Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Programme, or Marking an Anniversary

June 2nd is the 60th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.  At an estate sale, I found a copy of the program -- er, rather, programme -- from the original event in 1953.  Someone had either been to London for the festivities, or had received it as a souvenir from a friend or relative there.

I looked up the publisher, King George's Jubilee Trust, online, and discovered"King George's Jubilee Trust was founded in 1935 to commemorate the Jubilee of King George V, and to benefit young people." "These [programmes] were sold on behalf of King George’s Jubilee Trust mainly along the parade routes by the Boy Scouts but also in news agents and bookshops. The substantial additional funds thus raised helped supplement King George's Jubilee Trust’s work in support of young people, youth organizations and youth projects."

Sitting here at my desk, I can see that the programme was quite detailed. 

Eleven pages of the programme are dedicated to a list, in very tiny type accented by occasional small photographs, of all the people taking part in the Coronation Procession.  Finally on the last page of the Procession section, we read:

[then a list of all the people responsible for the State Coach]
drawn by

And in the middle of the programme is a map of the procession route.

In nine more pages of tiny type, the programme outlines the Coronation Ceremony inside Westminster Abbey.  Section XV is THE COMMUNION, which begins:

Then shall the organ play and the people shall with one voice sing this hymn:

All people that on earth do dwell,
Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice.
Him serve with fear, His praise forth tell;
Come ye before Him and rejoice.

The Lord, ye know, is God indeed;
Without our aid He did us make;
We are His folk, He doth us feed,
And for His sheep He doth us take.

O enter then His gates with praise;
Approach with joy His courts unto;
Praise, laud, and bless His Name always,
For it is seemly so to do.

For why? the Lord our God is good;
His mercy is for ever sure;
His truth at all times firmly stood,
And shall from age to age endure.

To Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
The God Whom Heaven and earth adore,
From men and from the angel host
Be praise and glory evermore.

If you're not familiar with it, the tune is one that in America is usually called "Old Hundredth" (it is based on Psalm 100) or  simply "Doxology" ("Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow"). 

The same estate sale had another item from England that pre-dates the Coronation.  It's a biscuit tin, about 8x10 inches.

On the end is printed: 

She was so young then.  The Victoria & Albert Museum website has a black and white portrait photograph by Cecil Beaton of Elizabeth at the time, with the caption:

In February 1942, the King appointed his fifteen-year-old daughter Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, the senior Regiment of the Foot Guards. It was the first time in history that a woman had held the position.
The official website of the British monarchy notes:  "In early 1942 Princess Elizabeth was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of the Grenadier Guards, and on her sixteenth birthday she carried out her first public engagement, when she inspected the regiment."  

Ten years later, George VI died and the year after that, on June 2, 1953, Elizabeth II's coronation was held.

Nobody throws a party like the British.  The BBC History website has footage of the coronation in 1953, quietly narrated by Sir Laurence Olivier:

British Pathe' has about 15 minutes of Coronation footage as well (cameras in 1953 kept a respectful distance).  At the beginning, the State Coach Drawn by Eight Grey Horses takes center stage:

The "Visit London" website has a feature on the anniversary:

As does Westminster Abbey:

Here's a recording of "All People That On Earth Do Dwell:"

And the Queen herself has a website, of course:

No comments:

Post a Comment