Elizabeth II greets NASA GSFC employees, May 8, 2007

Photo credit NASA

I raise a toast to the Duke of Lancaster, Queen Elizabeth II who today has become  Britain’s longest reigning monarch. Her coronation took place on 2nd June 1953.

The coronation was delayed for more than a year because of the tradition that such a festival was inappropriate during the period of mourning that followed the death of the preceding sovereign. In the ceremony itself, Elizabeth swore an oath to uphold the laws of her nations and to govern the Church of England. Celebrations took place and a commemorative medal was issued throughout the Commonwealth realms.

The Coronation ceremony of Elizabeth II followed a similar pattern to the coronations of the kings and queens before her, being held in Westminster Abbey, and involving the peerage and clergy. However, for the new Queen, several parts of the ceremony were markedly different. The coronation of the Queen was the first ever to be televised (although the BBC Television Service had covered part of the procession from Westminster Abbey after her father’s coronation in 1937[10]), and was also the world’s first major international event to be broadcast on television. There had been considerable debate within the British Cabinet on the subject, with Prime Minister Winston Churchill against the idea; but, Elizabeth refused her British prime minister’s advice on this matter and insisted the event take place before television cameras,[11] as well as those filming with experimental 3D technology.[n 1][12] The event was also filmed in colour, separately from the BBC’s black and white television broadcast.[13] Millions across Britain watched the coronation live, while, to make sure Canadians could see it on the same day, RAF Canberras flew film of the ceremony across the Atlantic Ocean to be broadcast by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation,[14] the first non-stop flights between the United Kingdom and the Canadian mainland. In Goose BayLabrador, the film was transferred to a Royal Canadian Air Force CF-100 jet fighter for the further trip to Montreal. In all, three such voyages were made as the coronation proceeded.[15]

Queen Elizabeth II Coronation

Photo credit AFP

11 Comments CherryPie on Sep 9th 2015

11 Responses to “Britain’s Longest Reigning Monarch”

  1. James Higham says:

    What are you toasting with?

  2. Bernard says:

    I’m sorry I can’t join you.
    I feel betrayed that we are now governed by an overseas power in Brussels.
    Since Queen Anne. no British Monarch has withheld Royal Assent from an Act of Parliament. Nevertheless it remains there as the exclusive authority of the Monarch, to be used when necessary on behalf of the People. As such, several of our Sovereigns since Anne, especially the present Queen, have broken their Coronation Oath by refusing to withhold Royal Assent from unconstitutional statute.
    I’m sorry to disagree with you CherryPie .. but I feel let down. :-(
    As always, I love your blog and with your permission will continue as a loyal reader and commenter. ;-)

    • CherryPie says:

      That is the problem with a ’supposed’ democratic society. The good guys reject autocracy in favour of the democratic process. Queen Elizabeth II has chosen not be an autocrat, but she is displeased with the result.

      But today is not the day for going into that ;-)

  3. I’ll drink to the toast, irrespective of the politics. I agree with you, CherryPie – today’s not the day for that. Well done for the feature!

  4. Amfortas says:

    My father bought a TV for the Coronation. It was the second TV in our street. I recall prior to it that I would gather with other kiddies in the front room of Mrs Ross’ house, up the road to watch her set. There was quite a crowd in my front room when the coronation was broadcast.

    I used to work for Mrs Queen. I join Bernard in a sense of disappointment that she has not whacked a few heads, boxed some ears, given a sound telling off to those politicians who have given away the Englishman’s birthrights. But, that said, I still like the old dear.

    • CherryPie says:

      I remember my Dad telling similar tales of everyone crowded around the black and white telly in their house :-)

      The Queen does not have the power to be able to put politicians in their place. There is a photo (which I can’t find at the moment) which shows her displeasure at being forced to sign away the Englishman’s birthrights.

      I will have another search when I have more time ;-)

  5. CherryPie says:

    To clarify the political points addressed in the comments thread. In the UK we are ruled by a constitutional monarchy. This means that the reigning monarch is Head of State (a figurehead with no power), whilst the power to pass legislation remains with elected government.

    I quote:

    Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a king or queen acts as Head of State.

    The ability to make and pass legislation resides with an elected Parliament, not with the Monarch.

    As a system of government, constitutional monarchy separates the Head of State’s ceremonial and official duties from party politics.

    A constitutional monarchy also provides stability, continuity and a national focus, as the Head of State remains the same even as governments change.

    The Sovereign/Monarch governs according to the constitution – that is, according to rules, rather than according to his or her own free will. The United Kingdom does not have a written constitution which sets out the rights and duties of the Sovereign, they are established by conventions. These are non-statutory rules which can be just as binding as formal constitutional rules.

    As a constitutional monarch, the Sovereign must remain politically neutral.


  6. He he… Don’t forget poor old Charles!
    How long more does he have to wait, eh?