The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II
On the 60th anniversary of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth ll, CPAC presents the complete, unedited coronation ceremony held in Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953. Follow along here live (Sunday, June 2 at 10:15 am ET / 7:15 am PT) for a real-time multimedia look at the coronation!
The official coronation of Queen Elizabeth II occurred 16 months after the death of her father, King George VI, and her accession to the throne while visiting Kenya in 1952.
Officials hoped to keep costs below the 1937 coronation of King George VI – but the opposite occurred.According to the U.K.'s Kew National Archives: “Initially only very limited coverage of the service in the Abbey was planned, but press and political pressure led to the whole service being shown live on television,with the exception of the two most sacred moments: the anointing and the moment of coronation.”
Before the coronation footage starts at 1015am ET we're showing some looks back at historic Royal Visits by Queen Elizabeth II.
We'll also be providing some Canadian connections to the Coronation.
The day before, the Queen named her husband, Prince Philip, admiral of the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets, colonel-in-chief of the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets, and air commodore-in-chief of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets.
The Queen became honorary RCMP commissioner, captain-general of the Royal Canadian Artillery, air commodore-in-chief of the RCAF Auxiliary, and colonel-in-chief of the Royal Canadian Engineers, King’s Own Canadian Regiment, Royal 22nd Regiment, Governor General’s Foot Guards, Canadian Grenadier Guards, and the Carleton and York Regiment.
When Queen Elizabeth II read the Speech from the Throne on Oct. 14, 1957, it marked the first time a sitting monarch opened Canada’s Parliament in person.
She returned two years later for the longest royal visit in history: a 45-day tour with stops in every province and territory.
Future visits would be based around specific occasions or events. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip have been to Canada more than 20 times in the past half-century, from Expo 67 to the 1982 constitutional patriation.
Their 2010 visit was deemed a “roaring success” by the Daily Telegraph.
The Queen prepared to leave Buckingham Palace for the procession to Westminster Abbey.
Before Westminster Abbey was built, English kings were crowned at various locations, including Bath, Canterbury, and Oxford.
Elizabeth would be the 39th monarch crowned inside Westminster Abbey, and the sixth as Queen.The Associated Press reported that the Queen took her usual cup of morning tea to start the day.
The Coronation had captured imagination of Canadians. Here's an example from a Canadian Press story in the Montreal Gazette:
“Symptoms – Restlessness and rare high spirits. Diagnosis – Coronation fever is reaching its peak in Canada. With the Coronation almost at hand Canadians are displaying more and more excitement and impatient anticipation, a Canadian Press survey shows.”
The route to Westminster Abbey would go through west-end London via The Mall, the Admiralty Arch, the south side of Trafalgar Square, Northumberland Avenue, Victoria Embankment, Bridge Street, Parliament Square, and the Broad Sanctuary leading to the church’s west entrance.The Queen's route to and from Westminster Abbey. Courtesy HSBC UK/Flickrby Andrew Thomsonon Jun 2, 2013 at 2:25 PM
The order of the procession can be found in full within this 1953 London Gazette document:
At 10:26 a.m., the Queen’s state procession began to move, led by British troops. Following the State Coach were several aides-de-camp, including Admiral the Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Prince Philip’s uncle and Elizabeth’s second cousin.
The procession contained 16,000 people in a three-kilometre-long line.
Commonwealth prime ministers left Buckingham Palace earlier, at 9:20a.m. Sir Winston Churchill sat in the first carriage, followed by Canada’s Louis St. Laurent and wife Jeanne, then Australia’s Robert Menzies.
The Queen Mother and Princess Margaret had left the palace in the Irish State Coach at approximately 10 a.m.
Here is St. Laurent during the 1952 coronation tour:Rosemary Gilliat Eaton / Library and Archives Canadaby Andrew Thomsonon Jun 2, 2013 at 2:38 PM
This was the first televised coronation. About 27 million Britons are thought to have watched on the BBC. Cameramen stationed inside the abbey were mostly slight of build, especially for those above the organ loft, according to Buckingham Palace.
