Charles instantly became king when his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, passed away. But for his entire life beforehand, he was relegated to stand beside his all-powerful mother as heir to the throne. And although Charles' time as the Prince of Wales was tumultuous, to put it mildly, it certainly gave Charles a unique perspective. He's always had strong opinions about how his family should use their influence, and now that he's finally fulfilled his destiny, it's believed that he'll break with tradition. The prince-turned-king recently shared some facts about his mother's own coronation that may reveal how he intends to dramatically change the oldest royal family traditions.
Elizabeth II was crowned queen on June 2, 1953, in Westminster Abbey, making her the 39th Sovereign to receive such an honor at the Abbey. This was the setting for every single coronation going all the way back to 1066, the year it was built. But Elizabeth's coronation was entirely unique, and in more ways than one.
Queen Elizabeth's coronation was the first ever to be broadcast on television, with 27 million viewers watching at home, and a total of 8,251 guests attending the ceremony in person. With all the new technology plus the Queen's young age — she was just 25 years old — there was a different kind of buzz to the event.
Television's first Queen
It was the first time so many people around the world could tune in and watch the newly crowned Monarch's Coronation speech in real time. And for many, it was also their first glimpse into the strict and rigid rules of royal life. Queen Elizabeth's reality, people soon learned, was far from a fairytale.
Heavy is the head
For example, the expression "heavy is the head that wears the crown" can be taken figuratively and literally. You see, although it looks beautiful, the royal crown the Queen wore was incredibly painful. Made of solid gold, it weighed almost five pounds, the near equivalent of balancing five cans of soup on your head.