Special edition of the history magazine show presented by Dan Snow and Sian Williams. Filmed at Westminster Abbey, the programme celebrates Britain's royal past in the church.
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Tonight we celebrate 60 years of the Queen's reign.
We're at Westminster Abbey, the church which has seen
more royal occasions than anywhere else.
Weddings, funerals, coronations, births and deaths,
this place has seen them all over more than 1,000 years.
Welcome to National Treasures Jubilee Special.
Welcome to Westminster Abbey.
Royal church, World Heritage site
and one of the most visited historic buildings in the UK.
Over the next hour we'll be visiting some of the abbey's secret spaces,
talking to the people who keep it looking so beautiful
and revisiting some extraordinary moments from its long history.
Hello, Michael, lovely to meet you.
Coming up, fashion icon, Twiggy,
on the dos and don'ts of dressing the queen.
I was wearing skirts probably up to here then.
EastEnder Larry Lamb
comes face to face with the current craze for '50s nostalgia.
The '50s was a time that people
sort of fantasised as being that perfect time.
And he also joins us here later.
Lucy Worsley gets a bit regal as she retraces
Queen Victoria's 1897 Diamond Jubilee procession.
And Michael Douglas from The One Show joins me
on a royal road trip in search of the origins of our monarchy.
You would sit on here and I would go,
"Oh, by the power of Almighty God, I will be..."
Pretend to put a crown on me.
-I give up.
-Put a crown on me. Come on.
I don't know why I bother.
It's fair to say that this place lends itself to superlatives,
and that goes for the fabric of the building,
not just its incredible history.
Most of the abbey dates back to 1245,
when Henry III rebuilt it in grand Gothic style.
He was mainly showing off to the French
so of course he made sure that this was as high as possible.
In fact, it's still the highest church in England.
All of which means from up here in the triforium,
one of the few spaces in the abbey not currently open to the public,
I get a glimpse of what was once called
the best view in Europe.
It's not too bad from down here either, Dan.
This year we're celebrating 60 years of the Queen's reign.
She became queen in February 1952 when her father died,
but her coronation didn't take place until almost 18 months later,
on 2nd June 1953.
The ceremony was held here, like all royal coronations,
and the abbey was closed from the beginning of that year
for the elaborate preparations.
Normally, the abbey can seat around 2,000 people,
but they wanted enough space for 8,000.
Tonnes of steel and wood were brought in
to build seating galleries.
They were stacked up on top of one another,
and it transformed the building.
By the morning of June 2nd, everything was ready.
Everyone taking part had rehearsed
so that the event would go flawlessly.
CHOIR SING NATIONAL ANTHEM
And for the very first time it was televised live
to a fascinated nation, bringing the pomp and ceremony
of the occasion to more than half the population.
Two people who were in the abbey on that very day
are here to share some of their memories.
David Bainbridge and David Overton were part of
the 350-strong choir who sang during the ceremony.
Welcome, gentlemen, thank you for coming back.
You were young boys when you sang here. How old are you?
I was just 12.
12 years old!
-I was only ten.
-Happy memories, I imagine.
How did you first get involved?
After the late king passed away, the Royal School of Church Music
ran a series of choir festivals throughout the year,
attended by something over 4,000 choristers from around the country.
And the next thing I knew at Christmas time that year,
was that I was going to be singing here in the Abbey.
And you had a lot of rehearsals away from home, spent a month away from home?
Yes, we did. We were told that we would spend a month at Addington Palace near Croydon.
NEWSREEL: They come from all parts of the United Kingdom and tomorrow,
in the Abbey, they will join nearly 400 other choristers.
And the BBC filmed it as well. What's it like when you look back at the footage?
It was amazing. I mean, it was something very special that happened in my life, yes.
# Long live the king!
# Long live the king! #
What about you, David Overton? This place more familiar to you, because you were part of the Abbey choir?
Familiar in the sense that we sang as the Abbey choir every day
in the choir stalls just behind us.
But of course, for the coronation, the whole Abbey had been transformed into a different place.
Were you aware of the significance of the day?
Frankly, for a ten-year-old boy, I was just too young, immature,
to grasp just what a momentous occasion it was.
Were you badly behaved at any stage?
There must have been a lot of hanging around, a lot of waiting. You must have got bored, surely?
Not badly behaved. Good heavens! Abbey choristers?!
I do remember that when we got into the Abbey, when we got to our seats,
we found in our cassock pockets ham sandwiches, barley sugars, and an apple.
Which were intended to sustain us for the hours of the day.
But of course, they didn't last long, we soon polished those off!
And I remember dropping the apple cores down the scaffolding poles!
Oooh! You wouldn't have done that, would you?!
No, no, no. Ours was pillow fights at Addington Palace after dark,
it was a lot of fun.
David Overton, give us a sense of how it feels now to have been part of that special day.
Now, the recollections of the event, having listened to the recording,
having seen the filming,
becomes actually even larger than the recollection at the time.
Those are the memories of the pageant, the music,
the spectacle of a unique occasion which you obviously experience once in a lifetime.
We're very pleased to have had you here. Thank you very much, David Bainbridge and David Overton.
-My pleasure, thank you.
Well, the queen's coronation was the 38th to have been held here.
But have you ever wondered why we have kings and queens in the first place?
Michael Douglas from The One Show has, so Dan lured him out
on another of their history road trips to fill him in.
Cue the camper van!
So he's asked me to meet him up here somewhere.
I don't know how I'm supposed to find him with all this fog!
I'm just glad I'm in a van this time, because as ever,
we're meeting at the top of a hill!
I mean, what is it with Dan Snow and hills?
Look at him up there!
Look at him up there!
Oh yeah! I've only got three pairs of shoes, and these ones are knackered!
-How are you doing, buddy?
-I'm all right. You all right?
-So why am I here? Why have you brought me up here?
This story is all about royal history, Michael.
Yeah, I've got a question for you about royal history.
Why have we got a queen?
That's a good question. To answer it, we've come to Edinburgh,
which is one of the most important centres of royal power in Britain.
