Hail to the Queen

If you search “on this day” for a certain amount of years ago, some interesting things will pop up.

While brainstorming ideas for this week’s column, I took on this Google search and found out that on June 2, 1953, the now Queen of England, Elizabeth II, was crowned Queen. She was the 27-year-old daughter of King George VI at the time, before his passing in February 1952. Upon his death, Elizabeth II was crowned at Westminster Abbey. This special day still stands today, as the Queen celebrates 70 years on the throne, at 96 years of age.

The Queen’s coronation will go down in history, not only as the day the longest-reigning British monarch became queen, but as the first coronation to ever be on television, broadcasted by the BBC with 27 million viewers in the U.K. alone and 11 million tuned in on the radio. She did however, follow several traditions that were performed in the past before her.

As mentioned previously, she was crowned at Westminster Abbey, after 38 rulers previous to her, but she is only the sixth queen. The service performed, came from King Edgar at Bath, 973, and was organized by the Duke of Norfolk – a rule followed since 1386. It was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury and had been since 1066. However, this was the first time that a representative for the Church of Scotland assisted. Elizabeth II sat in St. Edward’s Chair, which was built all the way back in 1300 for Edward I and since then, has been used for every coronation. Along with the specific chair was St. Edward’s Crown (built in 1661) which was placed on her head for the service.

In attendance was 8,251 guests. There were 500 photographers along with over 2,000 journalists involved, in which Jacqueline Bouvier (Jackie Kennedy) was one of the journalists covering the event, employed by the Washington Times-Herald.

Aside from the people involved and all the traditions to follow, the fashion was  showstopping. The Queen had to wear and have specific accessories and clothing for the special occasion. The flowers held in her hands were comprised of white flowers from all over the U.K.

She of course had her iconic coronation dress on, which was designed by Norman Hartnell, a British clothing and fashion designer. The dress was created using white satin and embroidery with U.K. emblems, along with gold and silver thread for the Commonwealth – she has only worn this dress six times after the event. Her Majesty wore a crown on the way to the service, and it is known as the George IV State Diadem. Created in 1820, it images roses, thistles and shamrocks; the crown included 1,333 diamonds, along with 169 pearls.

During the ceremony, Elizabeth II first dressed in a loose garment with material that was linen-lawn, known as a Colobium or Sindonis. Then, a cloth of gold robe known as the Dalmatic or Supertunica, and afterwards, the Lord Great Chamberlain brought forward golden spurs and then, presented by the Archbishop of Cabterbury was a jewelled sword, armills and golden bracelets known for sincerity and wisdom. After all that, she still received and put on more, including: a stole, the orb, cloth of gold Robe Royal,  glove, special ring (the coronation ring) and lastly the sceptre (not all in order).

All of these facts were found on the Royal website, and the site broke it down nicely as well.

Overall, it’s incredible to see this milestone, especially because of its significance to history today and in the future. Even going through the pandemic, retracting COVID and losing her husband, the Queen still continues to go everyday.


Bea Todd is a LDSS co-op student with Midwestern Newspapers; for question or comment she can be reached at co-op@midwesternnewspapers.com.