The 60th Anniversary of the Coronation of Her Majesty The Queen
On June 2, 1953, 16 months after the accession, the coronation of Her Majesty The Queen was held in London. The implication for Canadians was significant; during the coronation, Her Majesty proclaimed "By the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom, Canada and her other Realms and Territories, Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith." This proclamation, explicitly mentioning Canada, reaffirmed the newly crowned monarch’s position as Queen of Canada, a role totally independent from that as Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms.
Canadians celebrated with military tattoos, horse races, parades, and fireworks. Canada’s first Canadian-born Governor General, Vincent Massey, declared the day a national holiday and presided over a celebration on Parliament Hill. He decided to revive the use of state carriage or landeau for special occasions. Amid much pageantry, the carriage brought Vincent Massey to Parliament Hill under escort by members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Mr. Massey introduced Her Majesty's Coronation speech, which was broadcast from London around the world. To commemorate the coronation, Mr. Massey issued silver spoons to all Canadian children born on that day, June 2, 1953.
A commemorative coin was struck by the Mint and 12,500 coronation medals were awarded to Canadians.
In London the Canadian Coronation Contingent, comprising members of Canada’s armed forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police participated in the coronation procession. Canada was represented by Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent, members of his cabinet, the speakers of both houses, the leader of the opposition and others.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police notes that the day after the coronation, Her Majesty thanked the riders and their horses for their participation. Accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh and the very young Princess Anne and Prince Charles, this moment was the start of a special relationship between The Queen and Canada’s mounted police service that continues to this day.
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