The Queen's Body Guard
of the Yeomen of the Guar

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The Queen's Coronation took place on 2 June 1953 following her accession on 6 February 1952.

The coronation of the new Sovereign follows the accession after an appropriate interval. TheSt. Edward's crown the coronation crown of English and British monarchs. ceremony has remained essentially the same over a thousand years. For the last 900 years, the ceremony has taken place at Westminster Abbey, London. The service is conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury (whose task this has almost always been since the Norman Conquest in 1066) in the presence of representatives of the Houses of Parliament, Church and State. Prime ministers and leading citizens from the Commonwealth and representatives of other countries also attend.  The coronation is an occasion for pageantry and celebration, but it is also a solemn religious ceremony. During the ceremony, the Sovereign takes the coronation oath - the form and wording have varied over the centuries.

Today, the Sovereign undertakes to rule according to law, to exercise justice with mercy - promises symbolised by the four swords in the coronation regalia (the Crown Jewels) - and to maintain the Church of England. The Sovereign is then 'anointed, blessed and consecrated' by the Archbishop, whilst the Sovereign is seated in King Edward's chair (made in 1300, and used by every Sovereign since 1626).  After receiving the orb and sceptres, the Archbishop places St Edward's Crown on the Sovereign's head. After homage is paid by the Archbishop of Canterbury and senior peers, Holy Communion is celebrated.
The Yeomen of the Guard escort The State Coach along PiccadillyUnless decided otherwise, a Queen consort is crowned with the King, in a similar but simpler ceremony.  If the new Sovereign is a Queen, her consort is not crowned or anointed at the coronation ceremony. After the Queen was crowned the Duke of Edinburgh was the first, after the archbishops and bishops, to pay homage. He knelt before her and swore, "I Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh. do become your liege man of life and limb, and of earthly worship, and faith and truth I will bear unto you, to live and die against all manner of folks. So help me God".  For the Coronation Ceremony, The Sovereign's Body Guard are on duty in three areas. First at Buckingham Palace creating a Guard of Honour within the Palace. Second, escorting the Sovereign on the march to Westminster Abbey, a Yeoman at  each wheel of the Gold Coach. Third, as part of the Sovereign's Procession within Westminster Abbey. A Yeoman of the Guard stands guard as Her Majesty leaves Westminster Abbey

Her Majesty's Address to the Nation:  "When I spoke to you last, at Christmas, I asked you all, whatever your religion, to pray for me on the day of my Coronation - to pray that God would give me wisdom and strength to carry out the promises, that I should then be making.  Throughout this memorable day I have been uplifted and sustained by the knowledge that your thoughts and prayers were with me.  I have been aware all the time that my peoples, spread far and wide throughout every continent and ocean in the world, were united to support me in the tasks to which I have now been dedicated with such solemnity.  Many thousands of you came to London from all parts of the Commonwealth and Empire to join in the ceremony, but I have been conscious too of the millions of others who have shared in it by means of wireless or television in their homes.  All of you, near and far, have been united in one purpose.  It is hard for me to find words in which to tell you of the strength which this knowledge has given me.  The ceremonies you have seen to-day are ancient, and some of their origins are veiled in the mists of the past.   But their spirit and their meaning shine through the ages - never, perhaps, more brightly than now.  I have in sincerity pledged myself to your service, as so many of you are pledged to mine.  Throughout all my life and with all my heart I shall strive to be worthy of your trust. 
In this resolve I have my husband to support me.  He shares all my ideals and all my affection for you.  Then, although my experience is so short and my tasks so new, I have in my parents and grandparents an example which I can follow with certainty and with confidence.  There is also this, I have behind me not only  the splendid traditions and the annals of more than a thousand years but the living strength and majesty of the Commonwealth and Empire: of societies old and new, of lands and races different in history and origins, but all, by God's will, united in spirit and in aim.  Therefore I am sure that this, my Coronation is not the symbol of a power and a splendour that are gone but a declaration of our hopes for the future, and for the years I may, by The Yeomen of the Guard line the Nave of Westminster Abbey whilst the Gentlemen at Arms walk at Her Majesty's sideGod's grace and mercy, be given to reign and serve you as your Queen.  I have been speaking of the vast regions and varied peoples to whom I owe my duty, but there has also sprung from our island home a theme of social and political thought which constitutes our message to the world and through the changing generations has found acceptance both within and far beyond my realms.  Parliamentary institutions, with their free speech and respect for the rights of minorities, and the inspiration of a broad tolerance in thought and its expression - all this we conceive to be a precious part of our way of life and outlook.  During recent centuries, this message has been sustained and invigorated by the immense contribution, in language, literature, and actions, of the nations of our Commonwealth overseas.  It gives expression, as I pray it always will, to living principles as sacred to the Crown and Monarchy as to its many parliaments and peoples.  I ask you now to cherish them, and practise them too: then we can go forward together in peace, seeking justice and freedom for all men.  As this day draws to a close, I know that my abiding memory of it will be not only the solemnity and beauty of the ceremony but the inspiration of your loyalty and affection. I thank you all from a full heart.  God bless you all."
Edited from the Royal Website Ceremonies and Pageantry and the Coronation of Elizabeth II - 2 June 1953 and The Coronation Souvenir book

Copyright 2019 The Yeomen of the Queen's Body Guard of the Yeomen of the Guard
Last modified: Tuesday, 01 October 2019 22:41