Saturday, August 24, 2013

Object of the Day, Museum Edition: A Photograph from the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, 1953

The Coronation, 1953
The Crowning
The Royal Collection

From the Royal Collection, we have this 1953 image by an unknown photographer of the very moment when St. Edward’s Crown (the crown used during the coronation) was placed on the head of Queen Elizabeth II for the first time.

At this point in the coronation, the monarch has been anointed and dressed in the “Supertunica” and Imperial Mantle of cloth of gold. The new Sovereign is, then, invested with the outward symbols of monarchy: the Armills (golden bracelets), the Orb, the Coronation Ring and the two Sceptres.

This act is followed by the actual crowning of the Monarch, with Saint Edward’s Crown. With this, the congregation stands as the Archbishop lowers the crown onto the Sovereign’s head. At this moment, all the princes, princesses, and peers place their own coronets on their heads. The congregation then declares, “God save The Queen” as Royal Salutes are sounded in Hyde Park and at the Tower of London.

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