How Queen Elizabeth II's coronation was derailed by toilet paper, yes really!

Unearthed archives have revealed that Queen Elizabeth II's coronation was slightly derailed when someone stole toilet paper

Queen Elizabeth II's coronation was derailed
(Image credit: Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

It has been revealed that Queen Elizabeth II's coronation was derailed when it was discovered that among the mishaps of the day, someone decided to steal much of the toilet paper from Westminster Abbey.

Queen Elizabeth II's coronation took place on June 2, 1953, at Westminster Abbey. The day was a huge celebration for the royals and was meticulously planned for months before. Unearthed archives have revealed how scrupulous the organisers were with the details of the event, and why a few missing rolls of toilet roll caused a huge ruckus in the royal households.

A book detailing the planning for the event titled, The Record of Procedure, had an entry that read, "It was found, early on Coronation day, that much of the lavatory paper had been removed."

The document added, "in future it will be necessary to take special steps to prevent this." This suggests that guests at King Charles' coronation next month will not have to be concerned about this happening as the organisers are now well aware of the trouble this may cause.

Queen's coronation

(Image credit: Keystone / Stringer / Getty Images)

But how did the toilet roll go missing? One expert suggested that actually, it was the work of an unknown thief! 

Jessamy Carlson, the head of community and transport in the collections expertise and engagement department at The National Archives, told The Telegraph "Apparently on the morning of Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation they discovered that lots of the toilet paper had gone missing overnight so they had to work quite fast to sort that logistic. I think someone just saw an opportunity to acquire some free loo roll and took it."

Jessamy added that while the toilet paper incident was indeed an unusual mishap, the record of the even highlights the detail that went into planning this incredible historic event. She said of the document that it, "not only shows the nuance of the planning but almost the lessons learned afterwards."


(Image credit: Getty)

The expert then reflected on what this could mean for King Charles and Queen Camilla's impending coronation celebration. "I imagine that the level of logistical planning for this nature of the event will be incredibly intricate," she said. "How that manifests in our collections in the aftermath [of the Coronation] is impossible to say at this point in time, but I imagine that a similarly detailed document will emerge."

Hopefully, there will be sufficient toilet paper in Westminster Abbey at the King's coronation! The Queen's coronation was three hours long, and it is unclear if the King's ceremony will be the same length. This means that guests at the service may have to cross their legs for a good few hours if there is no toilet paper!

Laura Harman

Laura is the Entertainment Editor for woman&home who primarily covers television, film, and celebrity news. Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.