1953 was probably the most memorable year of the decade, as Queen Elizabeth II was crowned on 2nd June 1953. This day marked a huge milestone in British history.
1953 was an exciting time but also a time of great sadness following the death of King George VI, from lung cancer, on 6th February 1952. Queen Elizabeth ascended to the throne on this day whilst in Kenya, making her the first Sovereign in more than 200 years to accede to the throne whilst abroad.
However, it wasn’t until more than a year later that, following the period of mourning for a preceding sovereign, the coronation took place, taking 16 months of preparation and many meetings of the Coronation Commission which was chaired by the queen’s husband, Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
Rehearsal for the big day were held and a sheet was used in place of the velvet train and chairs took the place of the carriage.While sitting at her dek or going about her daily busines, the Queen wore the Imperial State Crown so that she could become used to the feel and weight.
Although many rehearsals took place, Elizabeth took part in only two full rehearsals, The Duchess of Norfolk standing in for her in others.
Queen Elizabeth II was crowned on 2nd June 1953 at Westminster Abbey and wore a beautiful dress designed by Norton Hartnell. The dress was made of satin and was embroidered with the United Kingdom & Commonwealth Emblems. The dress had short sleeves and had a square cut high neckline with fitted bodice. To top this off, the skirt was full and had a slight train – class at it’s finest!
During the ceremony itself, which was attended by 8,251 guests, Elizabeth swore an oath to uphold the laws of her nations and to govern the Church of England. Prince Philip was first to swear allegiance to the newly crowned queen and as the last baron had completed this task the whole assembly shouted “God save Queen Elizabeth. Long live Queen Elizabeth. May the Queen live for ever!”
Now wearing the Imperial State Crown and holding the Sceptre with the Cross and the Orb, the Queen left Westminster Abbey as the guests sang “God Save the Queen”
During the ceremony, which lasted around 3 hours, over 3 million people gathered on the streets of London, many having camped overnight, to get a view of the monarch. Much flag waving and cheering took place as the queen was transported back to Buckingham Palace in the Gold State Coach where upon arrival she appeared on the centre room balcony as a flypast went overhead.
We think the Queen is the classiest woman we’ve (never) met! What do you think Princess Kate would wear for her Coronation?
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