The Queen’s heartbreak as she marks milestone anniversary without Prince Philip

The Queen was crowned on June 2 1953 and Prince Philip supported her throughout

The Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh arrive at Mayflower Primary School during an official visit to Tower Hamlets on June 15, 2017 in London, England
(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

The Queen faces heartbreak this week as she is set to mark a hugely significant anniversary in her reign for the first time since Prince Philip passed away. 

  • The Queen has returned to royal duties after losing her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, but she now faces marking a particularly momentous occasion without him.  
  • Her Majesty was crowned on June 2nd 1953, supported by her “strength and stay”, the Duke of Edinburgh and he will likely be in her thoughts on this important anniversary.  
  • In other royal news, Camilla Parker Bowles’s son Tom reveals exactly how the Queen takes her tea.  

The Queen was left devastated when her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, passed away at Windsor Castle in April. The loss of her “strength and stay” has been described as leaving a “huge void” in Her Majesty’s life and she continues to mourn him, despite having now returned to official duties. With her determined to carry out her royal responsibilities, it’s said that the Royal Family will “step up” to support the Queen at future engagements

The Queen now faces marking a number of anniversaries and occasions without the Duke of Edinburgh for the first time. And there is one particularly significant anniversary this week that will perhaps be especially difficult for the monarch. Queen Elizabeth II was crowned on June 2, 1953 and this year marks a momentous 68 years since this unforgettable day. 

It’s been suggested by royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams that marking this anniversary without her beloved husband will be hard, though she will likely have the support of her wider family.

The Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh re-visit Broadlands, to mark their Diamond Wedding Anniversary on November 20

(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)

"This anniversary will also be a sad one this year”, he told "The Queen will undoubtedly much miss her 'strength and stay', Prince Philip, who played a significant part in the ceremony."

"She is certain to be in close touch with members of her family on this memorable date”, he added.

The Queen will no doubt be marking the 68th anniversary of her coronation in her own special way, as she reflects on what has been a truly remarkable reign.

When was the Queen’s coronation and where was it held?

The Queen ascended to the throne on February 6, 1952, when her father King George VI sadly passed away, though she wasn’t officially crowned until June 2, 1953. Her magnificent coronation was held at Westminster Abbey, the same historic abbey where her grandson Prince William and Kate Middleton later tied the knot in April 2011. According to the official Westminster Abbey website, the Queen and Prince Philip left Buckingham Palace that morning at 10:15am, with the Duke of Edinburgh wearing the full dress uniform of an Admiral of the Fleet. 

The couple travelled in the Gold State Coach, arriving at the abbey at 11:00am. Her Majesty wore a stunning dressed designed by Norman Hartnell which was embroidered with the emblems of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth in gold and silver thread. 

Queen Elizabeth II after her coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey, London

(Image credit: Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

She also wore the George VI State Diadem that had been designed for George IV’s coronation and despite being about to be crowned Queen Regnant, she wore the coronation necklace and earrings that are understood to have been worn by Queens Consort since 1902. The Queen was crowned with St Edward’s Crown in the Coronation Chair at 12:34pm.

How was Prince Philip involved in the Queen’s coronation?  

Unlike a Queen Consort, who is the wife of a King, the husband of a Queen Regnant is not crowned at the coronation ceremony. However, the Royal Family’s official website reports that Prince Philip was the first peer to “do homage”, or pay his respects, to the Queen, after the Archbishops and Bishops had done so. Prince Philip was also appointed as the Chair of the Coronation Committee by the Queen in the lead up to her coronation. 

It was in this capacity that he supported what up until then might have been considered a very unusual idea—that Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation be televised. According to The Guardian, Prince Philip hoped that letting family pictures into homes would help “humanize and popularize” the Royal Family. 

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh on the day of their coronation, Buckingham Palace, 1953.

(Image credit: Photo by The Print Collector/Getty Images)

The idea was soon put into effect and Buckingham Palace announced that the event would be televised. Over 27 million people watched the Queen’s coronation on television in the UK alone, outnumbering the radio audience for the very first time. Following the ceremony, the Queen and Prince Philip later went back to the Palace, where they posed on the balcony, waving to the crowds below.

How many people attended the Queen’s coronation? 

A staggering 8,251 guests attended the Queen's coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey, including her son Prince Charles who was only four years old. His sister Princess Anne did not attend the ceremony, as she was reportedly considered too young. Prince Charles was the first child to witness his mother’s coronation as sovereign and excitingly received a special children’s invitation to the event. Overall, there were 129 nations and territories officially represented on this day to celebrate the Queen's coronation. 

With so many memories of the day and Prince Philip to look back on as she reflects on the 68th anniversary of her coronation, this is sure to be a very significant and poignant time for the Queen. 

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!