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 Oct. 2, 1951, Princess Elizabeth visited Canada for the first time with her husband Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. About 500,000 people greeted the couple in Toronto, and Canada’s Post Office Department (now Canada Post) issued a four-cent stamp commemorating the event.
Released on Oct. 26, 1951, the four-cent violet stamp (Scott #315) was designed by Herman Herbert Schwartz based on photographs by Sterling Henry Nahum. Printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company, it was the last stamp issued that year.
FIRST TELEVISED CORONATION
At her coronation in 1953, Elizabeth II solemnly promised to govern the people of Canada, the U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan and Ceylon.
Canadians in attendance included Toronto Mayor Allan Lamport, Ontario Premier Leslie Frost, Ontario Lt.-Gov. Louis Breithaupt and Squamish Nation Chief Joe Mathias.
The first coronation to be televised, the event was marked by official ceremonies across Canada with people tuning in to a live feed through phone lines and by way of film canisters flown across the Atlantic Ocean on Canberra bombers.