June 2, 1953 – Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II

On this day in history, 27-year-old Queen Elizabeth II was formally crowned monarch of the United Kingdom in Westminster Abbey. Her father, King George VI, had died sixteen months earlier but the coronation was delayed for more than a year because of the tradition that such a festival was inappropriate during the period of mourning that followed the death of the preceding sovereign. Between the time of her proclamation as the new monarch and her coronation, she did begin to carry out routine duties of the sovereign.

In 1947, Elizabeth had married her distant cousin, Philip Mountbatten, a former prince of Greece and Denmark who renounced his titles in order to marry Elizabeth. He was made duke of Edinburgh on the eve of the wedding.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Coronation portrait, June 1953, London, England

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Coronation portrait, June 1953, London, England

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