For hundreds of years, our queen's ancestors used to rule Scotland from that castle over there.
And it's still important, not least because it's got the Stone of Destiny.
The Stone of... Has it got a sword sticking out of it or something?!
Right, let's go and see the Stone of Destiny, then.
Yeah, there's a bit of a problem with that actually, Michael.
-No, it's just over there. You said it was in the castle. You said it.
-Just get in the car.
So why can't we just go and film the Stone of Destiny at the castle?
Because the Stone of Destiny is such an important national treasure,
it's so precious that people like us just can't come and just film it at random!
Not even Dan Snow can just go, "Oh, I'm going to film that!"?
Well, understandably, they needed a bit more time to arrange it.
Dan No, that's what we'll call you from now on!
To be honest, it's OK, because we're going to a place that's just as interesting, just as important.
Because like the stone, the place we're going to is about the extraordinary tradition
that this country has of monarchy.
Well, this is pretty impressive, is it not? This is Scone Palace, is it?
-Exactly. Looks exactly like a palace should, as well.
-It does, yeah!
Even before Edinburgh became this important city,
this was a major centre of royal power in Britain.
This was a time when Britain was divided up into all these tiny little kingdoms.
-They're all over the place?
All these little kings everywhere and of course, they spent a lot of time fighting each other.
-Round about the 800s, you get a king up here,
in what is today Scotland, called Kenneth McAlpin.
King Kenneth emerges and he starts - and his descendants -
they start to bring all these little kingdoms together.
They create larger kingdoms, and that's how we get to where we are today.
So what's all that got to do with the Stone of Scone, or the Scone of Destiny, or whatever?
-I'm glad you asked, buddy. Come and look at this.
-So it's in here, is it?
-No, it's there.
-That is the Stone of Scone.
-What, they've left it outside?!
-That's not very good, is it?!
-Well, it's a replica.
-Oh, so you've brought me to a fake stone?
Well, yes, but it's what it represents, Michael.
This hillock here is where the ancient kings of Scotland were crowned.
This is where they came to and they sat on the Stone of Scone,
and had the crown placed on their heads.
Shift up. Let's have a sit.
But it is just a stone? I mean, it's a fake stone.
Yeah, but Michael, a crown is just a hat that lets the weather in!
-Right? It's all about this hillock, this stone.
-This fake stone.
This... the replica, yeah. The crown, taken together,
they create an impression of dominating royal authority
that's very hard to mess with.
-So, you would have been crowned here, would you? You'd sit on this thing...
So, you would sit on here and I would go, "By the power of Almighty God, I will be..."
-Pretend to put a crown on me. I'll hold on to the rings.
-I give up.
-Put a crown on me!
Come on! King Michael! Of Scone!
What are these for, anyway?
So, I get all that, you know,
that there was lots of kings and one thing or another.
But how did it get to a point where there is just one
that governs the whole of Great Britain or whatever?
Centuries of warfare. You get these kingdoms slowly emerge, like Scotland, England.
They slowly swallow up all these other kingdoms, and then they fight each other a lot,
and then finally, Henry VIII, you know King Henry VIII of England?
-His sister marries the king of Scotland and her grandson becomes the Scottish king.
But because he's got English blood in him as well, finally, he becomes king of England as well.
He joins the two crowns together.
So he's King James VI of Scotland, he becomes King James I of England.
And he calls himself the king of Great Britain.
So, since then, that's been it,
-there's just been one kind of ruler or king or queen or whatever for England and Scotland?
Yeah. There's just been one British crown -
-with one brief exception.
-And what's that?
-I'll tell you about it when we get back on the road.
Can I watch Braveheart in there, in the truck?
-Braveheart...is total nonsense.
-All right, what about Rob Roy...?
He didn't get to watch Braveheart, by the way. I wasn't having it.
But despite my best efforts,
Michael was a little underwhelmed by the replica Stone of Destiny.
Of course, the real stone lived here in this abbey
between 1296 and 1996, where it sat in the Coronation Chair.
It's now back in Scotland -
although it will return here next time we crown a new king or queen.
But the chair - just as significant in terms of royal ritual - still here.
At the moment it's tucked away behind glass in a conservation booth,
but you can still get a good look at it.
Staggeringly, it's the oldest piece of furniture in the UK
still used for its original purpose.
More than 700 years old, it's older than the Crown Jewels
and it's been used in the coronation of every English and British monarch since 1399.
Just think about that - Henry VIII, Queen Victoria
and our own Queen -
separated by centuries,
but they all sat in that chair to receive the crown.
But it hasn't had an easy life, and it's covered in scars.
Early last century, the suffragettes hung a bomb on it
and blew off one of the posts from the top.
In the Victorian period, conservators did a slightly ill-advised
Changing Rooms-style makeover, and covered it in thick brown varnish.
And before all that, it was the fashion for boys
from Westminster School to carve their names into it.
200-year-old graffiti, which proves that small boys
have always liked to make their mark on things.
Most of the Abbey has stayed free from graffiti
and untouched by the vandals of history -
nothing more perhaps than the stunning choir stalls here,
and they give you a pretty good indication
of just how important music has been,
and remains, to the services which are held here.
# The Red Sea stayed them not at all
# Nor depths of liquid green
# On either hand a mighty wall... #
Because of the height of the Abbey, which Dan mentioned,
there are particularly beautiful acoustics.
And over the years, composers including Handel
and Elgar have written music just to be performed here.
# ..And they passed through between. #
James, thank you very much, and thank you, boys, that was absolutely stunning.
Omar, you perform, like all the choristers, about eight times a week.
Are there those special occasions you can remember?
Erm, I think the Royal Wedding
was the most memorable occasion we've done.
We've also done lots of other great services,
like the Papal visits.
Also once when Barack Obama came
and we got to shake his hand. That was just great,
because he's one of the most powerful people in the world.
But I think the Royal Wedding, definitely.
Orlando, because you perform so often in the Abbey,
do you get more nervous when visiting dignitaries or the Queen
or the Royal Family come to listen to you?
It's much more nerve-wracking when royalty are here.
