And so to June, where it really had to be the 60th anniversary of the Coronation. Spoilt for choice here, as a fair few of the people in our collections were invited to Westminster Abbey in 1953, but I have gone for one of Clementine Churchill’s photograph albums, as this has a particularly good image of the procession down the aisle. An earlier photograph in the same album shows Churchill (with Clementine keeping a wifely eye on him from her pew), but I think the one I have gone for happens to make a better picture!
You won’t see Churchill beside her in this image: as Prime Minister, he had already preceded the Queen down the aisle of Westminster Abbey, and there is a photograph of him in this album a few pages before this one, showing him walking alone, dressed in the robes of a Knight of the Garter. He cut a rather weary figure: in his late seventies, the exertions of the day, on top of all the preparations beforehand, had tired him (and the weather that day was about as good as it has been recently), so that he left the return procession early. But he still gave the introduction to the Queen’s broadcast to the nation that evening, and though he had initially had doubts about how he would get on with her (telling his private secretary that he did not know her and that she was only a child), the Queen and the first of her many prime ministers forged an excellent working relationship (helped, one would think, by their shared delight in horseracing).