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Queen Elizabeth II marks 60th anniversary of her coronation

By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
updated 8:31 PM EDT, Tue June 4, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Members of the royal family join a service to celebrate 60 years since the coronation
  • The queen acceded to the throne in 1952, but her formal coronation took place in 1953
  • Prince William and his pregnant wife Catherine are among the guests

London (CNN) -- Members of the royal family, UK government and dignitaries gathered Tuesday in Westminster Abbey for a service to mark the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation.

The queen was accompanied to the service by her husband, Prince Philip, as well as her son Prince Charles and her grandchildren, among them Princes William and Harry.

William's pregnant wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, was also present. She is expecting their first child in July, just over two years after they were married at the abbey.

Prime Minister David Cameron gave a reading as the service began amid pomp and ceremony.

Queen Mother Elizabeth, from left, Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth II attend Princess Margaret's wedding in 1960. Queen Mother Elizabeth, from left, Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth II attend Princess Margaret's wedding in 1960.
Informal portraits of Elizabeth II
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Rare, classic photos of Queen Elizabeth II Rare, classic photos of Queen Elizabeth II
Celebrating the Queen's 60th anniversary

The queen acceded to the throne in 1952, but her formal coronation took place on June 2, 1953.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby in his reading paid tribute to the queen's "60 years of commitment" and service since she was crowned.

The Bishop of London, the Right Rev. Richard Chartres, also hailed the queen's "affectionate service" to her people in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth and "the strength and inspiration she fosters" there.

The music and choral works performed at Tuesday's service reflected the choice of music for the coronation 60 years ago.

After the service, the queen and Philip stepped out into brilliant sunshine amid the tolling of bells, climbing into a glass-topped limousine for the return journey to Buckingham Palace.

Diamond Jubilee celebrations were held last year to mark the queen's 60 years on the throne.

There have been 38 coronations at Westminster Abbey since the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066.

A special "coronation chair" ordered built by Edward I, who reigned from 1272 to 1307, has been used for almost every coronation since the 14th century.

Queen Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953 was the first to be televised, allowing her British subjects to watch the entire ceremony.

OPINION: Why Queen Elizabeth won't step down

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