The royal family gathered today, June 4, at Westminster Abbey to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the coronation of HM Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen, who is the second longest reigning monarch behind Queen Victoria, was present to see some of the sights, and sounds from the day she ceremonially took the throne. The Dean of Westminster started the service, which was broadcast live on BBC by honoring the Queen:
“Sixty years ago, in this holy place, Queen Elizabeth II was anointed with holy oil, clothed with sacred garments, and, after receiving symbols of authority, crowned with the Crown of St Edward, King and Confessor, just as Her Majesty’s royal predecessors from 1066.
Here today we gather to give thanks to almighty God for the faithful ministry and dutiful service the Queen continues to offer God and the people of this nation, the overseas territories and the realms, and as head of the Commonwealth.”
Her Majesty was joined by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh who, though under the weather yesterday, was present as Buckingham Palace insisted he would be. Also on hand for the service was HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, making one of her final public appearances before giving birth next month. Heir to the throne HRH The Prince of Wales and his wife, back from her first solo trip to France, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall were present and warmly greeted by the clergy at the Abbey. Among the more than 20 royals on hand were HRH The Duke of Cambridge, HRH Prince Harry, TRH Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, HRH The Duke of York, HRH The Princess Royal, TRH The Earl and Countess of Wessex, TRH The Duke and Duchess of Kent, TRH Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and TRH Prince and Princess Michael of Kent. Other non-titled members of the family where there to celebrate the occasion including the Queen’s grandchildren Peter and Zara Phillips with their respective spouses Autumn Phillips and Mike Tindall, and little Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor appearing at one of her first truly official events. The more than 2,000 people who filled the church included royalty, political and military figures as well as dignitaries from around the Commonwealth.
The service was a moving tribute to the remarkable event in 1953 when the young Princess was crowned. Having officially become Queen the second her father took his last breath, the ceremony was the first of its kind to be televised. During his address the Archbishop of Canterbury called the Queen’s life one of “demanding devotion and utter self-sacrifice…a path she did not choose but one she was called to.” Often forgotten in present day, the Queen was born the eldest daughter of the Duke of York and only became heiress presumptive in 1936 after the abdication of her uncle. Prime Minister David Cameron read the first reading, following in the footsteps of Winston Churchill who was Prime Minister and attended the Queen’s Coronation. Following the ceremony the Queen and the members of her family who had attended the service went to College Hall for lunch with the Dean and the Chapter of Westminster.
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