Disturbing danger Queen’s ladies-in-waiting faced during her Coronation

The historic day of The Queen’s coronation in June 1953 faced a close call as one of Her Majesty’s ladies-in-waiting was close to fainting due to overwhelming pressure

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On the morning of June 2, 1953, the Queen was preparing for the most important day of her life – her coronation.

She donned fancy robes and a priceless crown for the special day all those years ago, knowing she was entering the history book as millions of people around the world tuned in.

Her Majesty, now 96, stood aside her husband Prince Philip and her supportive six maids of honor for the momentous event.

However, a disturbing danger awaited for one of the monarch’s ladies in waiting as she suffered a medical issue during the ceremony.

The six women were understandably under a lot of pressure as the moment was witnessed by millions across the globe.

The Queen’s coronation almost took a turn for the worst



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BBC 1’s documentary The Coronation shed light on intimate moments from the ceremony, including the fact one of the Queen’s ladies in waiting, Lady Anne Glenconner, nearly fainted.

With a mixture of high responsibility, the heat, dresses being too tight, and over a million witnesses – Lady Anne was understandably overwhelmed.

All six women were provided with a small bottle of smelling salts in their globes in the worry that they might collapse.

People watched the historic moment around the globe in June 1953



However, according to one maid of honor Lady Anne, they weren’t of much use for her once she became light-headed.

Thankfully a member of the congregation quickly came to her aid to rescue her.

Lady Anne said: “I was told to wriggle my toes in case I felt faint.

“Luckily I was standing with my back to a pillar and a wonderful gentleman called Black Rod saw me and I was sort of swaying about and I thought ‘I cannot faint in front of millions and millions of people, I just can’t’ and then luckily he put his arm like that (across her) sort of pinning me to the pillar and it just gave me enough time to recover.”

Lady Anne Glenconner recalled the moment in a documentary



On ITV’s The Queen: Inside the Crown documentary, she explained further that the little file of salt was kept in her glove.

“Not that they did much good,” she said.

“I started to sway, everything was black. I couldn’t see, everything was black. It was awful.”

She added: “I thought I can’t let the Queen down.”

“I could ruin the whole thing. All the cameras, millions of people all over the world watching.”

She was incredibly thankful as one of the Queen’s ushers noticed what was happening and rushed to her side to steady her.

She said: “He kept me just long enough for me to recover.”

In celebration of the Queen’s incredible 70-year reign, the UK will celebrate Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee starting Thursday, 2 June, which will commence a 4-day party extravaganza.

Have you met the Queen? We would love to hear your royal story! Email [email protected]

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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