What is a coronation?

A coronation is a ceremony during which the monarch is officially accepted as King or Queen. They are given special robes, and objects which symbolise their promise to protect their people and be a just and fair ruler. They are anointed with holy oil and most importantly, a royal crown is placed upon their head. This picture shows the crowning of our current Queen's grandfather, King George V.


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The coronation of Elizabeth II

Our current Queen, Elizabeth II, became the ruler of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 1952 after the death of her father King George VI but she didn’t hold her official coronation until 2nd June 1953. It was a huge celebration which took over a year to plan and was the first one that was shown in full on television. Over 20 million people all around the world were able to gather round their TV sets to watch the event. Not everyone had a TV at that time but lots of people would go round to watch the event with friends who did. Almost 3 million people travelled to London and gathered along the route the Queen’s procession would take, some of them had camped overnight. For those who couldn’t get into Westminster Abbey where the ceremony was to take place 200 microphones were stationed along the path, with 750 commentators broadcasting descriptions in 39 different languages.

The Queen travelled in a special golden coach. In an interview in 2018 she said it may have looked beautiful but it was very bumpy and uncomfortable to ride in.

Footage courtesy of The Royal Family




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Did you know?

The young Queen was very nervous before the big day. She and her ladies in waiting practiced using a sheet as her long robe and chairs for the royal carriage. She also wore a crown while she did everyday jobs to get used to the weight of it and to make sure she could wear it for a long time without it falling off!

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