Westminster Abbey played a huge role in Queen Elizabeth II's life

The role of Westminster Abbey in the life of Queen Elizabeth II

Westminster Abbey played a huge role in the life of Queen Elizabeth II – Copyright AFP STR

Robin MILLARD

The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II will take place at Westminster Abbey, the historic church in central London that played an important role in her life.

– 1934: Princess Bridesmaid –

In her first major appearance at Westminster Abbey, eight-year-old Princess Elizabeth of York was a bridesmaid at the wedding of her uncle Prince George, Duke of Kent, and Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark on November 29.

It was the first royal wedding to be broadcast on the radio.

– 1937: Father’s coronation –

King George VI was crowned on May 12, five months after his brother King Edward VIII abdicated.

“I thought it was all very, very wonderful,” Princess Elizabeth, 11, wrote in a handwritten report.

“At the end, the service got pretty boring, since it was all prayers.”

Afterwards, Elizabeth and her sister Margaret treated themselves to “sandwiches, burgers, orangeade and lemonade”.

– 1947: Elizabeth marries Philip –

The wedding on November 20 dispelled the post-war gloom.

Relinquishing his Greek and Danish titles, Philip became Duke of Edinburgh.

The ceremony was broadcast on BBC radio to 200 million people worldwide.

Shortly after World War II, Philip’s three surviving sisters, who had married German princes, were unable to attend.

Princess Elizabeth still needed food stamps to buy satin for Norman Hartnell’s dress.

– 1953: Coronation –

At her coronation on June 2, Queen Elizabeth took sacred vows of lifelong service, which she kept throughout her reign.

It was the first televised coronation and for many it was the first time they had watched TV.

So did about 27 million of the 36 million people in the UK. It was also filmed in color and experimental 3D.

The service lasted almost three hours. Approximately 8,251 guests were in attendance, crammed into temporary tiers, with 129 nations and territories officially represented.

In 2018, the sovereign called the trip in the golden state bus “terrible”.

– 1960: Margaret marries –

Queen Elizabeth’s sister, Princess Margaret, was discouraged from marrying equerry Peter Townsend in 1953, as he was divorced.

She married photographer Anthony Armstrong-Jones on May 6 in the presence of her artistic friends.

Their father died in 1952 and Prince Philip walked Margaret down the aisle.

The Earl and Countess of Snowdon separated in the early 1970s and divorced in 1978.

– 1973: Anna’s wedding –

Princess Anne was the first of Queen Elizabeth’s children to marry Army Lieutenant Mark Phillips on 14 November. The ceremony was filmed in color and broadcast worldwide.

Unusually, Phillips, the Olympic champion equestrian, did not win the title. The couple divorced in 1992.

– 1986: Andrew & Fergie –

Following the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana at St Paul’s Cathedral in 1981, Queen Elizabeth’s second son Prince Andrew married the gay Sarah Ferguson, the daughter of a major.

The July 23 event followed the massive template set five years earlier.

The couple have two children, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. They divorced in 1996 but remain close.

– 1997: Diana’s Funeral –

Queen Elizabeth has been criticized for her seemingly reserved response to Diana’s death in a car accident in Paris.

About a million people took to the streets, and about 2.5 billion people watched the September 6 service on television.

As the cortege passed Buckingham Palace, Queen Elizabeth bowed her head in public.

Diana’s brother Charles Spencer chided the royal family in his eulogy. The Windsors took note of this and gradually began to modernize.

– 2002: Funeral of the Queen Mother –

The funeral of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, held on 9 April, marked the end of an era. At the age of 101, the royal matriarch became the last empress of India and a link to the past century.

Over 200,000 people marched past her coffin as a sign of respect.

Two months after Margaret’s death, the death sparked an outpouring of public mourning and sympathy for the monarch after years of hostility over Diana’s death.

– 2011: William and Kate –

On April 29, the biggest royal wedding in a generation was watched by up to two billion people around the world and helped breathe new life into the British monarchy after years of crisis.

Queen Elizabeth allowed William to tear up the boring original guest list and start over, inviting more of his friends rather than dignitaries.

– 2013: Coronation Anniversary –

After commemorative events throughout her reign, the 4 June service was the last major personal anniversary that Queen Elizabeth attended at Westminster Abbey.

A gleaming golden crown and the holy oil with which she was anointed took center stage.

The 60th birthday service reflected her coronation and lifelong debt since then.

Queen Elizabeth smiled as she paused at the coronation chair where she sat 60 years ago.

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