treason. Perhaps I’m the one who should be worried, though. Having given The Coronation a less than glowing review, I could be set for an imminent stay in the Tower. If I’m not here writing about TV next week, you’ll know why.