Elizabeth's son recalls being bathed as a child as his mother practiced wearing her crown

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated May 31, 2012 06:30 PM
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Courtesy Buckingham Palace

Prince Charles was only 4½ when his mother was crowned Queen of England on June 2, 1953, but he can still picture that day.

“I remember my Mama coming, you know, up, when we were being bathed as children, wearing the crown,” Charles, 63, referring to himself and sister Anne, 61, says on the BBC’s A Jubilee Tribute to the Queen by the Prince of Wales, to air Friday in the U.K. “It was quite funny – practicing.”

Putting his 86-year-old mother’s 60 years on the throne into perspective – in three years Elizabeth will become the longest-reigning monarch in British history (and her own mother, Elizabeth, the Queen Mum, lived to a happy 101) – Charles says, “The Diamond Jubilee gives us the chance to celebrate with pride all that the Queen means to us – whether as a nation or as one of her children.”

Observing his mother on her Coronation Day, Charles remarks on her “amazing poise” and “natural grace.”

In the interview he also shares some rare family photos, such as (seen here, above) his mother visiting him on a school sports day in 1957, when he was about 8, and another shot (below) of himself with sister Anne as both are buried in the sand at Holkham Beach in Norfolk.

With the two children in the beach shot is one of their mother’s beloved, “irresistible” corgis.

“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,” says the prince, speaking as a son.

But also speaking as a loyal subject, he 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.”

Long live the Queen!