Queen Elizabeth II Celebrates 60th Anniversary of Coronation

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Queen Elizabeth II arrived in a burgundy Bentley and was greeted by "X Factor" winner Joe McElderry.

The events to remember her coronation, which became Britain's first big TV event, follow last year's diamond jubilee of her ascension to the throne.

LONDON -- Queen Elizabeth II and cities around the U.K. on Sunday celebrated the 60th anniversary of the British monarch's coronation.

The Queen herself reportedly spent the day at her favorite royal residence, Windsor Castle, where she attended a private church event to celebrate the anniversary.

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U.K. media -- from newspapers to TV networks such as the BBC, ITV and Sky News -- covered the anniversary and celebrations across the country, but the events drew less coverage than last summer's diamond jubilee of the Queen's ascension to the throne.

Back then, the BBC and others spent hours every day covering such events as a river pageant down the Thames and a star-studded concert outside of Buckingham Palace with such stars as Elton John and Paul McCartney.

Queen Elizabeth II succeeded her father, King George VI, as monarch in 1952, which last summer's jubilee celebrated. About 18 months later, she had her coronation ceremony in the British capital's Westminster Abbey in early June 1953. Sunday's celebrations marked the 60th anniversary of that day.

In 1953, more than 8,200 guests witnessed the coronation, which became Britain's first major TV event. Estimates say that as many as 27 million people watched the event on TV back then.

The coronation is said to have been the first event in the U.K. that was followed by more people on TV than radio. The number of TV licenses in Britain rose from 763,000 in 1951 to 3.2 million in 1954 thanks in part to the coronation, the BBC reported.

The 60th anniversary of the Queen's coronation will also be commemorated on Tuesday with the monarch's return to her coronation church with a service for 2,000 guests.

She will be joined by Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Prince William, Kate Middleton and Prince Harry. The Archbishop of Canterbury will deliver the sermon, and Prime Minister David Cameron will do a reading.

Later this summer, a four-day coronation festival will be held in the gardens of Buckingham Palace.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com
Twitter: @georgszalai