Sixty-four years ago today, London’s Westminster Abbey hosted a glittering assortment of royals from across the world for the coronation of Elizabeth II. Hope was high and Britain celebrated their new queen and her young family.
Sixty-four years on, the regal Elizabeth is respected and admired worldwide. She has become Britain’s longest-living and longest-reigning monarch. She’s been a steady influence and a source of traditon throughout massive change, and for that the Queen is an icon.
Today I wish her the best and thank her for her service. The phrase “long live the Queen” reached God’s ears, and He obliged!
Sixty years ago today, the former Princess Elizabeth was crowned Queen Elizabeth II in Westminster Abbey. It was a day of great pomp and circumstance, befitting a lovely new monarch.
Joining her on the day were her small children, Prince Charles and Princess Anne, along with her mother, husband, and sister (as seen above). It was a day that the Queen would never forget, and certainly a day that would live in her subjects’ minds and hearts for many years to come.
Above, another special coronation day that would be a big part of Elizabeth’s life: that of her father, King George VI. He was not prepared to take the crown, but he did so out of duty to his country and his family. The war time king became a symbol for his nation and a noble presence that the princess adored her entire life.
Even from a young age, Elizabeth has been dutiful and mindful of not merely her own legacy, but that of her father’s, grandfather’s, and all of the monarchs before her. Even to this day, 60 years later, she has not let us down. God Save The Queen! Vivat Regina!
As the sun rose in the eastern United States, a certain blogger was stumbling awake to watch – and tweet about – the abdication of Queen Beatrix.
Though it was still dark for me, the sun was shining in the Netherlands today as people celebrated – and said goodbye to – their queen of 33 years. In turn, they lifted up her son and heir, now king. Willem-Alexander now takes the stage along with his wife, Maxima, and their three daughters.
It is a big deal for the Netherlands and royal watchers in general: Beatrix has been queen since 1980. She took the throne when her mother, Queen Juliana, abdicated in her favor. Juliana herself had taken the reins when her mother, Wilhelmina, abdicated in 1948.
So on that spring day of April 30th, 1980, the event was nothing new, but it wasn’t short of emotion. A proud Juliana passed the crown to her daughter, who accepted it with pride and gratitude. Beatrix’s eldest son, the young Willem-Alexander, watched as his mother was created queen and knew that someday the role of kingship would be his as well. But that was far into the future!
Beatrix promised her people that she would represent them to the best of her ability, and she did. She rejoiced with her countrymen over the good things, and cried with them over the tragedies. They celebrated “Queen’s Day” each year with a sea of orange hats, clothes, and facepaint. The public would also burst out in an array of orange sunshine for the weddings of Beatrix’s children and nephews.
The tide of orange turned to black when the Queen lost members of her family over the years, which included her father, mother, and her husband. In shock, the Queen mourned with the public over the loss of life and injuries sustained when a madman drove his car through a crowd celebrating Queen’s Day. The public and the monarch have been emotionally tied together for over 30 years, and it’s not easy to let go. Many people in the crowd today wiped eyes full of tears. It’s not as though the queen is going anywhere, really, but it is a symbolic end to a long, strong relationship between sovereign and people.
The reign of Queen Beatrix was full of many successful years. Today we say “thank you” and wish her well. Now it is time, in that Dutch tradition, for King Willem-Alexander to make his own memories in a reign full, we fervently hope, of many blessings.
On February 12th, the official Dutch royal website provided an outline of the abdication and investiture program for April 30th.
They do note that it is subject to change.
If you are unsure of the time frame you should use to view the proceedings, check the World Clock. For instance, Amsterdam is -5 from Boston (they are five hours ahead of the U.S. East coast).
Update: April 29th
Dinner, at the invitation of Her Majesty the Queen, with members of the Royal Family and other royal and foreign missions at the Rijksmuseum.
Abdication of Her Majesty the Queen in the Moseszaal of the Royal Palace Amsterdam. Those present will include the Presidents of the Senate and the House of Representatives, the Council of Ministers for the Kingdom and members of the Royal Family. The Queen signs the instrument of abdication, which is read aloud by the Director of the Queen’s Office.
His Majesty the King, Her Majesty the Queen and Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands appear on the balcony of the Palace. Princess Beatrix and the King will both give a short address. Her Royal Highness the Princess of Orange and Their Royal Highnesses Princess Alexia and Princess Ariane will then join their parents on the balcony.
The King and his retinue proceed to the Nieuwe Kerk.
Swearing in and investiture of the King at a joint session of the two Houses of the States General in the Nieuwe Kerk. The King delivers an address and is sworn in. The President of the two Houses, Fred de Graaf, delivers an address and makes a solemn declaration, after which every member of the States General and the States of Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten swears an oath or makes an affirmation.
Reception for dignitaries and members of the States General in the Royal Palace Amsterdam.
It’s going to be a big day for the adults and the children. Not only is Princess Amalia the first female heir to hold the title Princess of Orange, but this will be her first official event in that capacity. Joining her will be her younger sisters, Princesses Alexia and Ariane.
Check out these great links to follow the events of the day:
The date of Queen Beatrix’s abdication is known, claims an anonymous source.
This source was quoted in the Belgian weekly magazine Humo, just one of many Dutch and Flemish media outlets speculating about the queen’s passing of the baton. Or the scepter, if you will.
September 9th of this year is rumored to be the date of abdication for the Dutch monarch, but it has also been claimed police have started preparing for a coronation on September 6th. Sources say reconstruction on the royal palace in Amsterdam’s Dam square, where the abdication and coronation ceremonies take place, is currently underway.
Queen Juliana abdicated on her 71st birthday back in 1980, handing the reigns of power to her daughter Beatrix. With this in mind people are wondering if 70-year-old Beatrix will follow in her mother’s footsteps and step down in favor of her eldest, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander.
What say you, dear readers? Is there truth to these rumors, or will Queen Beatrix soldier on like HM Queen Elizabeth II?
I updated the ceremonies page a few weeks ago, but I don’t think I posted the update here. Recently added is the list of major royal weddings throughout the generations, along with details of the coronation and music used in the ceremony.
This is a great YouTube video about the coronation – details and footage from the day ( Long to Reign Over Us)