Watch Queen Elizabeth II’s 1953 Coronation
On May 12, 1937, Princess Elizabeth—then just 11 years old—looked on as her father, King George VI, was crowned at Westminster Abbey. Little did she know that just 16 years later, she would be in the exact same place and at the center of the very same ceremony.
June 2 marks the anniversary of the Queen’s official coronation—an event that made royal history in a number of ways, most notably because it was the first to be televised around the world (in the UK alone, more than 27 million people tuned in). Thanks to the power of the internet, watching Netflix’s The Crown isn’t the closest you can get to witnessing the event.
While the coronation marked Elizabeth’s formal investiture as Queen, the former princess had officially ascended to the throne more than a year earlier, upon the death of her father on February 6, 1952. The official ceremony itself was delayed not only because of the time it takes to arrange such a detailed event, but because holding the ceremony during a period of mourning for the family would have been deemed inappropriate. Though Elizabeth’s grandmother, Queen Mary, passed away less than three months before Elizabeth’s coronation, she stipulated in her will that the ceremony move forward as planned.
You can watch the coronation play out in several parts in the videos below: