Coronation 60th anniversary: Archbishop leads tributes to monarch as Queen marks occasion with real game of thrones

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

St Edward’s Crown, the official coronation crown of kings and queens for more than 350 years, leaves the Tower of London for first time in six decades amid secrecy and tight security

The Archbishop of Canterbury paid tribute to the Queen as she returned to Westminster Abbey for a service to mark the 60th anniversary of her coronation in 1953.

At Westminster Abbey, where the Queen was crowned on June 2 1953, Britain's leaders, royals and ordinary members of the public gathered to honour her.

Members of the Royal Family among the congregation of 2,000 included the Prince and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, the Duke of York, Earl and Countess of Wessex, and the Princess Royal. Prime Minister David Cameron, Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma and senior individuals from the military were also among the guests.

The Duke of Edinburgh missed a royal engagement with the Queen last night but was by her side today. The service - which was divided into the Recognition, Anointing, Homage and Thanksgiving, reflecting parts of the original Coronation ceremony - is the main event to mark the historic event but it is a lower-key affair compared to last year's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

The Archbishop of Canterbury paid tribute to the Queen's devotion to duty and told the congregation that they were celebrating "60 years of commitment".

"Today we celebrate 60 years since that moment, 60 years of commitment," said the Archbishop.

He went on to say: "A nation that crowns its head of state with such a model of liberty under authority expresses commitment to the same glorious values for itself."

The Archbishop singled out one element from the 1953 ceremony, telling the guests how the Queen was handed the sword of state.

He read some of the words from the coronation that described the role expected of the new monarch, who should use the sword to "do justice" and "help defend widows and orphans".

"The symbols and words point us to our deepest understanding of the nature of power, which is found neither in pomp and circumstance nor in public displays but in radical commitment, single-minded devotion and servant leadership," said the Archbishop.

Sitting with the Queen were senior royals the Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Duke of Cambridge and his heavily pregnant wife Kate, and Prince Harry.

Prime Minister David Cameron took part in the service of celebration by giving one of two Bible readings. The other was delivered by Kamalesh Sharma, secretary general of the Commonwealth.

The abbey service was divided into the Recognition, Anointing, Homage and Thanksgiving, reflecting parts of the original coronation ceremony.

Artefacts associated with the ceremony including the majestic St Edward's Crown, used to crown new monarchs, also played an important part.

Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy wrote a poem for the service that focused on the emblem of kings and queens - the crown.

Duffy's short piece, read by actress Claire Skinner, represented the coronation's Homage element and concentrated on the burden and gift that the crown represents for the Queen - "one head alone can know its weight".

Music was an integral part of the Queen's crowning and for today's service the Thanksgiving was represented by the hymn Praise To The Lord, The Almighty, The King Of Creation.

The priceless St Edward's Crown - with which the Queen was crowned - was on display on the High Altar - the first time the heavy, solid gold, jewel encrusted crown has left the Tower of London since the 1953 coronation. Its transfer from the Tower to the Abbey came under tight security with the arrangements kept secret.

The Ampulla, the gold, eagle shaped bottle from which the holy oil was poured for the anointing - the most sacred part of the coronation - also stood on the altar. It has also moved from the Tower.

A flask of aromatic oil - taken from the same batch made for the Queen's coronation - was processed through the Abbey, carried by representatives of the people of the UK , to the Sacrarium, received by the Archbishop of Canterbury and placed by the Dean of Westminster on the High Altar.

After the ceremony the Queen and members of her family, who had attended the service, made the short journey to College Hall, the 14th century medieval Abbot's dining Hall, for lunch with the Dean and the Chapter of Westminster.

Among the 100 guests were Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke of York, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence.

The Queen was crowned at the Abbey on June 2, 1953 as a 27-year-old mother 16 months after her father King George VI died.

Additional reporting, PA

Video: The Coronation remembered

News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?