But that adrenaline really keeps everyone concentrating very hard,
and so generally the services come out
just as good if not better.
But we try to be at the top of our game all the time.
Well, you sang beautifully. Thanks once again to you and all the Abbey choristers.
Well, as the choristers said, the Queen does show up here quite a lot
and not just for the big occasions.
That's partly to do with the Abbey's special status.
It's known as a Royal Peculiar,
which is a slightly strange term for a very unusual situation.
It basically means that the Abbey is answerable only to the Queen.
She appoints the Dean, who's basically in charge of the place,
and as a result it's pretty much her church.
And over her lifetime she's come here hundreds of times.
To commemorate those visits, the Abbey has put together
an exhibition of photos here in the Chapter House.
Dating back to the 13th century, this is where the Abbey's monks
met each morning to pray and receive their orders for the day.
And, just for today, it's also home to Victoria Murphy, a Royal correspondent.
What does this exhibition tell us
about the Queen's relationship with the Abbey?
Well, it tells us that she's been here a lot!
Right from when she was a little girl
right up until very recently, the Queen has a real relationship
with this Abbey that's been built up over many, many years.
Is it just work, or do you think she has a personal connection with this building?
Obviously she does come here for big State occasions,
but I think it is more than that, because so many
personal moments in her life have taken place here -
you've had weddings, funerals,
you've had moments of great joy and moments of great sadness -
and she can't come here for all those personal occasions
and not feel a personal closeness to the building itself.
There are many amazing pictures to choose from here,
spreading over a long life.
What are some of your particular favourites you think shine a light on the Queen?
I really like this one,
because I like the fact that it's the Queen and Margaret.
She was 11 in this picture,
and it was just before her dad's coronation.
For the first ten years of her life she had no idea she was going to become Queen,
and so the sense of just this young girl
with no idea of what lies before her I think is a really nice moment.
The other ones I like -
it's got to be this one, her wedding day.
I think it's such an amazing picture,
because you can really get a sense of the nervous bride
on her wedding day, and, you know, she was a princess,
and her father walking her down the aisle was the King,
but they're almost just like any other father and daughter
on a wedding day, and I think that's what's so lovely about it,
you can feel the nervousness in this picture,
you can almost feel King George VI leaning in protectively towards her,
because she is his little girl, and he's giving her away.
On that subject, emotion.
I sometimes think the Queen looks like she's going through the motions
at events like this. Are there any pictures
where you get a sense of her personality, her enjoying herself?
I think the Queen does often look like she's enjoying herself.
People say sometimes she looks glum
but if you look at some pictures later on in the exhibition,
some of the ones taken more recently, you can see she's smiling
and you've got to be fair to her
because a lot of the occasions she goes to, it's befitting for her
not to be grinning away if she's at a memorial service or something.
So looking back on these photographs, all the outfits, the events,
what's your favourite era of the Queen's reign?
Well, I like... My favourite pictures to look at
are the pictures of the Queen just after she came to the throne
when she was a young Queen in sort of the early mid-'50s
because I think we forget she was once a young, really attractive,
quite glamorous young sovereign
and she was captivating people
in the way that Kate's captivating people now.
Thanks, Victoria. You're not the only one to get nostalgic
about the early years of the Queen's reign.
'50s nostalgia is big business these days
and we've sent Larry Lamb off to investigate.
The Second World War had been over for eight years.
Britain was the third richest country in the world.
It had a population of 50 million people
but just 3 million cars.
The average weekly wage was £9
and a pint of milk would have set you back 9p.
And I was six years old
and a great fan of Muffin the Mule and the Flowerpot Men.
# We want Muffin
# Muffin the Mule... #
60 years have passed since then, but still some people today are obsessed
with the spirit of the good old days.
Polka-dot milk jugs, all sorts of kitsch
or the make-do-and-mend attitude of '50s Britain.
People look back on it with nostalgic affection.
-# "MUSIC: "Rock Around the Clock"
-When I think of '50s Britain,
I think of Churchill
and the invasion of rock 'n' roll.
But there is one particular day that sticks out in my mind.
My most vivid memory of Coronation Day was the street party we had
with kids from all around the area sitting at great long tables,
eating cakes and sweets and having the most amazing time.
Now, that one there, if you have a look, they've got the Vimto,
they've all drunk it, all the children.
It wasn't just me.
This was a feeling shared by most of my generation.
I've come to Cardiff to meet Rita and Dal Spinola
to share their memories.
I was about 14
but we had a lovely party.
We had jelly and blancmange, we had Carnation Milk,
-paste sandwiches, not ham.
Lovely Shippam's Paste sandwiches.
You see cakes today
with little coloured speckles thrown all over them.
At the Coronation, that was the first time I ever seen them,
-over the trifle.
And there were races, yeah, along the street.
That's the men's races there, running down the street.
-We had musical chairs.
-Where did you get the music?
-You put a piano in the street?
Yes, we always had a piano in the street.
-My father's favourite was The Laughing Policeman.
He always did that and everybody was hysterical.
-He did it?
-He did The Laughing Policeman, yes.
# Wa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! #
And it's not just the people who were there.
There's a whole new generation who are in love with that era's charm
and look back at that time fondly.
It's the 1953 Coronation.
It just sums up what I'm so proud of.
It's my family there at a street party
and people are really proud to be patriotic.
And it's just a real feeling of unity and hope.
Angel, Rosie and Lauren are in love with all things '50s
and they're not the only ones.
There is a massive movement in vintage right now.
I walked past one of the biggest department stores
and it said, "Have a vintage summer."
It's not just about clothing. It's not just about hairstyles, make-up.
It's infiltrating the mainstream.
This whole word "vintage" is very fashionable and popular right now.
-Why do you think that's happened?
-Because there has been
over sort of the '80s and the '90s, early 2000s,
things have been a bit fast for us all
and actually, what we're trying to say now is that,
"Let's slow down a little bit."
People are going back to old-fashioned values
and the '50s was a time that people fantasise
as being that perfect time.
So the '50s has earned itself a reputation
as a simpler, happier time.
