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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 June, 2003, 08:58 GMT 09:58 UK
Celebrations mark coronation
Prince Charles , the Queen and Prince William
An offical photo was taken to mark the event
The Queen has attended a special service at Westminster Abbey to mark the 50th anniversary of her coronation.

Members of the public, including 34 "Coronation babies" born on Coronation Day and celebrating their 50th birthdays, attended the service, along with 16 other members of the Royal Family.

It was part of a day of events to mark the anniversary, which also included a tea party for underprivileged children in the grounds of Buckingham Palace.

The palace garden was transformed into a fairground for the event, complete with clowns and a bouncy castle, and the Queen looked relaxed as she talked to her young guests.

She also presented 14 charities with the inaugural Queen's Golden Jubilee Award for their contributions to local communities.

And later on Monday evening the Queen dined with her son's partner Camilla Parker Bowles, and other guests, at a celebration dinner.

Majestic fanfare

Earlier in the day, the Queen arrived for the special service at Westminster Abbey to a majestic fanfare of trumpets.

Dressed in light gold, the sovereign wore the Wattle Brooch of yellow and white diamonds, a gift from the people of Australia during her Commonwealth tour of 1953 and 1954.

Prince Charles and Prince William were among the senior royals who attended the service, which started at 1130 BST and was led by the Dean of Westminster, Dr Wesley Carr.

The Queen's carriage

They arrived at the Abbey together, to the cheers of the crowds who had turned out to witness the event.

Prince Charles' companion Camilla Parker Bowles also attended, but did not arrive with the prince.

Prince Harry was unable to join his father and brother, as he was sitting A-level exams at Eton.

The Lord Chancellor represented Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is attending the G8 summit in Evian.

Senior politicians, Commonwealth leaders and representatives of all faith groups were present, as was Sir Edmund Hillary, whose conquest of Mount Everest was reported in Britain on the same day as the coronation.

In his service the Dean emphasised the importance of the event.

Crowds gathered

He said: "From Christmas Day 1066 until June 2, 1953, this Abbey has resounded to the acclamations of the people for their sovereigns.

"For here is held the ceremony of coronation, the anointing and crowning, as the monarch commits herself to lead and serve the nation."

Crowds of wellwishers had gathered close to the Abbey to watch the Queen's arrival.

Camilla Parker Bowles did not arrive at the Abbey with Prince Charles
Terry Flynn, of Cleveland and one of the coronation babies to be invited, said he was proud to have been born on such a significant day.

"I was the first child in my area to be born on the day. It is absolutely fantastic. This is a great way to celebrate my 50th."

Smiling broadly at the end of the ceremony, the Queen was treated to rapturous applause from waiting members of the religious community who stood in the small cobbled entrance of the West Door of the Abbey.

The Queen later opened the Golden Jubilee Mall Extension to the Jubilee Walkway in London's St James's Park, which now extends for 14 miles around London.

After a private lunch, she was presented with a replica of her coronation bouquet.

She then attended the children's tea party for more than 500 underprivileged children in the grounds of Buckingham Palace.

The celebration dinner was hosted by the Prince of Wales at St James's Palace and Clarence House in London.

The presence of Mrs Parker Bowles at the event - she also attended the Westminster Abbey service - is being seen as a thawing in the sometimes frosty relationship between the Queen and her eldest son's long-time love.

The BBC's Jennie Bond
"The service was a quiet commemoration of an important milestone"

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