There were 16 months between The Queen’s accession to the throne and her coronation in 1953, and time was vital in order to plan a vibrant and revitalising celebration.
It was only eight years after the end of the Second World War; London was littered with bombsites and the whole of the country was still experiencing rationing.
The plans for the coronation had to support the rebuilding of a nation. From the blue carpet used throughout Westminster Abbey that was given to Anglican Churches to carpet their floors, to the timbers for the platforms that were cut to lengths so they could be reused by the building industry.
8,000 people, including Prime Ministers and Heads of State from around the Commonwealth, gathered in Westminster Abbey to witness the coronation ceremony.
It was a ceremony that had mostly remained unchanged for over 1,000 years; it was a rite of passage that was carefully orchestrated to emphasise the new Queen’s impressive lineage. Because of this, it wasn’t just the traditions of the coronations of her father, George VI, and grandfather, George V, that were followed. The stage in the Abbey was designed to be almost identical to that of Queen Elizabeth I’s.