Four TV cameras were installed in the Abbey, along with host Richard Dimbleby.
As we mentioned earlier, Elizabeth had acceded to the throne in February 1952, upon the death of her father, King George VI. Canada was between governor generals at the time, so Chief Justice Thibaudeau Rinfret, the acting administrator, issued the official statements.
OTTAWA, FEBRUARY 6, 1952
HIS EXCELLENCY THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE GOVERNMENT has received with the deepest distress the news of the death of His Majesty King George VI, communicated to, His Excellency in the following cable from the Private Secretary to His Majesty:
London, February 6, 1952.
"Profoundly regret to state that His Majesty King George the Sixth passed away peacefully in his sleep early this morning."
Source: Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
The Countess Spender, Princess Diana's grandmother, served as one of the Queen Mother's ladies of the bedchamber.
And here's the follow-up proclamation naming Elizabeth as Queen of Canada in 1952:
BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE RIGHT HONOURABLE THIBAUDEAU RINFRET, Chief Justice of Canada and Administrator of the Government of Canada.
TO ALL TO WHOM these Presents shall come,
WHEREAS it hath pleased Almighty God to call to His Mercy Our Late Sovereign Lord King George the Sixth of blessed and glorious memory by whose decease the Crown of Great Britain, Ireland and all other His late Majesty's dominions is solely and rightfully come to the High and Mighty Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, Now Know Ye that I, the said Right Honourable Thibaudeau Rinfret, Administrator of Canada as aforesaid, assisted by Her Majesty's Privy Council for Canada do now hereby with one voice and consent of tongue and heart, publish and proclaim that the High and Mighty Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary is now by the death of Our late Sovereign of happy and glorious memory become our only lawful and rightful Liege Lady Elizabeth the Second by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas QUEEN, Defender of the Faith, Supreme Liege Lady in and over Canada, to whom we acknowledge all faith and constant obedience with all hearty and humble affection, beseeching God by whom all Kings and Queens do reign to bless the Royal Princess Elizabeth the Second with long and happy years to reign over us.
GIVEN under my Hand and Seal at Arms at Ottawa, this Sixth day of February, in the year of Our Lord one thousand nine hundred and fifty-two, and in the first year of Her Majesty's reign.
F. GORDON BRADLEY,
Secretary of State of Canada
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN
ELIZABETH THE SECOND, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas QUEEN, Defender of the Faith.
TO ALL TO WHOM these Presents shall come,
Acting Attorney General,
WHEREAS by Chapter forty-six of the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1927, intituled "An Act respecting the Demise of the Crown," it is, amongst other things, in effect enacted, that upon the demise of the Crown it shall not be necessary to renew any commission by virtue whereof any officer of Canada, or any functionary in Canada or any judge of any courts in Canada, held his office or profession during the previous reigns; but that a proclamation shall be issued by the Governor General authorizing all persons in office as officers of Canada who held commissions under the late Sovereign, and all functionaries who exercised any profession by virtue of any such commissions and all judges of all courts of Canada to continue in the due exercise of their respective duties, functions and professions; and that such proclamation shall suffice and that the incumbents shall, as soon thereafter as possible, take the usual and customary oath of allegiance before the proper officer or officers thereunto appointed, -
NOW THEREFORE by and with the advice of Our Privy Council of Canada We do by this proclamation authorize all persons in office as officers of Canada who held commissions under Our late Royal Father of glorious memory and all functionaries who exercised any profession in Canada by virtue of any such commission and all judges of all courts in Canada to continue in the due exercise of their respective duties, functions and professions, for which this Our proclamation shall suffice.
AND WE DO ORDAIN that all incumbents of such offices and functions all such judges and all persons holding such commissions shall, as soon hereafter as possible, take the usual and customary oath of allegiance to Us before the proper officer or officers thereunto appointed.
AND WE DO hereby require and command all Our loving subjects to be aiding, helping and assisting all such officers, functionaries, judges and persons holding commissions in the performance of their respective offices, functions and professions.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, We have caused these Our Letters to be made Patent, and the Great Seal of Canada to be hereunto affixed. WITNESS: Our Right Trusty and Well-beloved Counsellor the Right Honourable THIBAUDEAU RINFRET, Chief Justice of Canada and Administrator of Our Government of Canada.
