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Arts & Culture

Queen's Coronation: Behind Palace Doors

Photo of the Coronation of Britain's Queen Elizabeth in 1953
American Public Television
Photo of the Coronation of Britain's Queen Elizabeth in 1953

Airs Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV

The Coronation of Britain's Queen Elizabeth in 1953 appeared to be a glittering triumph for the House of Windsor. But behind the scenes there was a three-cornered story of jealousy and rivalry at the highest level.

On one side Prince Philip was at odds with the Queen Mother over his desire to modernize the monarchy. On the other the old Queen was coping with her daughter's sudden rise to power and her own changed status after the death of her husband, King George.

"Queen's Coronation: Behind Palace Doors" reveals the inside story of this momentous 20th century event. Authors of books about the royal family as well as people close to the dynasty are interviewed, offering intriguing insights into the personalities of young Elizabeth, Prince Philip and the Queen Mother, as well as fascinating details about the family and the tensions engendered by the coronation.

Subtle reenactment blends with archival material to re-create the times in this film.

The Coronation of Britain's Queen Elizabeth in 1953 appeared to be a glittering triumph for the House of Windsor. But behind the scenes there was a three-cornered story of jealousy and rivalry at the highest level. "Queen's Coronation: Behind Palace Doors" reveals the inside story of this momentous 20th century event.

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