Coronation memorabilia


Queen Elizabeth II is the longest reigning British Monarch in history, having reigned for 66 years. When Queen Elizabeth’s coronation took place, it was the first to be televised and for most people, it was the first time they had watched an event take place on television. It is thought that 27 million people in the UK watched the ceremony on television. For those who were unable to view it on television, there was the opportunity to view it at the cinema.


‘A Queen is crowned’ movie poster.

An edited version of the ceremony, which ran for 90 minutes in technicolour, was narrated by Laurence Olivier and was screened all around the world. This was incredibly popular with many newspaper reports detailing that screenings were extended to accommodate the high demand. The film went on to be nominated for an Academy Award in 1954 for Best Documentary.


Queen Elizabeth walking through Westminster Abbey as her maids of honour carry her train for her coronation ceremony.

To commemorate this momentous event, a number of souvenirs were produced. The first instance of royal memorabilia being created can be traced back to 1661, with items made to order for the coronation of King Charles II.


In our collection we have a wide range of these souvenirs, including some of the more common types of royal memorabilia such as this milk jug [1].


There are also more unique forms of memorabilia, such as this commemorative tassel, which contains Lullingstone Silk – the same silk used in Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation robes. [2]


Photograph of the Anointing Spoon, Royal Collection Trust.

In our collection we have a replica of the Anointing Spoon which dates back to the 12th century and has been used in every coronation since. This spoon represents the most important part of the ceremony, when the monarch is anointed with holy oil on the hands, chest and head. This ceremony dates back to the Old Testament with the anointing of King Solomon.


This series of postcards depict scenes from the coronation, inside and outside Westminster Abbey. This has been the only venue for coronations since that of William the Conqueror in 1066.

Do you have any coronation memorabilia at home?


‘The value of royal memorabilia, Investor’s Chronicle, viewed 5 October 2019,

’50 facts about the Queen’s Coronation’, The home of the Royal Family, viewed 5 October 2019,

‘A Queen is crowned movie poster’, Heritage Auctions, viewed 18 October 2019,

‘A Queen is crowned’, The Blue Mountains Advertiser, 11 June 1953,|||l-decade=195

The 26th Academy Awards (1954) nominations and winners’, The Academy of Motion Pictures,

‘The Coronation Spoon’, The Royal Collection Trust, viewed 18 October 2019,


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