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Poignant day for King Charles and the royal family ahead of coronation

King Charles will be crowned on 6 May

king charles
Gemma Strong
Online Digital News Director
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Preparations are well underway ahead of King Charles's coronation on 6 May.

But this week, the royal family’s thoughts will turn to the country's last monarch, Her Majesty the Queen.

WATCH: What will happen at the King's coronation?

Monday marked an emotional anniversary for the King – made all the more poignant this year. It was on 6 February in 1952 that his mother acceded the throne following the death of her father, King George VI.

At the time, 25-year-old Elizabeth was on an official visit to Kenya with her husband, Prince Philip. In an instant, she ceased to be Princess Elizabeth and became Queen Elizabeth II.

princess elizabeth kenya© Photo: Getty Images

Princess Elizabeth pictured on her visit to Kenya in 1952

The tour was abandoned, and the new Queen flew back to Britain, where she was met by Prime Minister Winston Churchill before returning to Clarence House, where the Royal Standard flag was flown for the first time in her reign.

DISCOVER: The six ancient traditions of King Charles' coronation revealed

The Queen's coronation took place on 2 June 1953 at Westminster Abbey – the same landmark that will see her son crowned King.

queen coronation© Photo: Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II was crowned on 2 June 1953

More than 27 million people across Britain watched the coronation live on the BBC, and many purchased or rented television sets for the event. The coronation was the first to be televised in full; the BBC's cameras had not been allowed inside Westminster Abbey for her parents' coronation in 1937, and had covered only the procession outside.

Elizabeth's coronation was also the first major world event to be broadcast internationally on television.

queen coronation 1z© Photo: Getty Images

The new Queen with Prince Charles, Princess Anne and Philip after the coronation

A Coronation procession took place through London after the service, designed so that The Queen and her procession could be seen by as many people as possible. The 7.2 km route took the 16,000 participants two hours to complete.

The officers and men taking part in the procession or lining the route totalled 29,200: 3,600 from the Royal Navy, 16,100 from the Army and 7,000 from the RAF, 2,000 from the Commonwealth and 500 from the then Empire.

LISTEN: Arthur Edwards reveals why Charles will never cut off Prince Harry

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