Queen Elizabeth II

On 2 June 1953, the 27-year-old Princess Elizabeth was crowned 'Queen Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God Queen of this Realm and of Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith' in a lavish ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

The coronation was the United Kingdom's first and most significant live televised event. Sixty years ago today, there were only around 2 million TV sets in the UK. Nevertheless, 20 million people are believed to have watched the BBC TV broadcast live, many of them crowded around neighbours' televisions. The subsequent explosion in TV ownership turned television in the country's primary entertainment medium, and paved the way for the introduction of commercial television in the UK in 1954.

The BBC's film is well known, but is of course in black and white.

Less well known is an amateur colour film of the occasion made by Lord Wakehurst (1895-1970), a Conservative MP, Governor of New South Wales, Governor of Northern Ireland and a keen amateur film-maker.

Because of his status, one assumes that Wakehurst was accorded special access to the ceremony, which he captures from his angle in the crowd of dignitaries.

The video has been shared on YouTube by the offical website of the British Monarchy.

Click on the video box below to see the 1953 coronation in colour.