When was the Queen’s coronation and why was it delayed? The sad reason it took so long for Elizabeth to be crowned

As the Queen's Platinum Jubilee approaches, here's everything you need to know about the coronation of the beloved British monarch

Queen
(Image credit: Getty)

With just hours to go until the Platinum Jubilee 2022 kicks off, royal fans are feeling nostalgic about past milestones in Queen Elizabeth II's incredible life - starting with her historic coronation in 1953.


The Queen, 96, has gone down in history as Britain's longest-serving monarch, having headed the Royal Family and the UK government now for more than 70 years. 

Her impressive reign will be celebrated by the Platinum Jubilee 2022 from Thursday, 2 June, to Sunday, 5 June, with several festive events lined up for royal fans across the UK and the Commonwealth to enjoy.

With so much hysteria surrounding the current day Queen, it can be easy to forget where it all started for Elizabeth Alexandra Mary. Her coronation service, which officially anointed her as Queen, was perhaps the most significant day of her public life ‒ elevating her from a background princess to an almighty monarch in front of the world in mere minutes. Little do many people know, however, Her Majesty's coronation was deliberately delayed for more than a year after she succeeded the throne. 

So without further ado, here's everything you need to know about the Queen's coronation ‒ and why the Royal Family waited so long to give her that coveted crown. 

How old was the Queen when she became queen?

Princess Elizabeth and the Queen Mother

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Queen was only 25 years old when she took on the role of monarch, but this path wasn't something she was born into.

Queen Elizabeth, born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, was born at 17 Bruton St, London W1, on April 21, 1926. Becoming Queen wasn't always on the cards for Elizabeth.

Edward VIII abdicated in 1936, choosing his love of divorcée Wallis Simpson over his birthright. Their relationship made the woman&home list of the most iconic couples of all time ‒ while also changing the lives of those around them. Elizabeth's father subsequently became King, and with no male heir to take the reins ‒ Elizabeth was suddenly the future Queen.

When was Queen Elizabeth's coronation?

On February 6, 1952, Elizabeth's beloved father, King George VI, died while she was on tour in Kenya with Prince Philip. At once, her whole life changed and she became Queen Elizabeth II, the 61st British monarch.

Her coronation, however, didn't take place immediately. She would have to wait for more than a year to be formally crowned ‒ a delay that was deliberately enforced because of a very strict royal tradition.

Where was Queen Elizabeth's coronation?

How long has the Queen reigned?—Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh on the day of their coronation, Buckingham Palace, 1953

(Image credit: Print Collector / Contributor via Getty Images)

The Queen's coronation was held on June 2, 1953, at Westminster Abbey in London, in a lavish ceremony that echoed many of the enthronements of her royal predecessors.

An extravagant procession kicked off the festival, with several carriages transporting heads of state and foreign royalty from Buckingham Palace to the historic cathedral as millions of royal fans watched from the sidelines.

Queen

(Image credit: Getty)

Queen Elizabeth II traveled to Westminster Abbey in the Gold State Coach, which has been used at the coronation of every British monarch since George IV. Shortly after the ceremony began at 11 am, she took an oath to lead a life of service before being anointed with holy oil and adorned with robes. 

Queen

(Image credit: Getty)

The solid gold St. Edward's Crown, which dates back to 1661, was then placed on her head, and the Coronation ring, also known as 'The Wedding Ring of England', was placed on the fourth finger of her right hand. The televised service, which was broadcast live in full on the BBC, was attended by 8,251 guests representing 129 nations and territories of the Commonwealth.

According to the BBC, it was a pivotal moment in the entertainment world, with its television audience of 20 million viewers vastly exceeding its radio listening figures of 12 million.

"The BBC knew the event would be popular ‒ based on the reaction to the limited broadcast of George VI's Coronation Procession ‒ but could not foresee that it would mark the coming of age of television, as well as the modernization of the monarchy."

The broadcast service, which can still be viewed online to this day, also gave us this rare childhood footage of Prince Charles at the Queen’s coronation.

Why was the Queen's coronation delayed?

The Queen technically inherited the throne when her father died in February 1952, but she wasn't coronated until June 1953. This long time span between Her Majesty's succession to the throne and her crowning has confused some royal fans, prompting questions over why the ceremony didn't occur sooner after King George VI's death. The delay was completely intentional, however, following a tradition that insisted on allowing a certain amount of time to pass after a monarch dies before holding any festivals.

Aoife Hanna
Junior News Editor

Aoife is Junior News Editor at woman&home.

She's an Irish journalist and writer with a background in creative writing, comedy, and TV production.

Formerly Aoife was a contributing writer at Bustle and her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica, EVOKE and her poetry features in the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.

Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, yoga studio, lifting heavy weights, or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.