Queen Elizabeth II marked the 63rd anniversary of her coronation on Thursday. The British monarch, who turned 90 in April, was honored with a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London. The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery also performed a Royal Salute in Hyde Park and Westminster Abbey rang the famous bells.
On June 2, 1953, the then-Princess Elizabeth was crowned queen. She ascended the throne upon the sudden death of her father King George VI on Feb. 6, 1952. Extensive planning was done for six months to make the coronation a success.
Elizabeth wore a white satin gown on the occasion designed by her trusted royal couturier Norman Hartnell, who worked closely with the royal to create the dress. The gown was made of the finest white duchess satin, richly embroidered with national and Commonwealth floral emblems in gold and silver thread. It also was encrusted with seed pearls, sequins and crystals.
Hartnell reportedly added a secret detail to the gown without the knowledge of Elizabeth for luck. The hidden good luck charm was an extra four-leaf shamrock on the left side of the skirt. It was made on the gown in such a way that during the ceremony, the queen would rest her hand on it.
The coronation ceremony was held at the Westminster Abbey and Elizabeth’s husband Prince Philip was the first to pay homage to the queen after the Archbishop of Canterbury. He took an oath to be by the queen’s side forever and to be her “liege man of life and limb” and then kissed her crown and her left cheek.
Since there was a shortage of professional coachmen to help transport dignitaries to Westminster Abbey in horse-drawn carriages, rich businessmen dressed up as servants to offer their services to the queen and carried the dignitaries to the coronation ceremony.
It also marked the first time a coronation was broadcast on television. It was broadcast in 44 languages and about 20 million people watched the ceremony.