When was the Queen's coronation and how could it differ for King Charles?

Queen Elizabeth II after her coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey, London.    (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II during her coronation ceremony in 1953. (Getty Images)

With the coronation of King Charles just days away, more details have emerged about what the ceremony might look like.

Initially, it was said the coronation would be "shorter, smaller [and] less expensive" than Queen Elizabeth's 70 years ago — and while it is certainly not going to be as long as the 1953 service, reportedly overall Charles's coronation is costing around £250m.

Elizabeth's, by contrast, cost £1.57m (about £50m in today's money) and this significant uplift in cost is said to be due to security.

Buckingham Palace has announced that Camilla – who will be crowned alongside Charles as his Queen Consort – will be using the Queen Mary Crown, marking the first time in many years a new crown hasn't been commissioned for a consort for the occasion.

After the ceremony, she will also simply be called Queen Camilla by the palace, dropping the 'consort' part of her title, in line with tradition.

The palace said this decision was in the name of "sustainability and efficiency", but that some alterations would be made to the art-deco design by the Crown jeweller in line with tradition and Camilla's "individual style".

Charles's coronation will not be identical to Queen Elizabeth's – it will be shorter than the nearly three-hour ceremony in 1953 and integrate other faiths – but the palace has noted it will be "rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry", so there will likely be many similarities.

Yahoo UK looks back at Elizabeth's coronation, and questions what clues that can give us about Charles's upcoming ceremony.

When was Queen Elizabeth's coronation and why was it delayed?

Elizabeth's coronation took place on 2 June, 1953 – almost 16 months after she ascended to the throne.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, leaving their BOAC airliner as they return from Kenya following the death of King George VI and Elizabeth's accession to the throne, London, February 7th 1952. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Elizabeth was in Kenya when she found out her father King George VI had died, and she returned to the UK a queen. (Getty Images)

The delay is traditional and allows for a period of mourning for the former monarch.

Elizabeth's father, King George VI, had died relatively young at 56, and she was only 25 when she became queen, so this period being a little longer than usual was likely to account for the unexpected nature of his early death.

What did Queen Elizabeth wear at the coronation?

Elizabeth wore a dress, designed by Norman Hartnell, that was cut from white duchesse satin and featured embroidered emblems of the four nations that make up the UK.

At the Queen's request, Hartnell also added emblems of the Commonwealth dominions to the design.

June 1953:  Norman Hartnell design of Queen Elizabeth's dress for the Coronation ceremony. Original Publication: Picture Post - 6540 - Under The Red Robe - pub. 1953  (Photo by Haywood Magee/Picture Post/Getty Images)
Norman Hartnell's sketched design of Queen Elizabeth's dress for the coronation ceremony. (Getty Images)

This embroidery was created using thousands of seed pearls, crystals and sequins and was more colourful than Hartnell's original design, which was all silver, at the Queen's suggestion.

Hartnell created nine designs, and the Queen chose her favourite. She went on to wear this Hartnell piece on several further occasions – including the opening of parliament in New Zealand – so that it was seen around the Commonwealth.

What coronation oath did the Queen take?

The coronation oath is required by law – the only part of the ceremony to be so – and has changed over the centuries to reflect the "changes to territorial composition of the UK and the wider Commonwealth".

The oath has from its historical origins been a type of compact between the new monarch and the public.

In 1689, there was an act of legislation which meant that when taking their coronation oath, a monarch is also agreeing to be bound by the law made in parliament, which also aimed to make the oath less changeable.

However, coronation oaths have adapted to the times, as the size of territory reigned over by the monarch has changed.

In 1910, part of the oath was removed that was offensive to Roman Catholics, but for the most part and significant changes require legislative action.

In Queen Elizabeth's oath, administered by the Archbishop of Canterbury, she swore to "to govern the peoples of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Union of South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon [Sri Lanka]... according to their respective laws and customs".

The scene inside Westminster Abbey during the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, 2nd June 1953. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Elizabeth's coronation took place in Westminster Abbey, as Charles's will also. (Getty Images)

She also promised to "the utmost of my power maintain the laws of God and the true profession of the gospel" as well as maintaining "in the United Kingdom the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law".

Further, she swore to "maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline and government thereof, as by law established in England".

While Charles is now the supreme governor of the Church of England, England and Wales are no longer majority Christian.

As a nod to other faith groups, peers from different religious backgrounds will be involved in the ceremony and process in holding some of the official regalia.

However, the oath itself will remain the same — which one expert called a 'missed opportunity'.

Why was the Queen's coronation televised?

The Queen's coronation was the first to be televised, although the prime minister at the time, Winston Churchill, opposed this modernisation.

Prince Philip, who was chair of the Queen's coronation commission, pushed for the event to be televised and in the end an estimated 27 million people in the UK – 75% of the country's population at the time – watched the event, while 11 million listened on the radio.

(Original Caption) 6/8/1953-Vancouver, Canada: This unique TV hook-up in Marpole Community Centre, Vancouver enabled over 1200 people to see the coronation as televised from London, June 2. Here, they sit engrossed as they watch part of the magnificent ceremonies crowning their new Queen Elizabeth II.
Canadians watching Queen Elizabeth's coronation in Vancouver. (Getty Images)

One aspect of the ceremony was not broadcast onscreen: the anointing, or Act of Consecration.

The oil, made from rose, orange, cinnamon, ambergris and musk, was placed on the Queen's palms, breast and the crown of her head by the archbishop and was not shown to viewers because of its religious significance.

This will be the same in Charles's coronation — with the new monarch hidden by a screen during the moment of anointing.

Who paid homage at the Queen's coronation?

Paying homage is the formal declaration of loyalty and allegiance to the monarch, and has also been said to be a way to "mark milestones throughout a monarch’s reign".

At Elizabeth's coronation, Prince Philip was the first, after the archbishops and bishops, to pay homage to the newly-crowned queen.

Unlike a queen consort, who is crowned alongside the monarch, the husband of a queen is not historically crowned.

2nd June 1953:  Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh giving a kiss of homage to the Queen during her coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey.  (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)
Prince Philip gives a kiss of homage to Queen Elizabeth during her coronation. (Getty Images)

Instead, Philip knelt and swore to "become your liege man of life and limb, and of earthly worship; and faith and truth I will bear unto you, to live and die, against all manner of folks. So help me God."

Following this, the other dukes in attendance did the same.

This is something that has been reported will be different about Charles's coronation, with only Prince William kneeling and paying homage to his father, and all other royal dukes not being asked to do so, which means Harry will have little to no ceremonial role in the coronation.

For Charles's coronation the homage has been further adapted, with the public invited to join in and declare their allegiance to the King — something which attracted a mixed reaction from Brits.

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