Queen Elizabeth II had already been Sovereign for over a year by the time her Coronation took place on June 2nd, 1953. It was in Kenya on February 6th, 1952 where she learned that her father, King George VI had passed away at his Sandringham estate after battling health problems.
Prince Philip had to break the news to the new Queen, who then boarded a flight back to England. After a quick outfit change on board (she had not packed a mourning outfit), Her Majesty was greeted on the tarmac in London by Winston Churchill and her uncle, the Duke of Kent, among other dignitaries.
Fast-forward a year or so: Wearing a gown created by Sir Norman Hartnell, the Queen took her rightful place in King Edward’s Chair at Westminster Abbey to become the Supreme Governor of England (among other titles). Though Prince Charles, four at the time, was allowed to attend the event, Princess Anne was deemed too young for occasion.
This Tuesday, members of the royal family will gather at Westminster Abbey for a service of thanksgiving, paying homage to the second-longest reigning monarch in British history.
Launch the gallery above to learn 10 things about Queen Elizabeth’s coronation.