Coronation Street has not been on the air as long as Queen Elizabeth II has been on the British throne. On December 9, 1960 when Corrie began, she had been queen for 8 years, 10 months and 3 days.
Since then, Queen Elizabeth has walked down the Coronation Street cobbles twice. In 1982 she went for the opening of the new outdoor set at Granada Studios. The second time was in 2021 when she went to the new MediaCity set for the show’s 60th anniversary.
Her two eldest children, Charles and Anne, have also visited Coronation Street. In April 2016 Princess Anne and 50 Commonwealth business and government leaders toured the MediaCity set.
Royals on set
In 2000, Prince Charles appeared in an episode – sort of. To mark Coronation Street’s 40th anniversary, they did a live episode. Earlier that day, Prince Charles came to unveil a plaque and meet and greet. One of the actors he met was Sue Nicholls, who plays Audrey Roberts. Their meeting was taped. During the episode, an on-set television showed a news item of Weatherfield city councillor Audrey Robert meeting the Prince of Wales.
Camilla visited the street in February 2010 as part of the show’s 50th anniversary year, and poured a pint in the Rovers Return. She wore a specially-made silver brooch of Hilda Ogden’s flying ducks.
Real-life royal events have been celebrated in the storylines of Coronation Street. The wedding of William and Kate in 2011 caused Mary Taylor to opine on royal marriage patterns. On the Queen’s 60th Jubilee, Coronation Street had a huge street party with everyone dressed up as a rock star. The Golden Jubilee in 2002 was marked with Roy’s attempt to reenact the Civil War on the Red Rec. For 1977’s Silver Jubilee, a street party with the theme of England through the ages. Ena Sharpes was Queen Victoria and Annie Walker was Elizabeth I. Of course.
But this Platinum Jubilee? I’ve googled like mad for spoilers. Lots and lots of drama this week. But nary a word about a street party or anything royal related. I hope Coronation Street is keeping something well and truly under wraps.
Maybe I’ll have to start watching EastEnders. They have a couple of guest actors in tonight’s UK episode. Charles and Camilla stop by the Platinum Jubilee party in Albert Square. The landlord of the The Queen Victoria pub says to them, “Welcome to your great-great-great-grandmother’s boozer.”
It was long said that the Queen Mother was a Coronation Street fan. But nothing is known for sure. Camilla said on her visit to the set that she had watched when she was young and had started watching again. Disbelief at this was reported. “Can you imagine them watching Corrie at home?” an actor is quoted as saying. But why wouldn’t they? It’s a glimpse into other people’s lives, just like it is for the rest of us. And for them, it’s a glimpse at a way of life that they don’t see in their daily lives, just like watching Downton Abbey or The Crown is for the rest of us.
In the 2022 Queen’s New Year Honours list, William Roache was made an OBE. That’s fitting in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year. His stint as Ken Barlow on Coronation Street is only 8 years, 10 months and 3 days less than Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.