On June 2nd 1953, the coronation of the 27-year old Queen Elizabeth took place, 16 months after her accession to the throne. Having been crowned Head of State much the sooner than expected, the Queen continues to fulfil her role today with as much dignity as she encompassed on that coronation day 60 years ago, despite being 87 years old. It is thus rather fitting that the royal establishment, figure-headed by the Queen, is today at its peak of popularity with the British public.
As has so lately proven the ability of the monarchy, the Queen’s coronation in 1953 nationally welcomed after a period of dark depression for England; it seems that Queen Elizabeth still has the hearts of the nation. The televised coronation of saw street parties celebrating the joyous occasion, an occasion still to be celebrated today as the infectious buzz of excitement of such royal events still exists; while the 60th coronation was a much more minor affair, loyal royalists enjoyed street parties over the weekend, notably in Suffolk and Kent. The patriotic excitement that spread nationally in 2011 leading up to the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge was undeniable and felt on a global scale across the world, with up to a million people converged on the city of London. This was followed by the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, where thousands gathered on the Thames, in spite of the torrential downpour, in order to catch a glimpse of the royal boat pageant. The unshakeable support of the monarchy is vital during the current economic period of a recession.
Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, praised the Queen for her ‘utter self sacrifice’ and for embodying ‘the very nature of being British’ at the service of celebration in Westminster Abbey this Sunday. At 87 years old, and the Duke of Edinburgh approaching 92, it is only this year that the Queen has stopped travelling on long haul flights and has been forced to succumb to her age and minor health issues. There is no denying that the Queen is a true workaholic, devoted to fulfilling official engagements in all aid of maintaining the profile of the country, for the benefits of her subjects. The Queen is dedicated to her formal roles and maintains abreast with the governing of the country, reading the on goings in Parliament daily. As the most famous and identifiable, photographed and scrutinised human in history, the Queen’s self sacrifice to her nation is outstanding.
While 60 years ago, the oath sworn by the Queen to govern her peoples involved much vaster territories, the Queen has remained constant throughout the highly evolving twentieth century, which saw the disappearance of 5 emperors and 8 kings. The country has undergone revolutions, both socially and economically, and the Queen has adapted to the digital age. We are no longer a white, Christian nation, as evident by the attendance of leaders of multiple faiths to Sunday’s celebration, but a multi-cultural nation that inhabits many faiths and cultures. It is a testimony to the strength of the Queen herself, as the figurehead of the royal family, that the British monarchy has survived these changes.
The continuing modernisation of the royal family has proved successful in its invaluable leadership of this nation. This was perhaps most poignantly evident in the images of Sunday’s celebration whereby the Queen and Prince Philip were followed down the aisle of Westminster Abbey by Prince Charles, Prince William, and the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge.