Anne Tennant, Lady Glenconner, who was a maid of honour at the Queen’s coronation, shared her memories about the young monarch’s 70 years ago to coincide with the Platinum Jubilee.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4, Lady Glenconner recalled being sent a letter by Margaret, the Countess of Snowden, describing the “beautiful Norfolk morning” on which the king had died at Sandringham on February 6, 1952.
“(It was) a beautiful Norfolk morning, sun coming out and all the geese and the birds flying over, and she said it was a sort of perfect morning that her father would have loved and it was so wonderful that he had died in Norfolk, his beloved Norfolk, on such a beautiful day,” Lady Glenconner said.
She described the “moving” moment she watched Elizabeth, just 25 years, on television returning from Kenya with the knowledge she was to become Queen.
“It’s so moving, standing at the top of the stairs in her black coat. And suddenly, somebody that we’d known, I’d known, since she was a child, was Queen,” continued Lady Glenconner.
“She was a very slight figure and she was very young but I felt that she had, from a very young age really, she knew she was going to be Queen. I think her father was a wonderful example to her because he put his every duty first.”
Lady Glenconner said yesterday’s anniversary, marked privately, will have been tinged with sadness. She added: “I think it means a lot to her. She’s a countrywoman too, the Queen.”