The new documentary Elizabeth: Our Queen reveals a sage piece of advice that the Queen Mother gave her daughter. Her former lady-in-waiting and friend of the Queen, Lady Penn, opened up about their bond and Princess Elizabeth's struggle with confidence.
"The Queen Mother told the Queen when she was very young to be brave," Lady Penn said. "I think the Queen probably when she was young felt walking into a room full of people was rather daunting. So she said to her, 'What you want to do, when you walk into a room, is walk through the middle of the door.' And I think by that she meant, don't sort of go in apologetically. You walk through as if 'I'm in charge'. I think that was very good advice."
Lady Penn appears in the new Channel 5 documentary series; the first episode will launch on Tuesday to coincide with the 66th anniversary of the Queen's accession to the throne. It tells how Princess Elizabeth first learnt that her uncle King Edward VIII had abdicated after she returned home from a swimming lesson. She was told the news by a footman. Her father then became King, and the ten-year-old Princess became the heiress presumptive.
Elizabeth was named Queen on Feb. 6 1952 following the death of her father King George VI. At the time, the 25-year-old Princess was thousands of miles away in Kenya on a Commonwealth tour with her new husband, the Duke of Edinburgh.
As she does most years, the Queen will reflect on the anniversary of her father's death in private at Sandringham, where she has stayed since Christmas. The 91-year-old monarch does not carry out any official engagements and instead spends the date quietly. She is due to return to London later this week, with Prince Philip, to carry on her royal duties.