Social historian and author Juliet Gardiner
shines some light on why that is.
It's just generally a feeling that it was a gentler kind of society,
you know, that crime was lower,
that people, there wasn't teenage violence,
people could leave their front doors open, everyone was very neighbourly,
popping in for a cup of sugar on a whim, this sort of thing.
I think we've got that sort of picture of the '50s.
And this is the image of the decade that we're in love with.
But it is only a snapshot.
I grew up in the '50s and although there are some lovely memories,
there are also ones that I'm not so fond of.
One of the not-so-glorious things I remember about the '50s
was walking to school in the smog,
so dense at times, you couldn't even see your hand in front of your face.
'Special filtering bunny masks
'are the latest weapons devised to combat smog
'which, last winter, killed 4,000 Londoners in a single week.'
Anyone getting nostalgic about the '50s should have been with me
back in the days when I used to have a 15-minute walk
through these back streets to the town hall
so I could have a bath, because we didn't have one in the house.
The '50s brought some tough times, but don't just take my word for it.
I think there was a sense of disappointment in the early '50s
because of course, people thought,
"The war's over, peace comes, life will get better."
Life took a long time to get better.
The early '50s were in many ways the war without the dangers.
Not only was it an era of considerable poverty
and great overcrowding,
very inadequate housing conditions,
crime rose after the Second World War, not surprisingly, perhaps.
-Yes. Think about teenage violence. Think about teddy boys.
Teddy boys used to go around with razors. But also,
I think it was a very tough time for women.
It's all very well to think of mum always at home,
always ready with tea on the table and that sort of thing,
but I think for women, it could be a very lonely and frustrating decade.
It was also, I think, an intolerant decade. If you think about it,
homosexuality was still illegal,
divorced mothers, single parents,
they were still very much stigmatised.
Corporal punishment was still on the law books, wasn't it?
Corporal punishment and capital punishment.
I certainly have no desire to time-travel back to the '50s.
And I was there.
So how about our '50s-obsessed ladies? Do they have any desire
to time-travel back to the good old days?
Angel, would you rather be you now or would you rather be in the '50s?
It's a no-brainer!
I want to be me right now.
And how about you, Rosie?
Oh, absolutely, now. We have the choice to dress this way.
We have the choice to imitate the parts of the '50s we like
without the parts that weren't so great,
that people don't remember so much.
When it comes to the Jubilee,
are you getting involved with parties and other celebrations?
Yeah, we are. We're also doing a local street party.
It's a role you're recreating, I suppose,
it's something your mothers would have been very much involved in
because presumably your mums are about my age?
I'm 65, so are your mums about my age?
A little bit younger, yeah, but she's...
A bit younger? Your mum's a bit younger than me? Lovely.
Thank you very much. I'm glad I came today. Eh?
Wow. They were a bit cheeky
but you were won over by those girls, weren't you, Larry?
-I was. Them and the cakes.
-The cakes, that's what did it.
They were quite a bunch, those ones.
Were you surprised at the '50s revival you saw?
Er, I was deeply shocked, I think,
really, I mean, having lived through it, I can't quite figure out
what they get so excited about but, you know,
my memories of it were rather sort of dark and dreary, you know,
It never... Every time we went on holiday,
it seemed to rain all the time.
I don't have any super-fond memories of it,
except the Coronation party. That was about it, really.
Yeah. So it was just the parties?
Well, there weren't a lot of parties around.
I mean, the whole post-war austerity thing.
I can still remember having to go to the sweet shop with the little ration card
to get your allocation of sweets
and they were a big deal
so the party was a great, extraordinary thing,
with all those cakes and jellies and blancmange and everything else,
treats that were really something special.
So those of us who weren't there, do you think we're looking back
-with rose-tinted spectacles?
-Those of US that were there, then!
We are, though, aren't we? It is a bit rose-tinted, looking back at it?
I think it's all a bit rose-tinted myself. I mean, it's easy...
I mean, me, I'm one for kicking out the kitsch
and in fact, they're in the kitchen getting the kitsch in. You know?
But it's a different sort of mindset.
It's easy to get, you get these people who are sort of
really into Victorian era stuff, but
I'm... I'm certainly post-'50s, myself. Although, you know,
nice to see people enjoying themselves.
And they were choosing the bits. They said they wouldn't go back.
That was the thing, when I posed the question to them,
"Given the choice, where would you be?"
And they all very definitely went,
"Here and now, with the choice to do whatever we want,
"including looking fondly back at the '50s."
-Thanks very much, Larry.
All through the programme, we're marking the Queen's reign
and it struck us, she has a claim
to be the most photographed and recognisable person in the world.
So we asked the fashion icon and the first supermodel Twiggy
to investigate how the Queen gets dressed for her public.
I'm amazed by the Queen.
For 60 years, she's maintained an image
that somehow suited every era and every occasion
but it can't be easy being scrutinised every day.
Over the years, I think I've been photographed
almost as much, although I was wearing the latest fashions.
The rules for the Queen must be very different.
When you might be visiting a hospital one moment
or welcoming a world leader the next, I mean,
where do you start when it comes to getting dressed?
And can you be fashionable?
To find out how the Queen's style was created,
'I need to go right back to the 1940s.'
Hello, Michael. Lovely to meet you.
-Good to see you.
-I'm so excited.
'Michael Pick is an expert on two of the earliest designers to the Queen,
'Norman Hartnell and Hardy Amies.
'He's giving me a privileged look at some beautiful sketches of clothes
'for the young Princess Elizabeth.'
-Oh, wow. So these are Norman Hartnell?
-These are all Hartnell.
Now this is the earlier look for the Queen,
when she was Princess Elizabeth.
-They are kind of fashionable, aren't they?
-I think so, yes.
So what year would this be, do you think?
This is around 1947.
This is so pretty. Look.
You know, it's so on-trend and fashionable.
"Especially designed for HRH the Princess Elizabeth."
-So did that mean nobody else got it?
Nobody else got it. They were all designed for her.
-And look at that.
-And this one, after she married.
"Specially designed for HRH."
