As we join together as a nation and commonwealth to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen, we have the opportunity to reflect back to her coronation in 1953. Given her record breaking tenure on the throne, many have never seen a coronation in their lifetime, and for those who have, it may be one of their first memories, and probably the first live event they watched on television.
Whether the ceremony should be televised was a key question, with the then Prime Minister Winston Churchill reportedly horrified at the idea that “modern mechanical arrangements” (television cameras), should be used to broadcast from within Westminster Abbey. "It would be unfitting that the whole ceremony, not only in its secular but also in its religious and spiritual aspects, should be presented as if it were a theatrical performance," he told the House of Commons.
The Queen and her advisers decided that the camera’s must be allowed to relay every moment, with one exception, the Act of Consecration. This act is the most Spiritual moment of an English Coronation, that it was decreed it must remain out of site.
At that moment in the ceremony, the Queen was disrobed of her crimson clock, her jewellery was removed and she was seated in King Edwards chair, a simple throne.
From a flask the, the Archbishop of Canterbury poured some "blessed oil" of orange, roses, cinnamon, musk and ambergris, and anointed the Queen in the form of a cross, on the palms of her hand, on the breast and on the crown of her head.
As he did so, he whispered these words: "Be thy head anointed with holy oil: as kings, priests, and prophets were anointed. And as Solomon was anointed king by Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet, so be you anointed, blessed and consecrated Queen over the Peoples, whom the Lord thy God hath given thee to rule and govern."
In this moment the Queen was transformed. The commentator said “the hallowing - a moment so old, history can barely go deep enough to contain it.”
God Save the Queen.