Virginia Barton

2 June 2013: Long live the Queen!

2 June 2013


shutterstock_114542011 (1) (800x689)Today, June 2nd, is the 60th anniversary of HM Queen Elizabeth’s coronation.

My sister and I sat in mizzling rain from 3:30 a.m. in Park Lane. Being schoolgirls, the friendly crowd pushed us near the front to get a good view. The BBC commentary of all the proceedings was relayed over the tannoy, including the news that Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay had reached the summit of Everest. Great roars and cheers rippled round the park. This was long before the Mexican Wave was invented or for sure there would have been one.

We had finished all our sandwiches long before the procession came past. There were lots of bands and Commonwealth troops in glorious uniforms but no Queen – she went the other way!


Only half a procession came down Park Lane, but Queen Salote of Tonga rolled by in her carriage (right), smiling and waving despite the drizzle. She gave the impression of being a “comfortable” person and was hugely popular in London that summer. I think Churchill came by and some minor royals, but I don’t honestly remember.

The rush for the buses when it was all over I do remember, because my kid sis was nearly crushed and I hit someone with my umbrella in her defence.

My BH (Better Half, if you’ve forgotten) spent the day with the wireless in bed, because he was so cold in digs with no heating.

Where were you that damp day in 1953?

God bless Her Majesty and long live the Queen!





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