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The ceremony took place at Westminster Abbey, with all the pomp and ceremony that had been part of George V’s coronation, 26 years before. While crowds lined the streets to watch the procession to Buckingham Palace, millions more tuned in to watch it on television and listen to it on the radio. No cameras were actually allowed into the Abbey, however, so a lot of what was broadcast took place outside. 

While the British Empire had peaked in its influence during Queen Victoria’s reign, displaying its might was still a major concern for those involved in planning the king’s coronation. Guests from the Commonwealth were invited to witness the ceremony, including royals from India and Africa.

There were several notable mishaps on the day. For starters, the Dean of Westminster, who was very old and actually passed away later that same year, fell down some steps while carrying St Edward’s Crown, which is the diadem worn by the monarch during the ceremony. The service was described later on by the Queen as ‘inordinately long’, and some of the more elderly peers in attendance fell asleep in their seats. There was also an embarrassing moment when the Duke of Marlborough dropped some chocolates and lozenges, while one bishop trod on the king’s train.