Tuesday’s TV: A lively episode of Coronation Street

December 2, 2008 by  
Filed under Reviews

Photo by Everett Collection / Rex Features

THE QUEEN’S CORONATION: BEHIND PALACE DOORS, CHANNEL 4, 2ND DECEMBER, 9PM

Television series will go to great lengths to promote themselves won’t they? The Queen’s face has been everywhere recently, money, stamps, postcards, is there any medium left unprinted? Even so, if you’ve already read this weeks Heat and you’re tired of only getting TV gossip from the east end of London, then look no further. The added bonus is that the archive footage and subject matter will make you feel like your not gossiping at all, this is educational speculation now, welcome to the big leagues.

The programme focuses on the transition period between the death of King George VI and the Queen’s coronation on the 2nd of June 1953. What sounds like a simple passing over from father to daughter seems to have more issues than your average episode of Hollyoaks with family squabbles and petty problems left right and centre. Whilst the archive footage, poor reconstructions and one note soundtrack rather lends itself to a typical classroom documentary which would inspire the inevitable paper airplane take offs and front row wedgies, the actual content of the footage is fascinating stuff.

The narrator is backed up on his tales of rift between Prince Phillip and the Queen Mother by supposed insiders who seem to enjoy sitting in front of camera and fuelling fires. Although some have legitimate claim to voice their opinion, others most likely just enjoyed the fact they were part of a programme based around royalty and thus got to use words like ‘orften’ and ‘ratherrr’.

The real star of the show is Phillip. As the Queen seemingly wanted to follow in the footsteps of her Mother and Father’s work, Phillip was the one who really threw the cat amongst the pigeons. Much of the show is based around Phillip trying to establish himself at Buckingham Palace and quirky little stories like the heating being turned off just to force the Queen Mother out make this an enjoyable watch. Plus, as it’s the Queen, it’s pretty much your duty to give it a go.

Craig Woods