As part of the Oswestry Diamond Jubilee celebrations we are pleased to present this free screening of The only full length Technicolor film of the coronation Of Queen Elizabeth II.
In February 1952, the young Princess Elizabeth was called back to England when her father George VI died of ill health. For the first time since 1837, the UK was welcoming a young Queen on to the throne. The 1953 coronation was the subject of immense national enthusiasm. The coronation was also filmed in colour, with narration by Sir Laurence Olivier, and distributed to cinemas around the country in a matter of days.
A Queen Is Crowned is a strange and beautiful spectacle that captures Queen Elizabeth’s coronation ceremonies in London on June 2, 1953.The film details the centuries-old traditions of the royal coronation, including the presentation of the five swords of state, but it also ties into the still-fresh memories of World War II by displaying the great stained glass window at Westminster Abbey that honoured the heroes of the Battle of Britain. The new monarch is brought to the coronation in a 200-year-old gilded coach drawn by “eight Windsor grays,” and she enters a ceremony rich with jewels, robes, flags and an ancient protocol involving clergy, statesmen and other royals.
But the monarch is a 27-year-old beauty. Her movie star gorgeous features and fair porcelain skin is stunning in Technicolor. As she moved through the coronation, it seemed as if the spirit of youth was being absorbed within the ancient realm of pomp and circumstance – yet, at the same time, her striking personality defined the moment as the vibrant symbol of a new postwar kingdom.
The film won the National Board of Review’s Best Foreign Film Award and the Golden Globe Award for Best Documentary. It also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary, but lost to Walt Disney’s groundbreaking nature film “The Living Desert.”