Caroline Davies June 02, 2012
Fun at the beach ... Charles, Anne and a corgi friend filmed by the Queen on a family holiday. Photo: AFP
LONDON: The Prince of Wales has paid tribute to ''my mama'', sharing his childhood memories of the Queen and dusting off home movies in a personal appreciation to be broadcast on British television.
In it he recalls how, as a four-year-old, he watched his young mother practising with the heavy St Edward's crown for her coronation. ''I remember my mama coming, you know, up, when we were being bathed as children, wearing the crown. It was quite funny - practising,'' he says.
Private cine camera footage, taken behind the scenes on Coronation Day in 1953, shows the Queen juggling the dual role of mother and monarch as she walks along the corridors of Buckingham Palace. Charles, watching the films 59 years later, draws attention to his mother's ''amazing poise'' and her ''natural grace''.
Previously unreleased footage from cine films taken on family holidays include one sequence filmed by the Queen. Showing a young Prince Charles and Princess Anne being buried in the sand at Holkham beach, Norfolk, the footage is similar to that stored in boxes in millions of homes across Britain. Only the presence of the ubiquitous corgi signifies its royal provenance.
''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,'' says the Prince, as he views videos taken aboard the royal yacht Britannia, at Windsor, and at Balmoral.
He also divulges how he and his parents practised for his investiture as Prince of Wales in 1969 by rehearsing in the gardens of Buckingham Palace.
Charles says: ''The fact that my mama has been a constant feature on the scene has provided that sense of continuity in a time of immense change over 60 years.''
He expresses admiration for ''the way she has managed to hold that unique association - the Commonwealth - together''. He adds: ''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.
''The Queen has provided an amazing record of devotion, dedication and commitment,'' the heir-to-the throne says in A Jubilee Tribute to the Queen, aired on BBC1.
By following the same patterns, says the Prince, the Queen has helped ''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''.
Pointing out that the Queen has opened Parliament in Britain 59 times, Charles says: ''I've always thought my mama looks absolutely wonderful in that tiara,'' before noting that two of her 12 prime ministers were not even born when she came to the throne. The jubilee provides ''an opportunity for celebration, remembering the things that help to define us, perhaps'', he says.
Guardian News & Media