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Secrets of the oil used to anoint the Queen at her Coronation

The telegraph Logo | The Telegraph

By Hannah Furness, Royal Correspondent | 1 hrs ago on 14 January 2018


Pic 1

© Provided by The Telegraph

It was a moment considered so sacred that television cameras were turned away out of respect, as the young Queen was anointed before God under a Westminster Abbey canopy.

Tonight, for the first time, that mysterious process will be revealed to the general public, as the Dean of Westminster allows the sight of the the anointing oil and its ornate bottle to be broadcast.

The solid gold ampulla, shaped like an eagle, is usually hidden carefully in Westminster Abbey, and with the moment of anointing deliberately cut from the Queen’s 1953 Coronation.

For the first time in history, the bottle will be permitted to be filmed for a BBC documentary about the Coronation, in a programme starring the Queen sharing her own memories of the day.

Queen at her Coronation Pic 2

© Provided by The Telegraph

The Queen, in conversation with expert Alastair Bruce, will speak candidly about what happened behind-the-scenes at both her own Coronation and that of her father, George VI.

She will discuss how he asked her to write down her own memories of the day, which she watched as an 11-year-old in 1937, proclaiming the task “very valuable”.

Watching home footage of her coronation for the first time, she will give a humorous running commentary of her memories and be reunited with the St Edward’s Crown she has not worn since.

Those who have already seen the show have remarked on the Queen’s quick wit, responding to praise for the smooth-running of her day with a dry: “Well, they jolly well should have done after the number of rehearsals we had.”

Pic 3

© Provided by The Telegraph

She will also discuss her mischievous children, with Prince Charles watching on in the Abbey and Princess Anne at home.

On the subject of her father’s day, which included a minor but live debacle over which way the crown was supposed to be placed on his head, the Queen disclosed she has a “much better” recollection of 1937 coronation than her own because “I wasn’t doing anything. Just sitting there.”

Speaking to Bruce, the Queen said: “I remember my Father making me write down what I remembered about his coronation. It was very valuable. Have you never seen it?”

The programme will then display shots of the then Princess Elizabeth’s exercise book, in which she wrote:  “I thought it all very very wonderful, and I expect the Abbey did too. The arches and beams at the top were covered with a sort of haze of wonder as Papa was crowned, at least I thought so.”

Her Majesty with the Crown (Pic 4)

© Provided by The Telegraph

The document, held by the Royal Archives, is entitled: “To Mummy and Papa, In Memory of Their Coronation, From Lilibet. By Herself.”

A spokesman for the BBC said the programme, part one of a series about the Royal Collection, would see the Dean of Westminster John Hall “reveal for the first time on camera the bottle containing the anointing oil used in The Queen’s Coronation in 1953”.

The film will closely examine, in HD, the Crown Jewels. The moment of anointing, which takes place under a canopy to ensure a “deeply personal experience between The Queen and God”, was not broadcast in 1953, when cameras set up for the first television coronation deliberately turned away.

Current Dean of Westminster, The Very Reverend Dr John Hall, said: “ It is kept very safe in the Deanery, in a very hidden place in a little box here, which has in it a flask containing the oil from 1953.  And it is not just olive oil, it’s quite a complex mixture of different things.

Her Majesty the Queen (Pic 5)

© PA

Have a Great Day Rose

“This is the recipe for the Coronation Oil. The composition of the oil was founded upon that used in the 17th century.

“Then you see what it consists of sesame seed and olive oil, perfume with roses orange flowers, jasmine, musk, civet and ambergris.”

Referring to The Queen’s Coronation, the Dean added: “For six months, they closed the abbey. They laid a railway track down the centre of the abbey, bringing in tonnes and tonnes of wood and iron.

“I think there were 400 people in the choir and they were all up there. And there was an orchestra on the choir screen.   2200 people can sit on the floor of the Abbey, 8000 people were in here in 1953. They took a long time actually to get the whole thing ready.”

Her Majesty the Queen (Pic 6)

© Reuters Queen Elizabeth



The programme will also share the Queen’s delight in learning the precise details of how the Crown Jewels were hidden in a biscuit tin under Windsor Castle during the Second World War.

Bruce tells how the King asked the Royal Librarian, Owen Morshead, to remove the most precious jewels from crowns and sceptres to be hidden, with the Queen remarking: “We were told nothing. We were just children.” The Coronation airs tonight, 8pm on BBC One.

Video: Queen Elizabeth II reveals what it’s like to actually wear her crown (Wochit News)



New portrait marks Queen and Prince Philip’s 70th anniversary

19 November 2017 | 7 hours ago | BBC | From the section UK

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A new portrait of the Queen and Prince Philip

Her Majesty the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh


A new portrait of the Queen and Prince Philip has been released to mark their 70th wedding anniversary.

Happy Anniversary

The royal couple will mark Monday’s platinum anniversary with a private dinner with family and friends at Windsor Castle.

