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Crowds gathered as royals attended coronation service

The crowds who waited patiently for a glimpse of the Queen today at Westminster Abbey were rewarded with glorious sunshine.

A special service marked the 60th anniversary of her coronation there.

There was none of the torrential rain that began her Diamond Jubilee celebrations last year, or the cold conditions that greeted the new Monarch when she was officially crowned on this day six decades ago.

Among the guests at the service, a pilot from London who took part in the flypast in 1953. Sharon Thomas reports.


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'The crown translates a woman to a Queen'

Actress Claire Skinner paid homage to the Queen at today's Westminster Abbey Coronation service.

She read a poem called The Throne, written by Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy (b 1955):

The crown translates a woman to a Queen - endless gold, circling itself, an O like a well, fathomless, for the years to drown in - history's bride,anointed, blessed, for a crowning.

One head alone can know its weight, on throne, in pageantry, and feel it still, in private space, when it's lifted: not a hollow thing, but a measuring; no halo, treasure, but a valuing; decades and duty.

Time-gifted, the crown is old light, journeying from skulls of kings to living Queen. Its jewels glow, virtues; loyalty's ruby,blood-deep; sapphire's ice resilience; emerald evergreen; the shy pearl, humility. My whole life, whether it be long or short, devoted to your service. Not lightly worn.

– The Throne, Carol Ann Duffy CBE FRSL (b 1955)


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Sixty years since the Queen was anointed with Holy oil

Elements of the Queen's 1953 Coronation ceremony were reflected in today's celebration service at Westminster Abbey.

St Edward's Crown is displayed during the service Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire/Press Association Images

When kings or queens are crowned the ritual features the recognition, oath, anointing, investiture and homage.

The Spoon and the Ampulla used in the anointing of the Sovereign during the Coronation. Credit: Crown Copyright/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Dean of Westminster told the congregation:

"Sixty years ago, in this holy place, Queen Elizabeth II was anointed with holy oil, clothed with sacred garments, and, after receiving symbols of authority, crowned with the Crown of St Edward, King and Confessor, just as Her Majesty's royal predecessors from 1066.

"Here today we gather to give thanks to almighty God for the faithful ministry and dutiful service the Queen continues to offer God and the people of this nation, the overseas territories and the realms, and as head of the Commonwealth."

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'We celebrate 60 years of whole-hearted commitment'

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has addressed a service to mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen's Coronation at Westminster Abbey.

He told the congregation: "A nation watched. It was the first time the whole nation had watched anything as it happened. But this they saw.

"Pomp and ceremony on a rainy June day, all so very British, wrapped in time and custom

Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, addresses the congregation. Credit: Jack Hill/The Times/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Archbishop also said that at the 1953 ceremony, the Queen knelt at the abbey's altar and prayed.

"We do not know what was prayed. Her Majesty knelt at the beginning of a path of demanding devotion and utter self-sacrifice, a path she did not choose, yet to which she was called by God.

"Today we celebrate sixty years of whole-hearted commitment and faithfulness".

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