Marking the 60th anniversary of her Coronation, the Queen will return to the throne at Westminster Abbey on Tuesday morning, the place where she was crowned on 2 June, 1953.
The sun will shine down on 20 royals including Prince William and Kate Middleton, Prince Harry, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, who will be out in force supporting the monarch and her impressive reign thus far.
Her Majesty, who will also be accompanied by her 91-year-old husband Prince Philip – despite his feeling unwell on Monday night – will attend the “Service of Celebration” at 11am.
PHOTOS TO ENLARGE
The 350-year-old crown which was used for the Queen”s coronation will also be present at Westminster Abbey, leaving the Tower of London for the first time since 1953 so it can play a part in today”s celebrations.
Beside the Queen will stand her heir, the Prince of Wales, and next to Charles will be 30-year-old father-to-be William – both royals perhaps contemplating their own destiny as future kings.
More than 2,000 guests are expected to attend the service, around a quarter of the total 8,521 that attended the 1953 Coronation service.
Crowds of well-wishers will gather catch a glimpse of the royal procession, the older members of the group no doubt reflecting on the scenes of six decades ago when the young, glamorous Princess Elizabeth became queen amid much majestic pomp and ceremony.
With the Queen”s approval, it was the first coronation that had been broadcast in full on TV. Tapes were flown across the Atlantic so that Canadians could see it on the same day. An estimated 27 million people in Britain watched the ceremony on TV and 11 million listened on the radio – the population of Britain at the time was just over 36 million.
Elizabeth, who celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of her ascent to the throne in 2012, marked the actual 60th anniversary of her Coronation privately at Windsor Castle on Sunday.
A prayer, commended by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, will be read at the service.
at the hands of priests and prophets
you anoint your chosen servants with the oil of gladness
and strengthen them with the gifts of your Holy Spirit:
accept our joyful praise as with united voice
we give thanks for the long and glorious reign
of our Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth.
Renewing your blessings, pour on her your choicest gifts,
and on all your people the spirit of humility and mutual service
shown in the life and death of him who is the anointed King of all,
our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Read more about the Queen”s Coronation…