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Friday, 7 June, 2002, 10:17 GMT 11:17 UK
Your memories of Coronation Day
It was 50 years ago that the young Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth II.
Although it would be a year before the full ceremony of her Coronation, 1952 marked the beginning of a long and continuing reign over the United Kingdom.
Do you have any memories of that year? What can you remember of the build-up towards that momentous day?
What can you remember of the young Queen in her first years on the throne finding her way into the role?
Tell us your stories using the form below.
This Talking Point has now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
My husband and I watched the parade in the Mall today on TV and saw the very spot where we were in a taxi heading for Victoria Station a few days before the Coronation and the driver had asked if we would like to let our children, then 4 and 15 months, see the decorations. Well, we saw more than just the fabulously decorated Pall Mall, because we remained stuck there for three plus hours along with thousands of others.The taxi driver had turned the meter off soon after we had arrived there and sat the two boys on the roof of his vehicle so that they could see everything there was to see. He finally managed to get us away when an ambulance was let through and we were able to creep in behind it as the crowds parted. What a wonderful night we had to remember and the driver did get us to Victoria Station in time to catch the last train to Riddlesdown.
Today we felt so very proud of being called "Brits" here in Canada and have never seen our Queen look so happy, so well and so much a Monarch. I must also say that, where in the world would one see a crowd of a million people behave in such an orderly fashion and be controlled by only a small number of policemen after the parade as they moved forward toward Buckingham Palace - only in England!
I was 10 years old and was so thrilled to see this beautiful princess in her golden coach. The day after the coronation my class went on a field trip to Tintwhistle and all the girls sang a song about the Golden Coach and a heart of gold. My family splurged out and bought this huge TV with a tiny screen, and we had the neighbours in to watch the Coronation. I have lived in Canada for 37 years but still love the British traditions and especially our Queen. God Save the Queen
In the morning rushing to the stands outside of Westminster Abbey where we had tickets, to see the Princess go to be crowned. In the afternoon I remember standing in the pouring rain in Oxford Street, then being lifted up onto some strangers shoulder for a decent view. The cheering and the soldiers, the coaches and the horses, and the Queen in her Golden Coach. What a day! I still have the photo of me dressed in a 'Cowboy Outfit', posed along with the other kids from our block of flats in front of the bombsite next door.
Eleanor Sanders, Canada.
I was a member of a family struggling in a rough part of Birmingham to survive. Our area of Ward End bore the scars of war, the streets were filthy. But lo and behold, the Queen was to be driven down Washwood Heath Road and all of a sudden the main Road was cleaned up by the council. At least we got the Streets cleaned that day and thank you Ma'am for causing that.
Remember as 5-6 year old huge party and fireworks in RAF HQ in Germany...& mountains of Ice Cream!
Fay Hassid, UK
I was stationed in the British Crown colony of Bermuda in 1952 during this event. I was at a hotel which announced with pride that it had an early newsreel just flown in which they would show. During this showing one patriotic fellow in the audience stood at attention saluting the entire time of the ceremony until he collapsed. I think he had been drinking.
I remember Coronation day as the biggest tea party I have seen and the friendliness between neighbours who co-operated together without complaint. When I think of rationing and the way neighbours overcame the difficulty with no lack of resolve to have a good time, it convinces me that street parties should be encouraged as an annual event in one's locality.
Bonnie Kemp, US
Happy memories of my boyhood in Havana. My parents woke me up early morning because of the time difference, to join them watching the spectacular event. The publicity combined the enthusiasm and the admiration in Cuba for the new monarch, with the popularity of television as a new technology. The occasion offered a showpiece for Cuba's TV industry, then the most advanced in Latin America. Pomp, tradition, solemnity and joyful cheering crowds impressed me the most of the ceremony and the procession. May God give Queen Elizabeth many more and healthy years.
I was 19 and serving in the Royal Air Force. It became our duty for the Coronation to make a flarepath from Bexhill on Sea to Buckingham Palace to guide the flypast. We took up our posts on the airfield very early in the morning to prepare our target indicator (flare bomb). It rained all day and by the time the flypast eventually took place we were very well soaked. That same evening, we performed a firework display and set a bonfire for the children of the village and the camp. At 21:00 our armament officer said a very sincere thank you to us all and told us that we could go home for three-day holiday. I and my colleagues were very proud to have been a part of this great day and I still regard the Queen with a great deal of respect and affection.
