Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II

Appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the coronation (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
Appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the coronation (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

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On this date in 1953, the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was held.

Here are some things you may not have known about it.

Elizabeth became queen more than a year before the coronation upon the death of her father, George VI, on Feb. 2, 1952.

The delay was to allow a proper period of mourning. During the interim, the queen’s grandmother, Queen Mary, also died, but she specifically said that she didn’t want her death to delay the coronation.

In preparation, Elizabeth wore the Imperial State Crown while going about her daily business, including reading the newspaper. The crown weighs about 2 1/2 pounds.

The coronation was the first to be televised. It was also the first major international televised event.

An estimated 3 million people watched the procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey.

Outside of London, street parties were held across the United Kingdom. Parties were also thrown around the world, including one in New York that was attended by the Queen’s uncle and aunt, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

Coronation chicken, a cold chicken salad with a curry mayonnaise sauce, was created for the coronation banquet. It remains a well-known dish today.

Our question: News of what event reached London on the same day as the coronation?

Today is Republic Day in Italy and Decoration Day in Canada.

It’s unofficially National Rotisserie Chicken Day, National Rocky Road Ice Cream Day, and I Love My Dentist Day.

It’s the birthday of first lady Martha Washington, who was born in 1731; songwriter Marvin Hamlisch, who was born in 1944 and soccer player Abby Wambach, who is 36 today.

Because our topic happened before 1960, we’ll spin the wheel to pick a year at random.

This week in 1981, the top song in the U.S. was “Bette Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes.

The No. 1 movie was “The Four Seasons,” while the novel “Noble House” by James Clavell topped the New York Times Bestsellers list.


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