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Mama wore crown at bathtime, Prince Charles reveals

PRINCE Charles has described how Queen Elizabeth wore her crown while supervising his nightly bath as she practised for the coronation.

Giving a unique insight in to the way the queen juggles her roles of mother and sovereign, Charles has also decided to share home movies shot by the queen as part of his own jubilee tribute.

In a BBC One documentary, aired last night, he constantly refers to the queen as "my mama", as he tells of fond childhood memories.

Recalling the coronation, Charles says: "I remember mama coming up when we were being bathed as children, wearing the crown. It was quite funny -- practising."

One home film shows a young Charles and sister Anne buried up to their necks in sand with a corgi standing over them. Taken on Holkham Beach, near the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, in 1957, the footage shows an instantly recognisable Charles at the age of eight, though his six-year-old sibling, with curly blonde hair, has yet to develop the Windsor family traits.

The queen and Prince Philip have long been known as keen amateur filmmakers.

The documentary, 'A Jubilee Tribute to The Queen', also includes clips from a behind-the-scenes film of the coronation, commissioned by the queen as her own personal record, and showing how she kept her children under control while wearing her crown.

Charles decided to show the footage from several family holidays, as well as film from Windsor and Balmoral, to give viewers a rare insight into the royal family behind closed doors.

"My mama takes great pride in her family, from being a young mother at the start of her reign, to now being a great-grandmother twice over," he says.

To illustrate his point, the prince shows a picture of the queen visiting his sports day at Hill House School in west London in 1957.

Pointing out that the queen has opened the British parliament 59 times, he says: "I've always thought my mama looks absolutely wonderful in that tiara."

Praising her "amazing record of devotion, dedication and commitment", Charles says: "The fact that my mama has been a constant feature on the scene has provided that sense, I think, of continuity in a time of immense change over 60 years. I think just the sheer number of heads of state who are coming to the jubilee celebrations shows the respect and admiration with which my mama is held all around the world."

He said her continuing presence has helped "to anchor things a bit and give reassurance". (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent