Today is the 65th anniversary of the coronation of our current Queen Elizabeth.
It took place on the 2nd June 1953, a little over a year after she had become Queen, upon the death of her father. This delay was due to the tradition of waiting out a period of a year in mourning for the former monarch.
The coronation almost did not take place on this June day, as Queen Mary, the grandmother of Queen Elizabeth, died in the March of 1953. Tradition would have dictated that the coronation should not occur until a year after her death, but as her death drew near, she was ill for a while before dying, she asked that the coronation would not be postponed on her account, and put that into her will.
This was the first televised coronation in the UK (so far the only), and very few homes in those days had a tv to watch on. Radio was widely used to listen to the service and many street parties were held around the country, and worldwide, in the commonwealth countries.
My own father used to tell of how a couple of dozen people crowded into a small miners house to watch the only tv in the street. He also told of the big party afterwards!
(Small note to my children if they are reading – no, I do not remember watching it, I have seen footage but I am not THAT old !!!!)
The decision to televise it was not an altogether popular one, with the bigwigs at the palace and westminster, though proved to be a very popular choice with the general population of the UK.
The RAF took copies of the filmed coronation across the Atlantic to Canada, where it was shown on the same day as the BBC. The USA also had films flown in, to be shown the following day.
At her age we can maybe expect the next televised coronation within 10 – 15 years at the outside ( does the Queen get a card form herself when she reaches 100…?????), how many formats will that take one wonders……………………….