The Queen’s Coronation 68 years on: Facts and figures

The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II took place on 2 June 1953 at Westminster Abbey, London. 

It was the first Coronation to be televised and was watched by 27 million people in the UK alone. 68 years on, we’re taking a look into some royal facts about the big day. 

Her Majesty

  • The Queen succeeded to the Throne on the 6 February 1952 on the death of her father, King George VI
  • The Queen was in Kenya at the time of her father’s death, making her the first Sovereign in over 200 years to accede while abroad
  • Queen Elizabeth II was the 39th Sovereign to be crowned at Westminster Abbey and was 27 years of age

The Coronation

  • The Queen’s Coronation service began at 11:15 am and lasted almost three hours
  • On her way to the Coronation, Her Majesty wore the 1820 George IV State Diadem (the crown which is depicted on stamps) which features 1,333 diamonds and 169 pearls
  • The formal procession was made up of 250 people, including Church leaders and members of the Royal Household
  • A total of 8,251 guests attended
  • Prince Charles was the first child to witness his mother’s Coronation as Sovereign
  • Princess Anne was considered too young and did not attend the ceremony
  • The Queen was crowned in St Edward’s Chair, made in 1300 for Edward I and used at every Coronation since then
  • The recipe for the Anointing Oil contains orange, roses, cinnamon, musk and ambergris. Usually, a batch is made to last a few Coronations, but in 1941 a bomb hit the Deanery which destroyed it, hence a new batch was made

The procession

  • The 7.2 km route took the 16,000 participants two hours to complete
  • More than 2,000 journalists and 500 photographers from 92 nations were on the Coronation route
  • 11 million listened in on the radio
  • On the way back to Buckingham Palace, The Queen wore her new Purple Robe of Estate, which took a total of 3,500 hours to complete by a team of 12 seamstresses
  • Coronation Chicken was invented for foreign guests- Florist Constance Spry proposed a recipe of cold chicken in a curry cream sauce and her recipe has since been known as Coronation Chicken

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