Mischievous Charles 'ran off with crown' after coronation, recalls Queen's maid of honour

One of the maids of honour at the Queen's coronation has recalled how a young Charles ran off with the crown when his mother later removed it at Buckingham Palace.

Lady Rosemary Mildred Muir was the most senior of the six maids and told Sky News how the then prince was a bit of a handful in Westminster Abbey.

"There was a box with the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret and Prince Charles and a few aunts and uncles I think...

"I was sort of leaning against this table where all the silver and gold were - and the box was just the other side - and you could hear Prince Charles running up and down and the Queen Mother sort of getting hold of him and telling him to sit down."

The four-year-old also took the chance to nab the priceless crown when they all went back to the palace, says Lady Rosemary.

"And of course when we got back to Buckingham Palace and the Queen took off her crown, put it on the table, and he appeared and grabbed it and shot up the passage with it."

As one of the maids of honour, Lady Rosemary helped the Queen out of the royal carriage and organise the train of her dress.

She says the young Queen was "absolutely marvellous, so cool, calm and collected" - and took the enormity of the occasion in her stride.

"She just said 'ready girls' - and off we went... No apparent nerves at all - not with any of us I think," says Lady Rosemary.

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Lady Rosemary - whose uncle was Winston Churchill and was raised in Blenheim Palace - says the day was chilly but proceedings went like "clockwork" - not least as she'd been involved in eight rehearsals.

The described the scene inside the abbey as "like a jewellery box" because it was packed with aristocrats wearing their family jewels.

"It was magical. The music, the colour, the whole sense of majesty was amazing. It was so beautifully choreographed..."

"You really felt it was a tremendous religious occasion... It was very moving."

She says the crowds were also amazing - especially when she joined the royals on the palace balcony.

"It was a great uplift to everybody because the war, it was like a new era - which it was," recalls Lady Rosemary

Her dress for the big day - for which she'd had numerous fittings - went missing about 10 years later when it was sent to be renovated.

She told Sky News it was eventually found rolled up in a plain laundry bag - with a label reading 'party dress'.

The King's coronation will be a smaller affair than his mother's - but still a spectacle of pomp and pageantry. Check out our ultimate guide to the day - and get the crown in your living room with out immersive AR experience.