It's gorgeous. That's a real ballgown.
-Gorgeous. I want that jacket.
'Looking at these pictures, it's clear to me
'that Princess Elizabeth, like me at her age,
'really loved playing around with fashion.
'But before long, things were going to change.'
So do you think when Elizabeth,
Princess Elizabeth, became Queen,
that had a big influence on
how she felt she should dress?
I think it probably did.
After all, she's Queen of the country, head of the Commonwealth.
So she has to be chic...
Yes, she's on record as having said that it's a job she has to do
and so the clothes have to perform for her.
You don't want something as in this picture
-where the wind suddenly whips your skirt up.
-And that shouldn't happen to the Queen.
-No, it shouldn't.
The dress is blowing up, you're seeing her knees,
-and seeing her petticoat.
Shouldn't happen to anybody.
No, it shouldn't, but certainly not the Queen.
I think this is rather good,
where Hardy Amies has put in his comment "As short as we dared."
-The era of the miniskirt.
But you can actually see her knees. This is 1970. Gosh, when I think,
-I was wearing skirts probably up to here then.
Of course, the Queen was 44 years old there,
so you wouldn't expect to see her in a miniskirt anyway.
No, of course not, anyway.
'So I'm wondering,
'if the Queen's style was already fixed by the 1970s,
'has it moved on now that she's 86?
'Stewart Parvin is one of Her Majesty's current designers.
'We're off to meet the Queen in a special 3-D projection studio
'to take a look at some of the outfits.'
Ah. There she is. Doesn't she look sweet?
Designing a dress for the Queen
means you're creating something for the world's most famous woman
who's seen by more people on a daily basis than anyone else.
I know, that's extraordinary.
She also has an image in people's minds that you have to fulfil.
Like all the Queen's designers, Stewart has to work around the rules.
The Queen always wears a two-inch heel,
hemlines must be well below the knee
and she always carries a handbag.
-This was for the Queen to go to Melbourne.
Very hot. Wonderful bright colour.
When I called it blancmange pink, she didn't like that, but...
But it is, a bit.
It is a bit blancmange. It's a fantastic strong colour.
It's really important because the Queen's very tiny
and in that sort of block colour with the wonderful hat,
-she's standing out.
She's a real focal point.
Talking to Michael and Stewart, it's clear the rules are pretty full-on.
I mean, the Queen can't just step out of the door wearing anything.
Her clothes are her uniform.
But that doesn't mean she has to be conservative with everything.
-What a great pleasure.
-Lovely to see you.
'I'm really excited to meet Freddie Fox.
'He spent 34 years designing Her Majesty's iconic hats
'and I know he'll give me a real insight into working for the Queen.'
What does the Queen look for in a hat?
-It must be comfortable, first of all.
-Ah. Of course.
Comfort is prime importance
in all of her clothing.
So what was the first hat you made for the Queen. Can you remember?
How could I forget?
It was the Royal tour to Chile and Argentina
with six outfits.
-So six hats?
-Do you have a favourite hat that you made for the Queen?
the most...memorable for everybody
is the silver jubilee pink one.
-With the bells, yes.
It was perfect colour and, you know, turned out to be a memorable outfit.
Freddie we members one very specific request he got from the Queen.
There was a point when I think
maybe I was getting a little bit carried away
about the size of hats that I was doing,
and the Queen said, "I want you to come downstairs with me.
"I've had the car come around.
"And you see, the brims, if they're long at the back,
-Oh, I see.
-They hit on the back seat.
So, you know, you can't actually say, "Well, just buy a new car."
TWIGGY LAUGHS LOUDLY
I did watch the backs of hats after that.
'Talking to Michael, Stewart and Freddie, I can tell
'the Queen is meticulous about every aspect of her clothing.'
I've still one burning question, though.
Has the Queen ever been,
or is she now, fashionable?
Well, this is nice, afternoon tea.
'I'm hoping Grazia magazine's style director, Paula Reed,
'will give me her definitive take on the Queen's dress sense.'
I think she's always been stylish.
I really do think she is...
I mean, I think on the Vogue survey,
she was listed as one of the 50 most glamorous women in the world.
The Barbour kind of came into fashion last year.
Do you think people were following her?
There was a moment, kind of six or seven years ago,
when suddenly, the traditional British thing was cool.
And it was on the runways,
I'll never forget the Dolce & Gabbana show,
all the models were wearing skirts just like that
at exactly that length,
..and big boxy bags
and the inspiration was so literally the Queen.
'But looking through these photos,
'some might say the Queen could have been more adventurous.'
Do you think she should have been more fashionable
and tried a few more kind of outrageous things?
Goodness me, no!
It would be shocking to see the Queen in a miniskirt, wouldn't it?
-Not that she didn't have the legs to carry it off.
But clothes are a great communicator.
Clothes actually convey,
in a very subliminal, kind of subconscious way,
exactly to people your position,
The clothes are about HER.
It's not the style statement or the fashion statement.
It's very much about her and the dignity of the role, and I think
even as a very young woman, she had that very much front of mind.
Well, it's only tea, but...
to Her Majesty, the Queen.
God bless her.
So the Queen definitely gets the nod from fashion royalty there.
Larry, you, like me - obviously a complete fashion icon.
Everyone has an opinion. What do you make of the Queen?
Well I'm a...
I'm a bona fide baby boomer
so she's been there ever since I was a little baby.
Her reign and my life have sort of run together
and she sort of...
She's been doing things
that I've watched on the television all my life.
The places she's been, the things she's worn,
the horse races, the things she's opened,
the speeches in the House of Lords, opening Parliament, you know,
all these things go on and on and on, right through my life,
and it's what she sort of embodies
and what she sums up
and I'm sort of an amateur history buff,
not like you, the full professional deal,
but to be in a place like this in particular,
this is what she embodies, is the history of this country.
That's a ringing endorsement from Larry. He's more excited than I am
to be in this incredible chapel. I have to hold him into position.
Sian is back in the nave
and she is there recalling a very recent piece of royal history.
