The arrival of a royal baby, a new prince third in line to the throne, comes in the same year we celebrate the 60th anniversary of his great grandmother’s coronation.
At Buckingham Palace this summer, as part of the opening of the state rooms, an exhibition allows you to step back in time and fully immerse yourself in the experience of the coronation from start to finish.
The palace was at the heart of the celebrations on Coronation Day and the tour begins at the quadrangle, where the carriage procession to Westminster Abbey departed, culminating in the Gold State Coach, carrying The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh.
Head back inside and up the grand staircase and begin the tour of the state rooms, learning how individual rooms in the palace were used. The first room you enter, for example, is the Green Drawing Room, where Cecil Beaton took his famous coronation portraits of The Queen, using a backdrop to recreate the inside of Westminster Abbey.
The exhibition, where the atmosphere of the historic day is recreated, takes you from the 18 months of planning through to the ceremony itself. A black and white film projected onto the vast wall shows the months of preparation, alongside replica 1950s TVs which show how the nation prepared and celebrated throughout the country. Other footage in the exhibition includes the coronation itself, plus members of the royal family joining The Queen on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to face hundreds of thousands of well-wishers following the ceremony. In the Throne Room see family portraits alongside behind the scenes footage of them being taken.
This is the largest exhibition ever mounted about the coronation and on display is an unprecedented array of the dress, jewels, uniform, and robes worn on the day. In the Palace Ballroom see those worn by the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen Mother, as well as a two year old Princess Anne and a four year old Prince Charles. In the centre of this magnificent room is the dress and robes worn by Her Majesty The Queen.
The Coronation State Banquets were held at Buckingham Palace in the Ballroom on the evenings of 3 and 4 June 1953 and tables in the State Dining Room have been dressed to evoke this, including the magnificent settings of porcelain, silver-gilt and flowers.
Continue through the rest of the state rooms admiring the incredible décor and learning how the rooms are still used today. Finally enter out on to the terrace where the tour ends; by which point feeling as if you experienced the actual coronation for yourself.