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The Queen celebrates 60th anniversary of her Coronation at Westminster Abbey service

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The sun shone down on London as the British royal family arrived for the 60th anniversary of the Queen's Coronation. Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice, Princess Anne, Zara Phillips, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex were among the first to arrive at Westminster Abbey for a special service to celebrate the landmark event. They were closely followed by Prince Harry, Prince William and Kate Middleton, who headed up more than 20 members of the Queen's family there to support the monarch and honour her impressive reign thus far. Her Majesty entered Westminster Abbey, the place where she was crowned on 2 June, 1953, to the same music that greeted her on the day of her coronation.   

The Queen© Photo: Getty Images

Dressed in an elegant white coat and hat, she smiled as she arrived at the historic London landmark escorted by her 91-year-old husband Prince Philip, who thankfully had recovered after feeling unwell the previous evening.

Once inside, she was greeted by her eldest son Prince Charles and his wife Camilla.

On display on the high altar throughout the service sat the priceless, solid gold St Edward's Crown — the first time it has left the Tower of London since the coronation. Beside it was placed the Ampulia, the gold, eagle-shaped bottle from which the holy oil was poured for the Queen's anointing.

More than 2,000 guests attended the service, which was conducted by Dr Hall and featured music and hymns from the coronation six decades previously.

Though the number of attendees was just one quarter of the total 8,521 that attended the 1953 Coronation service, representatives from every major faith, including Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and Zoroastrianism, were present in a procession before the Queen's arrival. Crowds of well-wishers began to gather early on Tuesday morning to catch a glimpse of the royal family.

Prince Charles and Camilla© Photo: Getty Images

With her approval, the Queen's 1953 Coronation was the first to be broadcast in full on TV. Tapes were flown across the Atlantic so that Canadians could see it on the same day, and an estimated 27 million people in Britain tuned in, while 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.

Royal crown

The following prayer, commended by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, was read out at the service. Almighty God, at the hands of priests and prophetsyou anoint your chosen servants with the oil of gladnessand strengthen them with the gifts of your Holy Spirit: accept our joyful praise as with united voicewe give thanks for the long and glorious reignof 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 serviceshown in the life and death of him who is the anointed King of all, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Read more about the Queen's Coronation...