The Abbey has such a long connection with the monarchy
that it's easy to forget this is a working church with daily services,
a place of worship as well as a tourist attraction
but it's those big royal moments
like last year's wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge,
which really bring the Abbey to the heart of our national life.
It's thought that around 2 billion people
watched the ceremony worldwide
with 25 million watching live in the UK.
The building was rigged with cameras everywhere
in order to capture every moment of the service -
well, almost every moment,
because at the end of the ceremony, the newly married couple,
their parents, Prince Harry and Pippa and James Middleton
disappeared from view for ten minutes.
They exited through one of the doors at the high altar
into one of the few spaces in the Abbey not covered by the cameras.
So, what's behind the door?
One of the most private and spiritually significant
parts of the building - the shrine.
This is the tomb of Edward the Confessor,
the founder of the 11th-century abbey,
and it's ringed by the tombs of the Plantagenet kings -
Edward I and Edward III
and Richard II.
In all, there are five kings and four queens buried here.
There was another witness to events on April 29th last year.
The Royal party were joined by the Dean of Westminster,
the Very Reverend Dr John Hall.
-Hello, Mr Dean.
Before we talk about the day itself,
just give us a sense of why this place, the shrine, is so important.
The shrine of St Edward the Confessor -
he's one of the kings who is also a saint,
king from 1042 to 1066.
He rebuilt the abbey here. He built his Palace of Westminster here
so the Houses of Parliament meet in what would've been his palace,
still a royal palace. He was a patron saint of England for many centuries
and other kings and queens wanted to be gathered around him
so it's a very important place.
A very important place, and of course, the place
the Royal party came to for the signing of the registers.
Describe what went on that day.
So, there was, in front of the altar, there was a table with the registers.
There are three registers.
There's a certificate that has to be signed as well
so they signed themselves
and other members of the Royal family signed, their witnesses.
Then the books went to Buckingham Palace
for other members of the Royal family to sign too.
Once they'd all signed, I got them lined up over here
and sent them off.
It was such a public ceremony
and as we were saying, watched by 2 billion people worldwide
and this was really the only private moment.
What did it feel like to be part of that, for you?
Well, for me, it was an extraordinary privilege
and wonderful thing, as the whole day had been.
I think for them, it was just a moment apart
when they could reflect on what they'd just done
and also be congratulated,
just as a family would normally at that particular moment,
a moment of relaxation.
What was the mood like?
Oh, very warm, and very supportive, very happy.
The whole day was extraordinarily happy.
You could be terrified, at least I felt I could be terrified
about the thought of all these people around the world...
I wasn't conscious of them at all.
And the atmosphere in the church here was tremendously warm
and supportive and happy.
-Thanks very much.
Well, William and Catherine
are going to be our future king and queen
and last year's wedding was a piece of history we could all share in,
although perhaps not as intimately as the Dean of Westminster.
Their popularity has boosted support in the monarchy,
but Royals haven't always been so popular.
Dan and Michael now continue their royal road trip in the Midlands,
where in the 17th century, people didn't like the monarchy much
and they decided to do something about it.
So, that thing you said in Scotland.
There was James VI of Scotland, he became James I of Great Britain,
and we had a king or queen ever since,
apart from this one exception. What was that exception?
You're right. There was an exception.
Just when they'd managed to unite the monarchy,
you had one king of all Great Britain,
James' son Charles I comes along and he made himself so unpopular,
that people chopped his head off.
-They chopped his head off?
That's a bit extreme, isn't it?
He must have been absolutely hated then, Charles.
What did he do that was so bad?
Charles had a habit of making enemies out of nearly everybody.
He alienated everyone
and he was convinced that he was put on the earth by God in order to rule.
He had a divine right to rule and that really put him at loggerheads
with Parliament who were saying,
"No, we have a right to rule as well."
That was a transitional period and the politicians and the King
were jostling for power over who controlled the country.
A massive civil war broke out. Armies marched to and fro.
The population was much smaller back then,
so historians think it was the bloodiest war
-relative to population in the history of Britain.
You got one side of Parliament
and the other side supporting the King, or is that too simple?
That's about right
and there is evidence of this war right across the country.
-Look at this, Michael, look at this.
-It's a field.
It's exactly what I thought it would be. A big, green field.
It is a stage on which our history was written.
This is one of my favourite battlefields.
You get a great sense of it.
Basically, one side of it are up here on the high ground,
the valley in between, the other side on the high ground there.
-It looks like a battle field should do.
-Who's up here?
Over there is King Charles and the Royalists.
This is all the king's horses and all the king's men out there, are they?
Unfortunately, on this ridge here...
Humpty Dumpty is over here, is he?
On this ridge here is King Charles' nemesis.
One of the greatest cavalry commanders
this nation has ever produced.
A man called Oliver Cromwell. This is the point of no return for Charles.
His army is completely annihilated right here on this spot.
This is the moment when Parliament, if you like, the people
stand up to a bad king and say, "No longer can you treat us like this."
He's captured, is he? And then taken back to London?
Actually, he's not captured here.
He just about manages to escape but he loses his Treasury
and all sorts of things.
He just manages to escape
but I'll tell you about what happens next over a pint.
Why am I doing all the driving?
-I've driven the whole journey and I'm like your driver.
As you visit nice, historical sites.
This is great. A history lesson in a pub. About time and all.
It is not just any old pub, Michael, because this pub is famous.
This is where Charles I, the King spent his last night of freedom.
-Really? In here?
Local legend has it that this is the room he slept in
before handing himself over to his enemies.
I bet he got mighty tanked up that night.
-This is a picture of him back here, is it?
-That's Charles I.
That's how he wanted to be remembered, in his armour,
looking regal, God's representative on earth,
everyone doing what he tells them.
Eventually, they put him on trial and they executed him.
Did they cut it with an axe or a guillotine?
They would have used an axe.
I always think a saw would be better. Sawing it off.
So, Charles is dead, he's gone, so who's leading the country now then?
Who's the Prime Minister or whatever?
The guy that defeated Charles at the Battle of Naseby, Oliver Cromwell.
He basically becomes a dictator of Britain and Ireland,
a military dictator.
