On today’s date in 1953 – more than a year after the death of her father, King George VI – Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in Westminster Abbey.
Five months prior to her father’s death, on October 2, 1951 Princess Elizabeth visited Canada for the first time with her husband Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. An estimated 500,000 people greeted them in Toronto, and Canada Post issued a 4-cent stamp commemorating the event.
At her coronation in 1953, Elizabeth II solemnly promised to govern the people of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Union of South Africa, Pakistan and Ceylon. Canadians in attendance are Toronto Mayor Allan Lamport, Ontario Premier Leslie Frost, Ontario Lt.-Gov. Louis Breithaupt and Squamish Nation Chief Joe Mathias. The event is marked by official ceremonies across Canada and is the first coronation to be televised, with Canadians tuning in to a live feed through phone lines and by way of film canisters flown across the Atlantic on Canberra bombers.