Sandy Ma, Canada
My brother, who was with the US air forces there was a member of the Honour Guard and stood very near HER as she exited the Abbey after the Coronation. I would like to see a picture of that event to see if I can find him in the lineup.
Max Auguste, USA
My first baby daughter was born that year making it a very eventful year for me and watching the Queen being crowned was an awesome sight. She was so young and self-controlled. I watched in pride and loved all the pomp and ceremony which was so spectacular and made me very proud of my English heritance. Long live our gracious Queen.
My Mum and Dad took us to London to visit, we thought, Uncle Jim and Auntie Bet, but we went to see the Queen. I was six at the time but I remember it all - the rain, the crowds, Queen of Tonga, the only person whose carriage was open! The mounted police from Canada, the black horses and red coats, Princess Margaret - heady stuff for a six-year-old. I wish I was in England again instead of Tucson, Arizona.
Alan Bowman, England
Early in 1952 I purchased a TV (12" screen) from Curry's which cost £50. Made my own 'H' ariel and connected. It was terrific! Transmission between 20:00 and 22:00 was the norm. Then we learned that the Coronation I was to be broadcast in full. Well, my parents, who had not viewed a TV before were absolutely amazed. Dad got some bottled beer in and Mum made loads of sandwiches etc. We sat around the TV and watched the opening ceremony, with voice-over from that dear man, Richard Dimbleby. I recall, we were thrilled to bits. We sat in front of that TV for eight and a half hours. And here we are now, some 50 years on and going to watch the Golden Jubilee celebrations of our Queen, who still looks wonderful at 76 years, and intends to carry on working. Well done!
Suzy Duncan, London, UK
A friend and I went up to London in her boyfriend's lovely old Bentley. We then spent the night sleeping on the street, I cannot remember which one. Come morning we went to find the "properly appointed place," (Cyril Fletcher) and the square behind us had been set up with "ladies and gents". Long queues and more women than men. WVS ladies would go by and mutter something and after about the third time of muttering I realised that she was saying standing up or sitting. One acted accordingly and it was not easy to keep one's balance in the "gents". Eventually the Queen went by and it was all worth the adventure.
Frank Barnes, USA
I stood outside the Palace on the night after Coronation Day, a small nine-year-old, in a pair of my 16-year-old (boy) cousin's huge corduroy short trousers, and revelled in joining in with the shouts of "We want the Queen!" She came out three times on to the balcony. I was missing my five-year-old brother, who was in hospital with what we soon discovered was polio. He was one of thousands of victims of that last great epidemic in 1953, just before Jonas Salk produced his vaccine.
I watched the Coronation on television in Toronto (one of my earliest television memories) and for years wondered why one of the people approaching the Queen during the ceremony was allowed to kiss her.
On Coronation day my parents took me and my two sisters to a friend's house to watch the ceremony on a small black and white TV. We were there all day and I vividly remember seeing the Queen in her anointing clothes and being under a canopy during this part when she was not seen by anyone. I still remember them cheering "God save the Queen" after she was crowned. I was seven, nearly eight then, and it is amazing how fifty years have gone by.
The tourists were mostly American and my duty was to serve them chicken, champagne and strawberries and cream. We had one disaster when the TV sets went on the blink and I was frantically phoning for a technician to come and fix them. I found a window all to myself and just as I arrived Winston Churchill's carriage went by and he leaned out and waved. I went home well lubricated with John Lewis champagne and satiated with far more chicken and strawberries and cream than the paying guests had received.
Rosemary Pettersson, Sweden
I was three and watched the Queen's Coronation on the television with my parents. My father went out into the garage and made me a gold crown to wear, made out of cardboard.
I remember watching the Coronation on TV. I think it was the first time I had seen a television. I wanted to go up to Green Park and stand with the crowds to feel the excitement, but my grandmother thought I was too young! Even though I have now lived in the US longer than I did in the UK, I still feel homesick when I hear the Queen speak.
I remember it like it was yesterday.
She was so beautiful, like a fairy princess. The whole office where I was working just ground to a halt. I'll never forget it.
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