Today is one of the Days on which it is commanded by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II that the Union Flag be flown on all UK Government Buildings, Gun Salutes will be fired, at St. George’s Chapel and Westminster Abbey the bells will be rung and in the Abbey evensong will feature Byrd’s “O Lord Make thy servant Elizabeth our Queen”.
These celebrations are all in honour of Coronation Day, fifty six years ago today, Elizabeth II was crowned amid much pomp and circumstance in the Collegiate Church of St. Peter’s Westminster (Westminster Abbey). Her Majesty dedicated herself to the service of the Nation and The Commonwealth before God and promised to uphold the Christian faith and the established Church.
The Coronation in 1953 was an event of such gargantuan proportions that it is unlikely that we will ever see anything on such a scale again. The Planning of the Coronation was the remit of The Duke of Norfolk in his capacity of Earl Marshall. He began his work soon after Her Majesty’s accession and worked tirelessly for 16 months to ensure that every detail was perfect.
The formally worded commands to the solemnity of the Coronation of The Queen began arriving on doorsteps across the Empire early in 1953:
By Command of The Queen
the Earl Marshall is directed to invite
to be present in the Abbey Church of St. Peter, Westminster
on Tuesday, 2nd June 1953.
For the privileged few it heralded their attendance at the social event of the century and helped them reaffirm their positions in the upper echelons of society in a country recovering from the dark days of the Second World War.
The dress code was as formal as the invitation. Peers wore their robes and coronets over their splendid uniforms or court dress while peeresses wore their robes over magnificent evening gowns, their tiaras and coronets. The Knights of the Garter, Thistle and Knights Grand Cross of the Orders wore their mantels. White tie, court dress and decorations was the form for other gentlemen present.
The Queen was resplendent in a dress by Norman Hartnell and wore Queen Victoria’s Parliament Robe and a newly commission robe for leaving the Abbey. Her Majesty was crowned with the St. Edward’s Crown but left the Abbey in the lighter Imperial State Crown.
The Coronation was celebrated around the world and even today 56 years later it is marked in a manner befitting its dignity and historical significance.
Read more about the Coronation at this Royal Forums Thread.Filed under British Royals
Tagged Anniversary, Ceremonial, Coronation, Elizabeth II, Protocol.