Our Queen

I wrote this to coincide with the Queen's Diamond Jubille earlier this year. It's a summary of the Queen's life and reign but it's possible I might have missed out on some facts. Any critiques would be appreciated!

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2. Coronation

St Edward’s crown, one of the oldest British Crown Jewels and the official crown used for coronations, is a difficult load to bear at 5lb but heavier than this was the expectations of the soon to be Queen Elizabeth’s nation along with the fifteen others in Commonwealth. But it was a burden that she’d have to accept after the death of her father, King George VI, when she was required to ascend to the throne at the age of 27 and rule just as her late father did.

 

The Coronation, which was a sombre affair, took place in Westminster Abbey on June 2nd, 1953. Conducted by Dr Geoffrey Fisher (the Archbishop of Canterbury at the time), the ceremony was watched by Prime Ministers and leading citizens of other Commonwealth countries, representatives of the peers, the Commons, the great public interests in Britain and foreign states.  Along with them, the public in the masses congregated to watch the procession in the torrential rain, listened to their radios and watched from the comfort of their own homes as this was the first ever televised coronation.

 

The sheer majesty (pun un-intended), grandeur, finery and brilliance was viewed by her subjects, who’d been fatigued by the horrors of war and its ramifications, the new   Queen radiated warmth and beauty in a sumptuously bejewelled gown. “Scenes of almost Byzantine magnificence,” were the words that Cecil Beaton, one among 8, 251 guests at Westminster Abbey, used to describe the ceremony.

 

The almost three-hour Coronation service drew 27 million viewers, who were all humbled by the elegance and wonder of the spectacle as Queen Elizabeth II became the thirty-ninth Sovereign to be crowned in Westminster Abbey. Cries of “God Save The Queen” resonated through the kingdoms over which she reigned and pride was taking in the British pageantry that has lasted the test of time six decades later.

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