AT OUR GOVERNMENT HOUSE, in Our City of Ottawa, this sixth day of February in the year of Our Lord One thousand nine hundred and fifty-two and in the First year of Our Reign.
F. GORDON BRADLEY,
Secretary of State of Canada.
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN
Source: Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Just seen was a contingent of Canadian troops with recent service in Korea. Their patrol dress blue uniforms were provided by Tip Top Tailors.
Here was the Canadian army participants in the procession:
25th Canadian Infantry Brigade-Royal Canadian Regiment
-Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
-Royal 22e Regiment27th Canadian Infantry Brigade (from Germany)
-1st Canadian Rifle Battalion-1st Canadian Highland Battalion
-1st Canadian Infantry BattalionCanadian Arms and Services
From the Royal Canadian Regiment: “The Canadian Army Detachment was based on two formations, the 25th Canadian Infantry Brigade (25 CIB) from Korea; and the 27th Canadian Infantry Brigade (27 CIB) from Germany. From 25 CIB, regimental contingents would come from The Royal Canadian Regiment, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, and the Royal 22ieme Regiment. The 27 CIB would be represented by contingents from each of the 1st Canadian Rifle Battalion, 1st Canadian Highland Battalion, and the 1st Canadian Infantry Battalion.” – all were paratroopers who served in Korea, and many fought in the Second World War.“The 2 RCR Detachment would consist of two officers, one warrant officer, three sergeants, and 15 junior ranks. The Coronation contingent from 2 RCR included:Maj RD (Dick) Medland, DSO; Lt CG Darling; Warrant Officer 1st Class (WO1) JJT McManus; Sgt RW (Bob) Craig; Sgt Hugh Payne; Sgt GED Wilkinson; Cpl Spier Cameron; Cpl Earle; Cpl Grant; Cpl MacDonald; Cpl Bill Simms; Lance Corporal Len Delaney; Pte Arsenault; Pte Coady; Pte Russ Connaught; Pte Gnatiuk; Pte Howlett; Pte Hurst; Pte Kavanaugh; Pte Llewellyn; and Pte Veysey (these names were, in part, provided by Sgt Len Delaney, who, of course, was part of the contingent).”
All told, there were 29,200 members of the armed force from Great Britain and the Commonwealth either marching or lining the route, plus 6,700 reservists and 8,000 police officers.
The Canadian contingent was about 900 members of the navy, army, air force, and RCMP. Reservists were assigned saluting duty along the procession route in front of Canada House at Trafalgar Square. The rest marched the route from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey – and back.
The Canadian parade commanders were:
RCN: Cmdr. R.P. Welland
Army: Lt.-Col. J.R. Stone
RCAF: Wing Cmdr. J.V. Watts
RCMP: Assistant Commissioner D.L. McGibbonGen. H.D.G. Crerar, one of Canada’s top army commanders during the Second World War, rode on horseback as an aide-de-camp.
If you're watching, you'll have just seen Gen. Crerar, from the "oldest dominion" according to the BBC.
Library and Archives Canada holds a tremendous set of colour photographs showing the Royal Family, Canadian military units and the RCMP marching through central London.Department of National Defence/Library and Archives Canadaby Andrew Thomsonon Jun 2, 2013 at 3:00 PM
Department of National Defence / Library and Archives Canadaby Andrew Thomsonon Jun 2, 2013 at 3:02 PM
Department of National Defence / Library and Archives Canadaby Andrew Thomsonon Jun 2, 2013 at 3:03 PM
Preparations for the ceremony are overseen by the Earl Marshal, an officer of state who receives keys to Westminster Abbey. In this case it was Bernard Marmaduke Fitzalan-Howard, the Duke of Norfolk.
The famous building was closed to the public for five months as work crews installed temporary public galleries to allow seating for 8,251 guests. There were 129 nations and territories represented.
Kettles and hotplates were stationed at Westminster Abbey in the royal family’s private rooms.
