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

Sport
The sun rises over St Andrews golf course, but will it be a new dawn for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club?
sportAnd it's Yes to women (at the R&A)
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
footballToure's lack of defensive work is big problem for City
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

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

Volunteer your expertise as Trustee for The Society of Experimental Biology

Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Promising volunteer Trustee op...

Email Designer

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Psychology Teacher

£110 - £130 per hour: Randstad Education Reading: Psychology Teacher needed fo...

Food Technology Teacher

£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week