With King Charles III’s coronation right around the corner, everyone is getting in the festive, lavish coronation mood! While his late mother Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation was as lavish as can be, with millions tuning in and a three-hour ceremony, Charles is making his a bit different.
Charles’ team has said many times how he wants his coronation to mark a new age of the royal family, a modernized version where the first day of his official reign will be marked with a more intimate, whittled-down monarchy.
However, this couldn’t be more different from Elizabeth’s coronation back on June 2, 1953. Since the last coronation before hers was her father George VI’s in 1937, so many were itching to see a coronation for the first time in person, through their TVs, or the radio.
Along with all of the traditional ceremonies, Elizabeth ensured nearly everyone from the close and extended family were in attendance for the big day. With millions of eyes on Elizabeth and the streets flooded with people camping out from the night before, it was truly the event of the century — and we have the photos to prove it.
Ahead of her son Charles’ coronation, let’s check out the best photos of Elizabeth’s coronation from 1953 below:
Queen Elizabeth II & Duke of Edinburgh
While on the legendary balcony, Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh waved at all of the patrons, donning their medals, jewels, and official ensembles (with Prince Philip in a full-dress Naval uniform!)
Queen Elizabeth II After Her Coronation
Per the official royal website, the late Queen’s dress was designed by British Fashion designer Norman Hartnell, and was made with great detail. Along with a white satin base, Hartnell embroidered the emblems of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth with distinct colors.
Prince Charles, Princess Margaret, & The Queen Mother
Prince Charles was not a happy camper at the time (truthfully, we see where Prince Louis gets his expressive face from!) He, Princess Margaret, and The Queen Mother were all there to celebrate the momentous occasion. (For those wondering where Princess Anne was, she didn’t attend because she was dubbed too young at the time, per the Royal website!)
For the official crowning, it’s said that over 8,000 guests were in attendance at Westminster Abbey, including fve kings and six queens.
The Imperial State Crown
After the coronation ceremony, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip waved at everyone during their ride through, and everyone caught a glimpse of the legendary Imperial State Crown. Per the royal website, the crown is believed to be decorated with pearls from Queen Elizabeth I’s earrings.
Fans at The Mall
Thousands of patrons gathered at the Mall, which was floodlit for the occasion. Truly, this photos captures how much of a big deal this day was.
Everyone Tuned In
If you need any more proof that this event was the event of the century, the official royal website confirmed that 27 million people in the UK watched the ceremony on TV. And another 11 million listened on the radio, meaning almost all of the population at the time was tuned in one way or another.
For those that don’t know, Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation was in six parts total, per People. It started with the recognition, the oath, the anointing, the investiture (including the crowning), the enthronement, and then the homage. In total, it lasted nearly three hours!
Prior to her coronation, Queen Elizabeth II returned the ceremonial Jewelled Sword to the Dean of Westminster. Now what makes this so important? It’s considered the “most beautiful and valuable sword” in the world, per London Online.
Thousands of Men
This photo really shows how important this event was. Not only did millions come to see, tune in, and more, but the procession was something otherworldly. Per the official royal website, around 30,000 men took part in the procession. Specifically, “3,600 from the Royal Navy, 16,100 from the Army and 7,000 from the RAF, 2,000 from the Commonwealth, and 500 from the ‘Colonies.’” And that was the tip of the iceberg!
A Family Affair
Nearly everyone in the extended family was in attendance for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation. In this photo alone, we see her with Prince Philip, The Queen Mother, Princess Margaret Rose, and more.
Waving from the Balcony
Is it really a royal event if there isn’t a moment where everyone waves from the balcony?
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