The bells of Westminster Abbey, where they married in 1947, will toll to mark the occasion.

Royal Mail has issued a set of six commemorative stamps, featuring the couple’s engagement and wedding.


Image Caption Commemorative stamps from the Royal Mail

Image copyright EPA Image caption Commemorative stamps from the Royal Mail feature the royal couple’s engagement and wedding photos

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are the first royal couple to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary.

When they married, the then Princess Elizabeth was 21-years-old while her groom, Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, was 26.


HM the Queen 1

Image copyright PAImage copyright PA


HM the Queen

The new image, by celebrity photographer Matt Holyoak, shows the pair flanked by Thomas Gainsborough’s paintings of George III and Queen Charlotte from 1781.

In the photograph, the Queen is wearing a cream day dress designed by Angela Kelly, her personal assistant and dressmaker since 2002.

She also wears a “Scarab” brooch in yellow gold, carved ruby and diamond, designed by Andrew Grima and given to the Queen as a gift in 1966.


Queen will not lay Remembrance Sunday wreath

 1 hour ago | 11 October 2017 | BBC | from the section UK


Her Majesty the Queen

Image copyright EPA Image caption It will be the first time the Queen has not laid the wreath since 1999

The Queen will not lay a wreath at the Cenotaph this year as part of the annual Remembrance Sunday ceremony.

She will watch the event on 12 November in Whitehall from the balcony of the Foreign Office with Prince Philip.

HM the Queen & Prince Charles

Prince Charles will take her place in laying the floral tribute on behalf of the nation, along with the Duke of Edinburgh’s equerry.

The Queen has not laid wreaths in six previous ceremonies since her coronation.

Two were during her pregnancies with Prince Andrew, in 1959, and Prince Edward, in 1963.

The other four occasions were when she was on visits abroad – in 1961, when she was in Ghana, in 1968, when in Brazil, in 1983, when in Kenya and in 1999, when in South Africa.


The Queen traditionally lays the wreath at the Cenotaph on behalf of the nation

Image copyright EPA Image caption The Queen traditionally lays the wreath at the Cenotaph on behalf of the nation

Royal officials told the BBC that the Queen chose to ask her eldest son and heir to carry out the royal duty.

It will be the second time the Prince of Wales has laid the wreath after standing in for the Queen when she was on a trip to Kenya 34 years ago.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman added: “The Queen wishes to be alongside the Duke of Edinburgh and he will be in the balcony.”

BBC Royal correspondent Peter Hunt said the change was “another sign of the Royal Family in transition”, as well as “an acknowledgment of the fact the Queen is 91.”

Earlier this year Prince Philip retired from his public duties, but he has continued to join the Queen at some of her official engagements.

In 2015, the ceremony was made shorter to limit the amount of time the Queen, Prince Philip and the veterans in attendance would have to stand. This move included making some members of the Royal Family lay wreaths together, rather than separately.

However, plans for the prime minister to lay one wreath on behalf of all the political parties were scrapped, with opposition leaders still being allowed to place individual wreaths.

H M the Queen & Royals

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1 Heads Together Foundation

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry today kicked off the next phase of Heads Together as the campaign intensifies its efforts to create millions of conversations around mental health in 2017. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry are spearheading Heads Together, witheight Charity Partners and three Founding Partners, to change the conversation on mental health and end stigma.

At today’s briefing for leaders from across UK society, Their Royal Highnesses said that 2017 marks a ‘tipping point’ for mental health in the UK and outlined how Heads Together aims to make this the year when millions more people talk about their mental health without fear of judgement.

In speeches at the briefing, The Duke and Duchess and Prince Harry described how the Heads Together campaign will work with a range of organisations and people from all walks of life to show how much starting a conversation can help all of us when dealing with pressures on our mental health. Attendees at the briefing were encouraged to behind the campaign by creating and sharing these conversations with their members, networks and audiences.

With fewer than 100 days to go to the start of the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon, Their Royal Highnesses said that Heads Together runners and others will use this opportunity to create a ‘mental health marathon’ that gets the country talking about mental health. Their Royal Highnesses welcomed the announcement today of a BBC season of features that will be broadcast around the time of the marathon, including a documentary featuring a small group of Heads Together runners to be broadcast before and after the event.

The Duke and Duchess and Prince Harry opened up the Heads Together campaign to organisations that support their ambition to change the conversation on mental health. From today, organisations can sign up to become ‘Supporters of Heads Together’ at

Heads Together marathon runner Jon Salmon spoke at the event with his friend Steve Jackson about how their conversations have helped Jon deal with his mental health problems, along with exercise. Former footballer Rio Ferdinand also spoke at the event and committed his personal support to the Heads Together campaign.

