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Coronation Day

Photograph shows the Gold State Coach carrying The Queen as it passes through Trafalgar Square enroute to Buckingham Palace after the Coronation Ceremony in Westminster Abbey, pass cheering crowds

Coronation Procession, 1953 ©

On 2 June 1953 Queen Elizabeth II became the 39th Sovereign and sixth Queen in her own right to be crowned at Westminster Abbey, where every coronation for the last 900 years has taken place.

The coronation service used in modern times can be traced back to the crowning of King Edgar at Bath in 973. In 1953 the service essentially followed the ritual set out in a fourteenth century illuminated manuscript called the Liber Regalis, which with some adaptations has formed the liturgy of all subsequent coronations.

The service takes place in the coronation theatre, a specially constructed area at the East end of the Abbey. The term ‘theatre’ refers to the spectacle and drama in the religious significance, historic association and rich pageantry of the service.

27 million people in the United Kingdom watched the Coronation on television

11 million listened to the radio broadcast

3 million people lined the processional route around London

29,200 troops from the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth took part in the processions

8,251 guests attended the Coronation service 250 representatives of Crown, Church and State took part in The Queen’s procession into Westminster Abbey

73 countries were represented by their Heads of State at the service

43 kilometres of stands were constructed along the processional route

The duration of the Coronation service was 3 hours