The 2022 Platinum Jubilee commemorates Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years as monarch, beginning with her accession to the throne in 1952. Elizabeth wasn’t crowned, though, until the next year during a lavish coronation ceremony. Here is everything you need to know about the famous occasion.
The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was to follow the 900-year tradition of coronations held at Westminster Abbey. However, the 1953 Coronation set a new standard in and of itself. It was the first royal event to ever be broadcast on television, and 27 million viewers in the UK alone tuned in.
Poor health caused King George VI to cancel a planned tour of the Commonwealth in 1952. On January 31, 1952, Princess Elizabeth took his place and left with Prince Philip from London Airport.
She learned of her father’s passing and her own ascension to the throne on February 6, 1952, while on an official visit to Kenya, the first nation on the Commonwealth tour. She instantly changed from Princess Elizabeth to Queen Elizabeth II.
The tour was canceled after hearing the news, and the young princess returned to Britain as the new monarch. Before arriving at Clarence House, where the Royal Standard flag was flown for the first time during her reign, she was welcomed at the airport by Prime Minister Winston Churchill and other authorities.
The Coronation Ceremony
On the night of her coronation, the day before she took her official oath at Westminster Abbey, the Queen sent a radio message to the Commonwealth in which she promised to be loyal to its people.
“I will work tirelessly and sincerely to earn your trust throughout my entire life.”
Elizabeth II was crowned on June 2, 1953, at Westminster Abbey in London.
When her father, George VI, passed away on February 6, 1952, she was 25 years old. Shortly after, her privy and executive councils proclaimed her queen. The custom of waiting a proper amount of time after a king dies before holding such events meant that the coronation was held more than a year later.
Additionally, it provided the planning teams with enough time to get ready for the event.Elizabeth was invested with robes and regalia, made an oath, was anointed with holy oil, and was crowned queen of the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon during the service (now Sri Lanka).
How Long Did It Take For Queen Elizabeth To Be Crowned After King George’s Passing?
Elizabeth succeeded to the throne of England on February 6, 1952, the same day her father, King George VI, passed away. However, she wasn’t crowned until roughly 16 months later.
The First Coronation on Television
Worldwide radio broadcasts of the ceremony were made, and at the Queen’s request, it was also shown on television for the first time.
Millions of people worldwide were exposed to the splendour and significance of the Coronation thanks to television in a way that was never before possible. In Britain, 11 million people listened to the radio while an estimated 27 million people watched the ceremony on television (the population of Britain at the time was just over 36
On the Coronation route, there were more than 2,000 journalists and 500 photographers from 92 different countries.
Regalia And Dress
The State Diadem was a circlet made of diamonds that the Queen wore on her way to Westminster Abbey and every time she went to the State Opening of Parliament during her reign.
Her Majesty was crowned at the Coronation service with the St. Edwards Crown, and as she left Westminster Abbey, she wore the Imperial State Crown.
The Coronation Dress was created by Sir Norman Hartnell, and Her Majesty made sure it was seen all over the Commonwealth by donning it for banquets at Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, as well as for the Openings of Parliament in New Zealand, Australia, and Ceylon in 1954.
The Queen received the Coronation Bouquet from the Worshipful Company of Gardeners to carry with her to Westminster Abbey. The all-white bouquet included English orchids, Welsh orchids, Scottish stephanotis, Northern Irish and Isle of Man carnations, and English lilies-of-the-valley.
Following the service, a coronation parade was held across London to allow as many people as possible to view The Queen and her procession. The 16,000 athletes took two hours to complete the 7.2-kilometre course. Three kilometers were covered during the procession. While those riding horses marched six abreast, those on foot marched ten abreast.
29,200 officers and soldiers lined the path or participated in the parade, including 3,600 from the Royal Navy, 16,100 from the Army, 7,000 from the RAF, 2,000 from the Commonwealth, and 500 from the then-Empire.
In addition to the 1,000 officers and soldiers of the Royal Military Police that were brought in to support the Metropolitan Police, there were 6,700 reserve and administrative troops. 75 provincial forces provided an additional 7,000 police officers. Despite the severe downpour, large crowds watched the parade.
In the weeks after her coronation, the Queen went on a tour of Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales. She also went to Spithead in Portsmouth to look over the Royal Navy Fleet.