What happened to Cromwell then? Was then nobody like him, or what?
Cromwell was OK while he was alive.
People were glad there was stability and the war had stopped.
When he died, there was a big vacuum of power
and trouble broke out and everyone was like,
"No, we don't want to return to chaos."
They invited Charles I's son, Charles II to come over
and be King again. The monarchy was restored.
I think the best thing that could have happened to the monarchy,
in some ways, is Charles I getting his head chopped off.
It meant that all the future monarchs,
when they got their fight with Parliament about who had more power,
they just thought, hang on, back off a bit here,
because my ancestor got his head chopped off.
Cromwell, did he get his head chopped off?
Cromwell died in his bed, surrounded by his family.
That's a nice, happy ending for him then, isn't it?
Yes not exactly, because to pick up the story, Cromwell was buried here,
in the Lady Chapel, the Tudor addition to the Abbey.
It's always seemed a bit strange to me
that someone who stood for overturning the status quo
and rejecting the trappings of royalty,
was so keen to be buried here right next to the graves
of Henry VII, Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots.
Under his rule as Lord Protector,
the stained glass windows were broken and the place was smashed up a bit,
not exactly evidence that Cromwell was this Abbey's biggest fan.
Yet he was absolutely determined that he should be
in the company of all these royals after his death.
That's the irony with Cromwell.
He thought of himself as just as important as any monarch
in Britain's history and really had the ego of a military dictator.
He definitely had his head turned by the snazzy clothes and ritual.
He insisted on the coronation chair being taken over to Westminster Hall,
where he sat in it, in royal robes to be proclaimed Lord Protector.
When he died, he had a massive state funeral modelled on that of James I,
so I suppose it was logical, at least to him,
that when he died, he should be buried here.
As you hinted in that film, Dan, he wasn't here for long.
This is the stone that commemorates where he was buried.
You can see the inscription says 1658 to 1661.
He was only here three years, probably not what he had in mind.
No, I don't think he imagined he'd be dug up.
Which is what happened.
By 1661, Charles II was on the throne
and furious with the man who had beheaded his father,
he meted out a terrible punishment.
In January of that year, they unearthed Cromwell,
took it to Tyburn - Marble Arch - and then chopped his head off.
Then they stuck the head on a spike as a bit of a reminder
about what happened to people who tried to overthrow the monarchy.
Well, the same treatment was handed out to fellow parliamentarians
who'd also signed the warrant for Charles I's execution,
and the bodies of Cromwell's wife, and other generals
were also removed and reburied elsewhere.
The only member of Cromwell's family who escaped that treatment
was his favourite daughter, Elizabeth.
They couldn't find where she was buried,
so she remains here to this day.
Well, if Charles I, Cromwell and Charles II only ruled
for a few short, brutal and bloody years,
the reign of our own Queen has been long and pretty peaceful.
There's only one other sovereign in the whole of our history
who's held the crown for 60 years and that was Victoria.
Lucy Worsley finds similarities between her Diamond Jubilee in 1897
and preparations for this year's.
It all sounds a bit familiar, doesn't it?
But those headlines aren't from 2012, they're from 1897,
the last time London hosted a Diamond Jubilee,
for the 78-year-old Queen Victoria.
115 years have passed since then, but not that much has changed.
Just like today, the Victorians were concerned about health and safety,
overcrowding and WHO was going to foot the bill.
The celebrations were going to last ten days,
and the highlight of it all would be the Queen's procession through the city on 22nd June.
On that day, whoever you were, whatever you did,
whether you were a publican or a housewife or a pickpocket,
you would have been swept up in Jubilee mania.
The procession was the showpiece of the festivities.
Without TV, seeing was believing for the Victorians,
and three million of her loyal subjects
travelled from all over the Empire
to catch a rare glimpse of the Queen.
To get the full Victorian Jubilee experience,
I'm recreating the 1897 procession route
with my slightly more modest horse and carriage.
The Queen's was drawn by eight white horses
and set off from Buckingham Palace.
My get-up is a bit less glamorous.
I've just got the two horses
and I'm setting off from the back streets of Vauxhall.
The route covers six miles of the city,
passing all the famous landmarks.
As soon as the route was announced,
the owners of every single house and church and pub
and balcony and window all along the way went,
"Hooray! Now we've got the chance to cash in,
"cos we can sell tickets to spectators."
Ticket sales were big business
and your average seat would have set you back two guineas.
That's around £100 today.
An estimated 25,000 seats were up for grabs.
Number 63 Piccadilly, just about here,
was a jeweller's shop in 1897,
and they'd sold seats in their upstairs front window.
Seat number 15 had been sold to Mrs Curtis.
That's her name, it's been clearly written in on the ticket there.
I bet that cost quite a fair bob or two.
The best seats of all were St Paul's Cathedral,
because here the Queen's carriage stopped for an open-air service.
It was said that some of these went for up to £8,000.
That's around £450,000 today.
Makes the Olympic tickets look like a bit of a bargain.
Queen Victoria even ventured south of the river,
a first for a royal procession.
The church of St George The Martyr in South London
had a prime position on the route
and took full advantage.
-There's a terrific view up Borough High Street.
-It's a great view, isn't it?
-That's where she would have come down in her carriage.
-It would have been perfect.
'The church made £2,000 from tickets
'and the current Reverend, Father Ray,
'shows me how they splashed the cash.'
-Blimey, look at your ceiling!
-Great, isn't it?
So this is what they spent the cash on? This is where they spent the profits of their stand on?
Certainly, a lot of the cash they must have spent on this
and it would have been extremely expensive.
-It's so of its time, it's absolutely 1897.
-It must have been strikingly contemporary.
-I congratulate the entrepreneurial spirit of your predecessor...
..who thought, "We can make some money here out of the Jubilee."
Yeah, yeah, indeed. I wish we could do it this year.
Selling tickets wasn't the only way to profiteer from the Jubilee.
Any item that could incorporate a picture of Queen Victoria
was turned into a souvenir.
At Kensington Palace,
'the curator Alexandra Kim has been busy sourcing Jubilee memorabilia.'
