Letter reveals excitement over Queen’s coronation Brighton News

A LETTER from a child reveals the excitement people felt ahead of the Queen’s coronation nearly 70 years ago.

Letters from 1953, held by the Mass Observation Archive at The Keep at the University of Sussex, reveal how members of the public felt ahead of the coronation of the first queen since Victoria.

The coronation at Westminster Abbey was the first to be televised, with millions watching the event live after buying or renting televisions for the occasion.

One child wrote: “Thursday morning June 2, 1953, I woke up very excited because I was going to watch the coronation television broadcast.

“It was 60 miles to Grandma’s house where we were going, so we had to leave early.

“All of our family members had been invited, including Freckles our spaniel puppy and Jimmy the kitten.

“I didn’t read in the car as usual, but I watched the processions and the decorations. At the entrance to the Mersey Tunnel were beautiful red roses.

The university has had a long association with the Queen, officially opening the university library in 1964.

She returned with her late husband the Duke of Edinburgh almost 50 years later in 2013, opening The Keep – the £19million home for the university’s Special Collections Archive and Viewing Archive massive.

Reflecting on how students today react to coronation footage, Professor Martin Francis of the University of Sussex said: “Watching the film of the 1953 coronation ceremony, my students are amazed at the scale of the ceremony and of the religious symbol.

“Elizabeth was anointed and not just crowned.

“That’s why she will never abdicate, but that’s also why when she finally passes, we will have lost our last meaningful connection to a lost world.

“Only then will memory finally eclipse history.”

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This notice was published: 2022-06-01 11:00:00

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