On 2 June 1952, 25-year-old Elizabeth II was crowned queen of Great Britain. The ceremony was held in Westminster Abbey in front of more than 8,000 guests and representatives from 129 nations. 27 million people in the UK watched the ceremony on the BBC, in what was the first such service to be televised.
It was a formal, three-hour-long ceremony, full of traditional rituals. For example, the Queen was crowned in St Edward’s Chair, a throne made for king Edward I in 1300 and used at every Coronation since.
This June, after 70 years of reign, the Queen celebrated her Platinum Jubilee. Celebrations were even more extravagant than those of 1952. Events such as parades, concerts, parties, and religious services, were held all over the UK during a special four-day weekend. The final celebration was an over-the-top event held in the streets of London and in front of Buckingham palace. In included military parades, street theatre acts, urban dances, carnival floats, concerts, and even an open-top double-decker bus peopled by children’s TV characters such as the Teletubbies and Peppa Pig.
In addition, the Gold State Coach, which the Queen used for her coronation, rode through the streets, only this time the Queen was projected on the coach’s windows as a hologram.
The real Queen appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for the finale, and the crowd sang the national anthem, “God Save the Queen”. Later in a statement, the Queen said she was “humbled and deeply touched” by the celebrations.
Her reign has been extraordinarily long. Only one king in recorded history has ruled for longer: Luis XIV of France, the Sun King, who reigned for a little over 72 years. Queen Elizabeth II might still overtake him.
(Image: Wikimedia Commons)