Papa looked very beautiful in his crimson robe, but there was a terrible draft in Westminster Abbey, wrote the little princess after her parents' coronation in 1937.
The childhood essay of Queen Elizabeth II gets its first public showing Friday in the Queen's Gallery, where royal treasures are displayed at Buckingham Palace. It's part of 271 exhibits called "A Royal Miscellany" showing through Jan. 13, 1991.The exhibition includes everything from clocks and jewelry to the embroidered linen overshirt worn by King Charles I as he knelt to the headsman's ax in 1649.
Visitors can view a lock of French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte's hair, a watercolor of Balmoral royal estate by Prince Charles, and a copy of the Mainz Psalter - a 1457 German collection of prayers that was the first book printed in more than one color.
Among the displays are the neat, proper letters of the 11-year-old princess Elizabeth. They are written in a lined exercise book that would have cost tuppence, 4 cents at that time.
"I thought it all very, very wonderful, and I expect the Abbey did, too. The arches and beams at the top were covered with a sort of haze of wonder as Papa was crowned, at least I thought so," wrote the princess.
Elizabeth, her sister Princess Margaret and their widowed grandmother Queen Mary had a grandstand view of the ceremony from a royal box in the abbey, where Elizabeth herself would be crowned in 1953.
"What struck me as being rather odd was that Grannie did not remember much of her own coronation. I should have thought that it would have stayed in her mind forever," Princess Elizabeth wrote.
However, toward the end, the child found the service becoming "rather boring" as it was all prayers.
"Grannie and I were looking to see how many more pages to the end, and we turned one more and then I pointed to the word at the bottom of the page and it said `Finis.' We both smiled at each other and turned back to the service," she wrote.