Queen’s big day nearly ruined: Scary moment for lady-in-waiting – ‘everything went black’

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THE QUEEN’S historic coronation watched by millions of people across the globe was almost ruined by a near-fainting incident, one of her maids of honour has revealed.

The monarch was just 27 when she was crowned Queen on June 2 1953 following the death of her father King George VI. The young mother looked resplendent in a flamboyant gown which took eight months to design and was surrounded by six attentive maids of honour including her friend Lady Anne Glenconner. Speaking on a new documentary, the 87-year-old revealed how each of the women were given a bottle of smelling salts on the day to help them in case they started to feel faint.

But Lady Glenconner, the daughter of the 5th Earl of Leicester, said the salts did not prove to be very useful when she found herself in an “awful” medical situation.

She had been feeling the pressure as the eyes of millions of viewers were on her during the Westminster Abbey ceremony which was broadcast live.

Speaking on ITV’s The Queen: Inside the Crown documentary, she explained how she had kept some of the salts in her glove in case she needed help.

She said: “Not that they did much good.

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The Queen’s coronation in 1953 was almost ruined by a fainting incident (Image: GETTY)

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Lady Anne Glenconner pictured third from left on the Queen’s coronation day (Image: GETTY)

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

“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.

Lady Glenconner told of how a Black Rod stepped in to save the day by holding her up when she was inclined to fall over.

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The Queen’s coronation in 1953 (Image: GETTY)

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

On the big day she was joined by five other maids of honour, all of whom were unmarried daughters of an earl or a duke.

The Queen had asked the ladies to wait on her as she was crowned monarch and had been given important tasks such as carrying her robe.

Lady Glenconner also described how seeing the Queen arrive in her gown “was like a Disney film”.

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Lady Anne Glenconner with her lady husband Lord Tennant (Image: GETTY)

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The Queen was supported by six ladies in waiting (Image: GETTY)

She added: “It was absolutely unreal.”

Born Anne Veronica Coke, she was the daughter of Thomas Coke, 5th Earl of Leicester, and the grand-daughter of Viscount Coke and Charles Yorke, 8th Earl of Hardwicke.

She grew up living next to the Queen and Princess Margaret at Holkham Hall, which neighboured Sandringham.

She enjoyed a close friendship with Princess Margaret and served as the Queen’s sister’s extra lady-in-waiting from 1971 until her death in 2002.

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Lady Anne Glenconner served as lady in waiting to Princess Margaret (Image: GETTY)

These days, Lady Glenconner enjoys a close relationship with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Her late husband Colin Tennant bought private island Mustique in 1945.

In an interview last October, she revealed how the Cambridges love holidaying on the island as it affords them a high degree of privacy.

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The Cambridges enjoy holiday on Lady Glenconner’s island of Mustique (Image: GETTY)

And she told of how Prince George, six, and Princess Charlotte, five, had a ball swimming with turtles in the waters around her Caribbean island.

She said: “They said how much they enjoyed Mustique because it’s so private.

“We’ve got turtles now and evidently George and Charlotte loved it.”

Source: EXPRESS CO UK