Unseen pictures of a Royal childhood at Holkham Beach

Up to their necks in sand and smiling for the camera, this picture of a little boy and girl shows youngsters from yesteryear having fun at the beach.

But a corgi sitting between them should raise suspicions - for closer inspection reveals it is the Prince of Wales and his sister, the Princess Royal.

The image, taken from a home movie, features in Charles's personal television tribute to his mother, the Queen, which draws on archive newsreels and never-before-seen royal films and photographs.

A young Charles and Anne were filmed at Holkham Beach in Norfolk in the summer of 1957.

And throughout the programme, screened today, the Prince shares memories and recalls events from the Queen's public and private life, adding his own commentary and insights.


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He reveals the personal side to royal life, such as his mother and father visiting him on sports day in 1957 and his investiture as Prince of Wales in 1969, for which, he says, they rehearsed in the gardens of Buckingham Palace.

Although much of the film is rooted in childhood memories, Charles pays tribute to his mother, from the moment she became Queen on safari in Kenya in 1952, through to last year's historic visit to Ireland.

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'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,' he says.

One of the great public moments of the Queen's reign which is given a personal insight is her 1953 Coronation.

Charles tells how his mother practised wearing the Coronation crown: 'I remember my Mama coming, you know, up, when we were being bathed as children, wearing the crown - it was quite funny - practising.'

And in private cine-camera footage, taken on Coronation Day behind the scenes at the Palace, we see the Queen juggling the dual role of mother and Queen as she walks along a corridor and poses for official photographs.

Watching the footage some 60 years later, the Prince comments on his mother's 'amazing poise' and, later, her 'natural grace'.

During the programme, Charles tells his audience: '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.'

On the Commonwealth, he comments: 'I so admire the way she's managed to hold that unique association - the Commonwealth - together.

'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.'

The Prince concludes: 'The Queen has provided an amazing record of devotion, dedication and commitment.'

By following the same patterns, Charles says his mother has helped to 'anchor things a bit and give reassurance that something is there which is perhaps a little more timeless than other things which are changing all the time'.

A Jubilee Tribute to the Queen by the Prince of Wales will be broadcast on BBC One at 8pm tonight.

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