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British Royals

The first Coronation attended by Queen Elizabeth II

It’s 86 years since the one of the most important days of Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret’s life, the day their dad, King George VI was crowned. The ceremony would cement Elizabeth’s place as the future queen and she would go on to become the longest reigning Monarch in British history. But on that May day in 1937, she was an excited youngster with a big day ahead of her.

Elizabeth, then 11, and Margaret, 6, were dressed according to the rules laid down for the event. The Royal Collection Trust notes the dresses were stipulated by the Earl Marshall and comprised of a cream dress, gold embellishment, and purple robes. The dress code also required the princesses to wear small crowns known as coronets.

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The silver-gilt coronets were made by the crown jeweller, Garrad & Co. They featured Maltese cross-design elements and a fleur-de-lis. In addition, Garrad added their signature “diamond and dot” pattern on the base of the piece. For stability and comfort for the long and historic day, padding was added to the inside of the coronets.

The moment their father was crowned, the princesses also placed their coronets on their heads. It was noted by newspaper writers who were at the event that Margaret had a hard time making hers feel comfortable and she adjusted and readjusted until it fit just right.

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Elizabeth added a three-stranded pearl necklace to her outfit. It was a gift from her grandfather, King George V when he celebrated his Silver Jubilee in 1935. She also had the Royal Family Orders of her father and grandfather pinned on her dress. Margaret had a double strand of pearls which was gifted by King George V to mark his Silver Jubilee. She also wore the Royal Family Orders of her father and grandfather. Photos from the family’s balcony appearance that day only have the Order featuring her father’s portrait visible.

The coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla took place on 6 May at Westminster Abbey.

About author

My name is Sydney Zatz and I am a University of Iowa graduate. I graduated with a degree in journalism and sports studies, and a minor in sport and recreation management. A highlight of my college career was getting the chance to study abroad in London and experiencing royal history firsthand. I have a passion for royals, royal history, and journalism, which led me to want to write for Royal Central.