Skip to content

"Elizabeth and Philip 1953" by Cecil Beaton Photo by Cecil Beaton in the public domain

The Queen came to the throne when her father, George VI, died in 1952. Her coronation took place on 2 June 1953.

Many of us have vivid memories of the Coronation as a time of joy and optimism. 4 women share their personal memories of the big day below:

Trisha's memories: 'My brilliant dad made our TV'

On the Queen’s Coronation Day I was only 6 and a half years old.

It was very difficult to get a television in those days, but my father was a brilliant electrical engineer, and he made our first television. And the living room was full of all neighbours and family and friends watching this tiny black and white television of the Queen’s coronation. There was plenty of food on the table, and in those days of course there was a big range, with the fire going on, and the kettle was always full of water and boiling to make lots and lots of tea.

And I also have this memory that when the crown actually went on the Queen’s head, everybody in the room stood up. All I can remember of the day is such happiness of everybody watching this tiny little screen.

Marjorie's memories: 'They thought I was old enough to toast the Queen'

I remember the Coronation very well. At the time I was 17, almost 18, and I worked for a couple in a shop. They had a television; very few people did have in those days. So I was invited round for the day. Of course the shop was closed - everything was closed – and I was invited around for the day to watch the Coronation on television, which I was thoroughly thrilled to do.

King George VI had been very well loved, so there was a mixture of sadness that he’d died as well as looking forward to the future, to what was said at the time to be a new Elizabethan era.

When they put the crown on her head, we all had glasses of champagne ready. He knew I wasn’t quite 18, but he thought I was old enough to toast the Queen. It wasn’t a full glass, but it took me all the time to drink what he gave me. [Laughs]

Eileen's memories: 'My poem, aged 5'

My name’s Eileen, and I was 5 when the Queen was crowned - and this is my poem!

The day they coronated the Queen - by Eileen Ward, age 5:

On this telly had a 12 inch screen
The day they coronated the Queen
All us girls sat on Granny’s settee
Granny, Auntie, Mummy and me

The men sat round on wooden chairs
Nobody joined in with the prayers
The men drank beer, the girls had tea
There was some orange squash for me

The soldiers marched, the drums beat
There were lots of people in the street
I saw it on the 12 inch screen
The day they coronated the Queen.


There was a party at the pub my dad went to across the road. All the kids had a tea party and games, and because there were so many of us we played 'the big ship sails through the alley-alley-oo' and stuff like that, you know, which you can do when you’ve got a big gang.

Edna's memories: 'It was like something out of a fairy tale'

I was only just turned 7 at the time. I remember more the preparations for it. Everywhere you went was decorations. And in school, it seemed like for weeks and weeks and weeks we were making these crowns. They had lots of cotton wool on, and silver and gold paper. And every child in the school made a crown.

Anyway, I was disappointed because there was a small street party in my street that day, and my mother insisted, no, we were going to my auntie’s. And my auntie was the posh one in the family. She had the telly, which was like a little tiny box in them days in the corner of the room, but everybody’d been invited to her house. The room seemed to be full of all these people watching this little tiny box.

And the Coronation seemed to go on and on forever. So when you’re only like just turned 7, it’s rather boring. And she rode in a golden coach in this lovely gown.

The exciting part for me was seeing the Queen with a crown on. It was magical. It was like something out of a fairy tale. That was lovely.

Further information

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 678 1174