-Today, I guess the classic Jubilee purchase is going to be a tea towel for £2.50.
But the Victorians went way beyond that, didn't they?
-They had way more stuff.
-I love how inventive the Victorians were.
They were just happy to turn anything into this wonderful Jubilee opportunity.
You've got everything here from spoons to playing cards.
There was something for every pocket,
whether you had one shilling or 50 shillings.
It meant that even if you were from the poorest community,
-you could have a...
-You could get your own bit of kit.
What do you think all this tells us about how the Victorians
felt about Victoria in 1897?
It shows the Victorians were really keen to have something
to remember this incredible event, this kind of idea of Jubilee mania
and the real inventiveness of all of these Victorian entrepreneurs.
I take my hat off to you.
Who would ever have thought of a Jubilee ginger beer bottle?
Well, who knows? we might get one for this year.
And the ginger beer would've been flowing.
Eating and drinking were a huge part of the day's celebrations.
The food historian Annie Grey gives me a taste of who was eating what.
What was the definitive food of Jubilee 1897?
It depends who you are.
If you are poor, you probably come along to watch the procession,
you'll probably buy something from a street vendor.
So you might have some jellied eels or some whelks,
or almost certainly soup, because that's the universal street food at the time.
If you are slightly wealthier,
you're probably going to have had your servants pack a hamper for you.
-What might be in that? A game pie?
-Game pie, absolutely.
You're going to have lots of cakes,
you're going to have lots of butter, cheeses, fruits.
I think everyone's Jubilee picnic is going to have cupcakes in it this year.
What do you think of them? Did the Victorians have them?
I'm not a fan of the modern cupcake.
-The Victorian cupcake was a little bit more like that.
-Is that it?
-That is so disappointing.
It's lovely because it's delicate and sweet and ladylike
and it means you've got room for the gingerbread and pork pie.
What did the Victorians think about eating in public?
-Wasn't it a bit vulgar?
-It was a bit vulgar.
The working classes ate on the street because that's where they could get the food,
but the idea of the rich sitting on the street eating was not done.
It's why they were hiring balconies and sitting behind glass,
so that they could have a table and have it staged up properly.
And pretend that they weren't really eating in public.
Yes, very much so, but with a great view of the Queen passing by.
It's clear that Londoners were having the time of their lives.
But what did the party girl at the centre of it all really think?
Well, we think of the elderly Queen as being silent, reclusive, moody,
but actually, Victoria's diary shows that she was genuinely touched by the day's celebrations.
She wrote that the cheers never ceased
and it was a never-to-be-forgotten day.
So despite all the moaning and the profiteering and the naysaying,
the day was a huge success for Victoria and for her subjects.
There was a great surge in affection for Victoria at her Diamond Jubilee,
and I think exactly the same thing is happening again today.
If you fancy finding out more about Queen Victoria's Jubilee,
head over to London's Kensington Palace, for their Jubilee: A View From The Crowd exhibition.
As Lucy observed, 2012 is a pretty big year for London
and for the Abbey.
It has to look its best for the million visitors expected through the doors.
And that is the task of head conservator Vanessa Simeoni,
who's responsible for looking after this incredible place,
including Henry VII's tomb here.
-Vanessa, how are you doing?
-Can I help you in any way?
-Yes, you can help me do some dusting.
What are the biggest challenges when you're dealing with this absolutely priceless historical artefact?
The biggest challenge everywhere in the Abbey is dust
and the impact it has on all the different materials.
There's bits of damage, so you have to be really careful.
You do. You have to have a really good eye
and recognise what you're looking at
and recognise where it is old damage or recent damage,
and also recognise what impact the dust is having on that surface.
-Let's try and go for it.
-I'll try not to break anything.
We want to remove the dust, not just displace it,
so we gently brush the dust off the surface and into the vacuum cleaner.
-It's painstaking, isn't it?
-It does take a long time.
It's very satisfying, isn't it? How recently was this cleaned? There's some dust coming off.
-This was cleaned last week.
Weekly housekeeping timetable, this particular monument.
Where does that dust come from?
That dust comes from the tourists that we get in every year.
This is human dust?
As well as being central London, you get all the dust and the pollution
as well as building works, construction work going on.
All has a major impact.
Dust staying on the surface of, for example, some metal work,
can start off corrosion and things like that,
so you don't want to leave it on the surface for too long.
Are we fighting a losing battle?
Is the stuff eventually going to collapse, or can you keep it in this condition for eternity?
The job of the conservator is to slow down deterioration.
We completely understand that you can't stop things
from deteriorating, especially when you're a public building.
We can't stop it but we can slow it down and we do.
It must be hugely satisfying.
It's the most amazing job in the whole world. I'm very lucky.
-Well, good luck with it.
Thank you for joining us in Westminster Abbey
to help us celebrate the heritage of this beautiful building.
I'll tell you what, now I realise how much hard work
goes into keeping it in this incredible condition.
I hope we've whetted your appetites for exploring more of our history
during this Jubilee year.
-Thank you for watching.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Special edition of the history magazine show presented by Dan Snow and Sian Williams. Filmed at Westminster Abbey, the programme celebrates the Queen's diamond jubilee by looking back at more than a thousand years of royal history. They're joined by special guests Twiggy, Larry Lamb and Lucy Worsley.
Fashion icon Twiggy discovers the rules of dressing the Queen, in conversation with royal designers and milliners. Larry Lamb revisits his childhood in the 50s to find out why vintage is such big business. Historian Lucy Worsley draws parallels between the London of 1897, when Queen Victoria celebrated her diamond jubilee, and the preparations for this year's celebrations. Dan Snow continues his history road trips with The One Show's resident hairdresser, Michael Douglas, to discover how a king called Ken is related to our queen, and what happened when we experimented with doing away with the monarchy.
In the abbey the team are joined by some of the choristers who sang at the Queen's coronation. They also discover some of the secrets of last year's royal wedding with the dean of the abbey, and find out how they keep their priceless treasures looking their best for the more than one million tourists who visit each year.