Announcement of events to mark the 60th anniversary of the Coronation
Westminster Abbey © Press Association
The 60th anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation in June 2013 will be marked with a service of celebration at Westminster Abbey.
The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, and other Members of the Royal Family will attend a Service to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Coronation Service on Tuesday 4 June at 11am.
Find out more and download the Order of Service on Westminster Abbey’s website.
In addition to the main service, Westminster Abbey is also hosting a series of special events to celebrate the anniversary. For more information, please visit Westminster Abbey’s website: www.westminster-abbey.org
Her Majesty’s Coronation took place at Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953, nearly eighteen months after she succeeded her father, King George VI.
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Westminster Abbey is the nation’s coronation church, 38 coronations have been held in the Abbey since the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066. Edward I (1272-1307) ordered the construction of the Coronation Chair. Since the fourteenth century almost every monarch has been crowned in this chair. The exceptions are Edward V and Edward VIII, who were not crowned, and Mary II who was crowned as joint monarch alongside her husband William III in a replica chair (now in the Abbey’s museum) made for the occasion.
Westminster Abbey was closed for five months before the 1953 Coronation for extensive work to transform the Church for the ceremony.
The Abbey’s role as a coronation church influenced Henry III’s rebuilding of the church in the mid-thirteenth century. The worshipping requirements of the Abbey’s monastic community had to be reconciled with the need for a large space or ‘theatre’ in which an assembly of people could witness the anointing and crowning of the monarch. The plan of the Abbey copies the French coronation church, Reims Cathedral, in placing the quire to the west of the crossing and transepts. This created a large space between the quire and the sanctuary suitable for the coronation ceremony.
The decision to televise the 1953 Coronation made it possible for the general public to witness the ceremony in its entirety for the first time. It is possible that few watching realised just how far back into history the roots of the magnificent ceremony stretched, and how many of its essentials had been retained.