Saturday, 28 May 2022

The Coronation

 I watched a film on Channel 4 this evening - a film about the preparations for and then the carrying out of Queen Elizabeth's Coronation in June 1953.

It made me    feel very old - I had been married for 18 months and I remember the event very well but it was interesting to see the preparations and the practising that went on.

Also I noticed that the thousands who ran down The Mall to get to the front at Buckingham Palace were almost without exception dressed in dark, drab clothes.   And then of course I realised that it was only about eight years after the end of the second World War.   And I don't remember thinking about the drab colours at the time so it must have been 'par for the course'.

My Grandmother bought a television (10 inch screen) specially for the occasion.   My fairly new first husband and I (still living with my parents) and my mother and father and my brother and his wife (he had a car so my parents and M and I were taken by car  I felt rather grand if I remember).

My Grandmother and my four spinster aunts who all still lived at home (like many women left spinsters by the shortage of young men after the First World War) invited us all to watch it on the new black and white television and - we really did feel rather posh - to a buffet lunch (some foods were still rationed).   I wish I could remember what we ate.  After watching tonight I know that the Queen had a bit of a break at one point and had smoked salmon sandwiches and sausage rolls!!

It is late now and dark and forecast to be much colder.   I just hope there is not a frost - my tubs by the front door are just coming along nicely.   See you tomorrow.

19 comments:

Chris said...

First TV experience for me too, on a neighbour's set. I think it was several years until we got one of our own although I remember, as a teenager, fighting with my brother for the right to change the channel!

Wendy said...

This is so interesting. Thank you for sharing memories. I always enjoy posts like this.

Joanne Noragon said...

I'm looking forward to coverage of this jubilee. Your queen has earned a heartfelt celebration. She has kept the promise she made at 21 years of age.

Ellen D. said...

When you think back on all the important events that have occurred in your lifetime, Pat, it certainly is amazing! It is wonderful to hear your memories of these special occasions! Thanks for sharing.

Red said...

I remember the coronation. We did not have television. We listened to the ceremony on radio. All kids got a copper type of medal. There was a fireworks display in town and it was the first time I'd seen fire works . I was 13 years old.

Terra said...

That ia a momentous event to watch unfolding. We got our first TV at about that year, about 10 inches like your grandparents and of course black and white. Your queen has been true to her calling all those years ago, bless her.

Mary said...


I was nine that year, my little brother just one. I recall our noisy, cheery street party and it was a lovely sunny day in Torquay. We didn't have a TV, or a car, so I guess I didn't actually see the newsreel until sometime later, perhaps at the cinema, just listened on the wireless! God Save Our Queen - she has done a wonderful job for so long.
Mary - coming home to England in a week, fingers crossed, just missing the Jubilee celebrations!

Derek Faulkner said...

Blimey Pat, I'll be 75 in a few weeks time and was just short of six at the time of that wedding and have been feeling quite old. But seeing that you was 18 months into a marriage at the time, you've made me feel quite young again.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Before my time - just. They had some sort of parade in the village and my heavily pregnant mother climbed up onto a trailer being towed behind a tractor, with many dire warnings from several elderly great-aunts. I'm sure many of them secretly hoped for a Coronation Day baby, but I didn't make my first appearance for another week. It always strikes me as remarkable that my best friend and I were born just eight years after WWII - remarkable because his parents were both German. It all seemed very ancient history to us.

JayCee said...

Although I was born a few years after the event, I have watched it so many times on TV documentaries that it almost feels like I was there.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Derek - pleased I have been able to help. Anything to oblige although I wou swop anything for a bit of mobility,

Some of your memories here are so interesting.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Derek - sorry - don't know what happened to the ld

Librarian said...

I was born in 1968 so missed the coronation by quite a bit :-)
Not sure whether it was broadcast in my country, but if it was, I guess many here watched it, too, crowding together in front of shop windows as very few people had their own TV set at home so soon after the war.

Ana Dunk said...

I was 12 years old. My cousin was stationed in England in the US Air Force. He sent us memorabilia of the coronation, including newspapers which had been printed in gold ink, and doodads and whatnots from sourvenir stands. I believe he and his English sweetheart watched the parade. In 1978 he and his English wife whom he had divorced when she would not come to America with him when he had to return, were reunited and married in 1979 at my house.

Susan said...

There has been some coverage on the upcoming Jubilee in the US. It was broadcast, Harry and Meghan with their two children will be in England for the event. The Queen is truly a remarkable woman.

Barbara Rogers said...

Wonderful memories of a very momentous event in many people's lives. THanks for sharing your own experience! I remember seeing photos, and probably news reels, but it was before our first TV. Of course in America, the pomp and ceremony was only part of it...seeing the coach driving through the crowds, with the Queen waving in the characteristic manner is part of my memory.

Derek Faulkner said...

While William was carrying out his royal duties yesterday, struggling under a bearskin hat in the sun at a review of the Irish Guards, Harry was having fun at a polo match in America. But Harry and Megan will pop over here for the Platinum celebrations, no doubt to boost their Netflix documentary, I thought they didn't want to be part of the royal scene anymore!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Oh Derek how right you are.
Ana- I vividly remember the g i Brides.

Superb memories.

Rachel Phillips said...

I was one at the time of the Coronation. We had a kind of pop-up or pop-open book of the Coronation which I loved to read when I was older. I expect it had been a bought as a souvenir for my brothers at the time. We didn't have a television set then or access to one.