Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Coronation memories

I watched the coverage of the Queen's Coronation on TV last night and this morning's live ceremony at Westminster Abbey which has inspired me to write a little about my own memories of this wonderful event.

Photo taken from my TV this morning
(By courtesy of BBC TV Events)

As a six year old I remember watching the Coronation on the television, black and white then, and bought especially for the occasion by my parents who probably really couldn't afford it but felt that this was too good an opportunity to miss and an occasion that they would never have seen before.

(courtesy of Google Images)

If my memory serves me right this is very similar to our TV

I'd never seen a television set before and remember the excitement of it being switched on for the very first time and waiting for the Queen's procession to begin.  Her golden coach was escorted by what seemed like thousands of soldiers on horses in fine uniforms and now know this was the Household Cavalry. Millions of people were waving Union Flags. Indoors we had some bunting hanging along the picture rails and I remember Mum bringing in a tray with a pot of tea and cake. We all gathered around the TV, my sister Barbara who was only three at the time, Mum, Dad and me. 

It seems that TVs bought at the time were very expensive and by today's standards would be in the region of £1000. What with post war rationing and everyday budgeting that most  families endured at that time, this would have been no mean feat and probably bought on hire purchase to be paid over two or three years.

This programme is something I've bought in later years
and shows the route the procession took

We didn't have a street party but I do recall going to a party in a local hall, where all of us children sat on very long trestle tables covered in paper tablecloths and what seemed to be filled with lots of sandwiches, cake, jelly and blancmange as well as lashings of ginger beer and lemonade. Lots of Union Flags and bunting.

All the children in our primary school were given a Coronation mug as well as this book on Royalty in Essex both of which thankfully have remained in my possession

Inside of which is this lovely poem by the then Poet Laureate
John Masefield

My parents, bless them had never been particularly patriotic but I have them to thank for my own patriotism and love of the Royalty over the past sixty years. I love all the pomp and circumstance that this country is rightly very proud of exhibiting and believe this began when gathered around the TV with my family experiencing the thrill of that June day in 1953.  

Do you have any Royal memories?


  1. It's lovely how events like these prompt so many memories. Jx

  2. Lovely memories Patricia. I dont have any memories of the coronation because it was before I came along but I did once see the Queen in Wakefield in what was her 25th Jubilee year, that would have been in the 70's I believe. Amazing how the time flies!

  3. Before my time too, but I remember my Dad saying that one family in their street bought a tv and dozens of neighbours all crammed into the little room to watch it. I've only recently seen footage in colour and it looked so different to the fuzzy black and white images they saw!

  4. Dear Patricia, a really lovely post and you have just confirmed that we are twins in age as well as name! There was no television in Australia then, but I do remember the magazines and Mum encouraging me to make Royal scrapbooks. At school we received a medallion on a red/white/blue satin ribbon, which I kept for years but seem to have now lost. I also remember being given a card with photos of the royal family. Of course, we went to see the Queen on many of her royal tours to Australia over the years. Great memories! x

  5. How lovely to read all this Patricia.I wasn't even born at that time and my interest for Britain only started when I was about 15 years old.We recently had the coronation of our King and that was a wonderful experience...
    Hugs from a wonderful sunny Amsterdam
    P.s. we are leaving for Kent tomorrow....I'm so looking forward to it....

  6. Dear Patricia.
    I do remember it. What i remember most , is us all lining up in the school yard the day or so after andbeing given the queen's memorial mug..with a stick of blackpool rock in it.. ):.
    It was a very happy time that I remember.
    This is a lovely post .. I didnt know that there was a programme on tv yesterday... I would have watched it.
    She is still a very good looking woman for her age.. has aged well.. and was so very pretty as a child.
    have a good week ..
    Patricia.. I am still working on my blog.. i just cant seem to get it right. I am writing this comment through bloglovin.. my blog is still there.. you can try find it. good luck.
    I will be away until next week. lots to do for the summer bookings.

  7. Lovely memories Patricia! I don't remember the Queen's coronation as I was only two years old (three in the August of 1953) I was trying to think of the first royal occasion I remember watching on television and I think it must have been Princess Margaret's wedding:)

  8. Like you my parents bought a television especially for the Queen's coronation and I vaguely remember we had other members of the family around to watch on the day. (The set similar to yours was sensitive to passing traffic and would often have bad reception). I used to have quite a few souvenirs such as a model of the golden carriage and the mug from school. Since my mother kept absolutely everything to do with royalty I'm surprised that they didn't survive down the years.

  9. What a lovely memory of the Queen's Coronation! And what a great thing your parents did for your family when they bought the TV so you could watch it happen.

  10. Patricia, nice recollection from your childhood!
    We also had a monarchy in Russia I have not seen it of course because I was born too late
    When I was in the UK the first time in 1989, I was very interested in the royal family
    I respect the Queen Elizabeth II, and I think that she a lot of
    made for the cohesion of the nation.

  11. Nice to see you back Patricia seems like ages since you were in the blogosphere. I remember the Coronation well although I was only four - like your parents mine too got a tv on h.p. We lived in a tiny house with a communal back yard then and all the neighbours piled into our front room to watch it with us. Ah those were the days.

  12. This took me back, Patricia. It was the first time I eve saw TV, not our own, but a neighbours' tiny set, just like the one in the picture. They invited all the children in our little group of cottages to watch the Coronation. If there was a village party I don't remember it, but I do remember my Coronation mug and also being taken to the cinema some time later by my parents to see a colour film of the procession and the Coronation service.

    My sisters and I always took a great interest in the Royal family as The Queen had been born on my mother's 10th birthday and Prince Charles on my father's 41st. As children we thought it was great to hear the National Anthem played on the radio on our parents' birthdays. :-)

  13. Lovely memories, but from your photo I would never have thought you were old enough!


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