The Abbey Beadle, G.F. Calvert, is leading the Queen's procession into the main Abbey.
The regalia had already been delivered at 10:38 a.m., including the crown, orb, and Sword of State.
The official procession into the abbey totaled about 250.
This procession had gathered at 10:45 a.m. to await the Queen's arrival. Welcoming here were the Earl Marshal and the Great Officers of State, the government leader in the House of Lords, the Marquess of Salisbury (holding the Sword of State), the archbishops of Canterbury and York, and other bishops.
Canadian High Commissioner Norman Robertson carried the Red Ensign among other Commonwealth officials carrying flags. .
Field Marshal the Viscount Montgomery, the famed Second World War commander who faced Rommel at El Alamein, carried the Royal Standard.
From Westminster Abbey: “On the night before the coronation the Regalia is brought from the Tower of London to the Abbey and kept overnight in the Jerusalem Chamber. The next morning the Abbey’s clergy process with the Regalia through the cloisters and into the church. Most of the Regalia is placed on the High Altar, but the Imperial State Crown is taken to the altar in St Edward’s Chapel.”
St. Laurent enters with Churchill and the other Commonwealth prime ministers, taking their seats in the choir stalls.
Churchill and the Conservatives lost to Labour in the 1945 British general election. He returned as prime minister in 1951.
The 78-year-old attended the coronation but suffered a stroke later in the month. He stepped down in 1955.
Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, was adorned in his naval uniform. Inside the abbey he added a coronet and Duke’s robe.
The choir sang a Psalm as the Queen entered through the Abbey's western door:
Psalm 122, 1–3, 6, 7.
I was glad when they said unto me:
We will go into the house of the Lord.
Our feet shall stand in thy gates:
Jerusalem is built as a city:
that is at unity in itself.
O pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
they shall prosper that love thee.
Peace be within thy walls:
and plenteousness within thy palaces.
You're now seeing the regalia being carried into the Abbey, including the Sword of State and the Crown. The Earl Alexander of Tunis, Canada’s governor general from 1946 to 1952, carries the Orb.
From Westminster Abbey, the full list of orchestral music played before the service:
* indicates first performance
Chaconne from ‘King Arthur’: Henry Purcell (arranged Herbage)
Trumpet tune : Purcell
March Crown Imperial: William Walton
Fantasia on the Alleluia hymn: Gordon Jacob
Jupiter: Gustav Holst
Epic March: John Ireland
Regalia procession: Oh most merciful: Charles Wood
Regalia procession: Litany for 5 voices: Thomas Tallis
March: Pomp and Circumstance no.2: Edward Elgar
Idyll ‘Banks of Green Willow’: George Butterworth
Processional *: Arthur Bliss
Greensleeves: arr.Ralph Vaughan Williams
Nimrod : Elgar
March: Orb and Sceptre *: Walton
Fireworks music:overture & minuet: George Frederic Handel
And here’s the music list played during the service:
* indicates first performance
Anthem ‘I was glad’ : C.H.H.Parry
Fanfares II,III, IV, V
Introit: Behold, O God our Defender*: Herbert Howells
Gradual: Let my prayer come up * : William Harris
The Creed (from Gminor mass): Vaughan Williams
Come, Holy Ghost: VIII Mode Melody: arr.Ernest Bullock
Zadok the Priest: Handel
Confortare *: George Dyson
Rejoice in the Lord: John Redford
O clap your hands together: Orlando Gibbons
I will not leave you comfortless: William Byrd
O Lord our Governour *: Healey Willan (a Canadian)
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace: S.S.Wesley
Homage fanfare VII founded on Scots tune ‘Montrose’
Hymn: All people that on earth do dwell: arr.Vaughan Williams
Versicles & Responses, Sanctus: Vaughan Williams
O taste and see *: Vaughan Williams
Gloria in Excelsis: Charles Villiers Stanford
Three-fold Amen: Orlando Gibbons
Te Deum *: Walton
Fanfare VIII and God save the Queen: arr. Gordon Jacob
(fanfares I to VII composed by Sir Ernest Bullock)