On June 2 1953 Princess Elizabeth was crowned as Queen Elizabeth II. Here are some top facts about her coronation 68 years ago.
In 1937, the 11-year-old Princess Elizabeth had watched her father, King George VI, crowned in the elaborate ceremony and 16 years later on 2 June 1953, her own official coronation was to take place.
Coronations have been held at Westminster Abbey for 900 years and The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was to follow suit. But the Coronation of 1953 was ground-breaking in its own right – the first ever to be televised, it was watched by 27 million people in the UK alone and millions more in audience around the world.
Here are 10 little known facts about that remarkable day on 2 June 1953:
1. Westminster Abbey has been the setting for every Coronation since 1066. Before the Abbey was built, Coronations were carried out wherever was convenient, taking place in Bath, Oxford, and Canterbury.
2. Queen Elizabeth II was crowned on 2 June 1953 in Westminster Abbey. Her Majesty was the thirty-ninth Sovereign to be crowned at Westminster Abbey.
3. Queen Elizabeth II is the sixth Queen to have been crowned in Westminster Abbey in her own right. The first was Queen Mary I, who was crowned on 1 October 1553.
4. The Queen succeeded to the Throne on the 6 February 1952 on the death of her father, King George VI. She was in Kenya at the time and became the first Sovereign in over 200 years to accede while abroad.
5. The Queen's grandmother, Queen Mary, aged 81 was the first Queen to see a grandchild ascend to the throne. However, she died before the Coronation took place.
6. The Coronation service used for Queen Elizabeth II descends directly from that of King Edgar at Bath in 973. The original 14th-century order of service was written in Latin and was used until the Coronation of Elizabeth I.
7. The incumbent Earl Marshal is responsible for organizing the Coronation. Since 1386 the position has been undertaken by The Duke of Norfolk. The 16th Duke of Norfolk was responsible for The Queen's Coronation in 1953 and he was also responsible for the State funeral of Sir Winston Churchill (1965) and the investiture of The Prince of Wales (1969).
8. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh were driven from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey in the Gold State Coach – pulled by eight grey gelding horses: Cunningham, Tovey, Noah, Tedder, Eisenhower, Snow White, Tipperary, and McCreery.
9. The Coronation Bouquet was made up of white flowers – comprising of orchids and lilies-of-the-valley from England, stephanotis from Scotland, orchids from Wales, and carnations from Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man.
10. The Duke of Edinburgh wore full-dress Naval uniform for the journey to and from the Abbey. While in the Abbey, he wore a coronet and his Duke's robe over his uniform.
* This article was released by The Press Secretary to The Queen in 2003.