The film charts the brazen heist of the Stone of Destiny, part of the famous Coronation Chair, first used by Edward the Confessor in 1296. The theft, on Christmas Eve in 1950, made international headlines. Scotsman Ian Hamilton reveals how he and others planned and carried out the theft, then returned the storied stone in time for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation.
"Secrets of Westminster" also provides access to the Houses of Parliament, both the House of Lords and the House of Commons. Here, intrigue, pageantry and customs, including why a monarch is never allowed into the House of Commons, are the order of the day. A tour of the iconic bell tower of Big Ben showcases this iconic symbol and explains the origin of its nickname and the mystery of its distinct tone. Victoria Tower holds priceless Acts of Parliament, documents that record 500 years of British history, including the Stamp Act that eventually led to colonial America’s rebellion.
The film outlines the famous Gunpowder Plot, commemorated annually with bonfires and fireworks on Guy Fawkes Day; features footage of suffragette Emily Davison’s grim demise; and covers the career of Lady Astor, an American in England, who had a profound impact on Parliament.