Anita Rani: “My hope is that the Coronation will bring joy to the capital

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

I have this memory of when I was growing up in Bradford and my parents, who owned a factory there, wheeling out this huge TV on to the sewing room floor for all the workers to watch Andrew and Fergie’s wedding. Now, whatever your opinion is on the royals, there is something really beautiful about these big occasions and how they bring people together.

My hope is that’s what the Coronation will do. It would be amazing to have a bit of that 2012 Olympics joy in the capital. There is nothing better than that vibe. London is, quite frankly, the greatest city on earth and it’s epic to see the global spotlight on the streets we all know and have walked down a thousand times. Besides, we could do with some fun right now, couldn’t we?

And hopefully this will be an era of fun. I kind of see Charles and Camilla as this giggly teenage couple. I’ve never met either of them, but I hear he’s a fan of Country file — and she of Woman’s Hour — so, they like my work.

I’ve covered two royal weddings, the Platinum Jubilee, the Queen’s funeral for the BBC and now the Coronation. On the day I will be down on The Mall with the crowds talking to people about what it means to them, why they’re there, what they’re looking forward to seeing. I do feel very lucky that my job puts me in these positions, watching history unfold up close and personal.

I kind of see Charles and Camilla as this giggly teenage couple.

I’m looking forward to seeing what’s in store. The pomp and pageantry, sure, but also the soft politics of it all: who will be represented? What will we showcase to the world? And I’m into seeing what Charlie has planned. He was absolutely ahead of the game on environmental issues. And we are already seeing shifts in the monarchy since he became King. For instance, with the release of documents about the royal connection to the slave trade. That says a lot about what they’re prepared to do and what his reign will be like.

There’s obviously a whole spectrum of experiences, opinions and feelings about the Coronation and the monarch in general. But there is space for all of them. What is really uplifting is that conversations are happening about who we are as a nation, what we want to project and who we are going to be going forward. A new monarch is part of that, we are stepping into a new era. Having those conversations is a positive thing. It’s healthy. There’s nothing wrong with examining who you are, either personally or as a country. Looking at that and wanting to go forward as a modern, multicultural nation is progress. It’s called development. It’s called introspection. I cannot wait to see how that reflects in the ceremony and what we’re going to see.

I wore a sari for the Jubilee. That was a real moment for me personally being able to wear it on national telly, but also to do it at such a big event. The reaction I got was huge. People got in touch with me saying, ‘My mum came to this country in the Sixties and was told she couldn’t wear a sari. She saw you on TV and cried.’ That was moving. I get to be in a place where I represent modern Britain. Modern Britain looks like me. Bring it on.

Anita Rani will present the BBC’s Coronation coverage this Saturday 6 May; @itsanitarani