Jon explained: “I have been lucky enough to have had a really supportive group of friends since my teens. But you know how blokes are, we were never good at talking about our feelings. It was really only after getting ill myself that I learned about the power of conversation and the importance of being able to open up and talk about sometimes very personal and painful feelings – which is never easy to do. The key is feeling safe – knowing that the person listening is not judging. Steve was always a great listener. This is as true in professional therapy as it is in friendship. Anti depressants are sometimes necessary in treating mental illness but cannot work on their own. A talking therapy, like CBT in my case, made all the difference.”

Speaking at the briefing, The Duke of Cambridge said: “There are times when, whoever we are, it is hard to cope with challenges – and when that happens being open and honest and asking for help is life-changing. Talking to someone else is a positive and confident step to take – but for too long it has been a case of ‘Keep Quiet and Carry On’. As a result, too many people have suffered in silence for too long, and the effects of this can be devastating.

“It is no exaggeration to say that conversations – simple conversations – can be life-changing: in a workplace, in your kitchen at home, with a friend, family member or colleague. And that’s what Catherine, Harry and I want to do – we want more people to be having those conversations.”

The Duchess of Cambridge said: “In the weeks leading up to the Marathon, our campaign will show people from all walks of life talking about the life-changing conversations that have helped them with their mental health challenges.

“We hope that these real-life examples will serve as encouragement to others to do the same.
If we succeed with this, we will have taken a powerful step in normalizing mental health as an issue in our society, thinking about it as we do our own physical health.”

Prince Harry added: “Over 500 people will be running for Heads Together, leading from the front (well perhaps not right at the front!), raising funds for the vital services provided by our Charity Partners. These runners will also be leading by example by starting conversations on mental health with their families, friends and colleagues.

“It has been unbelievably encouraging to see that attitudes towards mental health across the country are beginning to change. In the past, the phrase ‘mental health’ would be translated to mental illness. But thankfully that is changing!

“The truth is we can all help each other. You don’t need any qualifications to help your mate out, simply to listen to what they have to say. At the heart of this campaign is our hope that no-one should be afraid to ask for help, and no-one should worry about knowing how to help. That initial conversation could be the cure, before it has a chance to manifest itself.”

Rio Ferdinand also spoke about the importance of talking in helping those facing mental health challenges.

Rio Ferdinand said: “As a former footballer, now a presenter, entrepreneur and a dad I can feel the walls coming down. I remember the days when we would never ever discuss this stuff. Certainly not in the dressing room. Because we felt that it was a sign of weakness. Things are changing. More and more of us now know talking is a source of strength.

“In all of our walks of life we are beginning to have the conversations that need to be had. People are beginning to open up. For guidance, for support, to help find a way forward. And for many, those life-changing conversations are making the future look more positive.”

Following the speeches Their Royal Highnesses met with the Heads Together Charity Partners and supporters, as well as leaders from across UK society, ranging from media and technology through to business and the voluntary sector.

About Heads Together

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry are spearheading the Heads Together campaign to build on the great work that is already taking place across the country, to ensure that people feel comfortable with their everyday mental wellbeing, feel able to support their friends and families through difficult times, and that fear no longer prevents people talking or getting the help they need.

1 heads-together-charity

Heads Together brings together a team of Charity Partners that have achieved great progress in tackling stigma, raising awareness, and providing vital help for people with mental health problems. The team covers a wide range of mental health issues that are close to The Duke and Duchess and Prince Harry’s passions. They are:
• Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families
• Best Beginnings
• CALM – The Campaign Against Living Miserably
• Contact (a military mental health coalition)
• Mind
• Place2Be
• The Mix
• YoungMinds
The privilege of being the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon Charity of the Year gives Heads Together a positive platform to raise funds for the support provided by the campaign’s charity partners and to start millions of conversations.

The Heads Together campaign is being generously supported by The Hans & Julia Rausing Trust, ShareGift and the first three Heads Together Founding Partners – Dixons Carphone, Unilever UK and Virgin Money. This support will help amplify the aims of the campaign as well as fund specific projects designed to help us all with mental health.



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The Limping Chicken

The Limping Chicken, the UK’s independently-run deaf news and deaf blogs site. This site focus on the full range of the deaf experience, publishing blogs by Deaf people across the UK and the world, laying eggs every weekday morning. Since February 2012, this site has clocked up over 3.5 million views, and is currently the most popular deaf blog in the world. In December 2013, this site went global when it broke the story of the fake interpreter at the Nelson Mandela memorial service, which temporarily caused the site to crash.

This site is edited by deaf journalist Charlie Swinbourne (who has written for the Guardian, Mirror and BBC Online) and is editorially independent.

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Symbolworld is a free and accessible news and information website for people with learning difficulties. It uses symbols, easy read formats and is also switch accessible and accepts stories from volunteers and people with learning disabilities. SymbolWorld is a website created by Widgit Software specifically for symbol users. It has material for all ages and includes news, personal contributions, stories and learning materials. SymbolWorld is designed to be easy to navigate, with the option to personalise the layout and colours to suit any reader’s needs.


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