The royal family on the balcony at Buckingham Palace September 12, 1937 after the coronation of King George VI. King George VI (R) stands with Princess Elizabeth (C) and Princess Margaret. Buckingham Palace announced that Princess Margaret died peacefully in her sleep at 1:30AM EST at the King Edward VII Hospital February 9, 2002 in London. (Photo by Getty Images)

The royal family on the balcony at Buckingham Palace September 12, 1937 after the coronation of King George VI. King George VI (R) stands with Princess Elizabeth (C) and Princess Margaret. Buckingham Palace announced that Princess Margaret died peacefully in her sleep at 1:30AM EST at the King Edward VII Hospital February 9, 2002 in London. (Photo by Getty Images)Image: Getty Images

Their Majesties King George VI and Queen Elizabeth were crowned on 12 May, 1937 following the abdication of his brother King Edward VIII

One of the most controversial coronations to take place, King George VI had spent his entire life believing his brother would become king and he could live a quiet life with his wife and two daughters. However, when his brother met Wallis Simpson, the course of history changed forever as he abdicated the throne in 1936 so he could marry the woman he loved. 

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Following the death of Edward VII, his son Edward's coronation had been planned for 12 May 1937 and it was decided to continue with his brother and sister-in-law's coronation on the same date.

The ceremony took place in Westminister Abbey, where the couple had married in 1923. During their wedding, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon as she was then known, became the first royal bride to lay her wedding bouquet on the grave of the Unknown Warrior, in memory of her brother who had died during the Great War. 

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According to the Westminister Abbey records: "Staff on duty started work at 4.00am and guests began arriving at 6.00am, many peers carrying sandwiches in their coronets. At 9.30am the procession of the Regalia started. Since the time of Charles II the crowns and other regalia to be used in the ceremony had been brought to the Jerusalem Chamber at the Abbey the evening before and placed in charge of the Dean of Westminster. The Regalia procession made its way from the Chamber through the cloisters into the Abbey. All the items were then placed ready in position for the service.

"Eyewitnesses recalled that the overall impression inside the Abbey was colour everywhere, with blue and gold hangings and carpets and crimson robes and uniforms. Queen Mary, with Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, attended, watching from the Royal Gallery." 

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