queen

The Queen marks momentous family anniversary in midst of coronavirus lockdown

12 May is an important date in the monarch's calendar

Gemma Strong

After another busy week for the royal family, the Queen will have taken a moment to reflect and remember her beloved late father, King George VI, on Tuesday. The 12 May marked the 83rd anniversary of George's coronation – a historic event that the then-Princess attended, along with her younger sister, Princess Margaret.

Loading the player...

 

WATCH: All about the Queen's 1953 Coronation

The King's coronation was held in 1937 at Westminster Abbey. George ascended the throne following the abdication of his older brother, Edward VII. Prior to this, he had been known as Prince Albert, Duke of York – he assumed the regnal name George VI to emphasise continuity with his father, King George V, and restore confidence in the monarchy. By the time of his coronation, George was already married to Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, and the couple shared two daughters together, Princess Elizabeth, born in 1926, and Princess Margaret, born in 1930.

MORE: A look back at the Queen and Prince Philip's glorious royal wedding

princess-elizabeth-george-vi-coronation

Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret at their father's coronation in 1937

The ceremony was attended by the King and Queen's daughters, as well as the King's mother, the dowager Queen Mary, who all watched from the Royal Gallery. Eye witnesses recalled that the overall impression inside the Abbey was colour everywhere, with blue and gold hangings and carpets and crimson robes and uniforms. The historic event was not without incident, however. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Cosmo Gordon Lang, who performed the ceremony, thought the Dean had given him St Edward's Crown the wrong way round; a bishop stepped on the King's train, while another put his thumb over the words of the oath that the new monarch was about to read.

MORE: A look back at the day Princess Elizabeth became Queen

king-george-vi-coronation

King George VI with his family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace

MORE: How Princess Margaret made royal history at her wedding with Antony Armstrong-Jones

King George VI reigned until February 1952, when he sadly passed away from coronary thrombosis. Immediately upon his death, his eldest daughter Elizabeth acceded to the throne at the age of just 25, and her own coronation was held at Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953. It was the fourth and last British coronation of the 20th century. The Queen's reign now stands at 68 years; on the 9 September 2015, she became the longest reigning British monarch, surpassing her great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, whose reign had lasted 63 years. At 94, she is now the world's oldest living monarch and the longest serving monarch in history.

Activate HELLO! alerts and find out about everything before anyone else.