The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II

Television sets were still a rarity. My Grandparents had one so we went there for the whole day, along with my cousin and his parents. Fortunately it was lovely weather because a great many neighbours had also been invited. There were dining chairs arranged along the walls, easy chairs in front of them and children sat on the floor. It was quite a small room but somehow they managed to fit 19 bodies in there.

The door of the room was blocked by chairs so we all went in and out through the French window. To get back into the house you walked along the terrace and in through the back door. The screen was not quite black and white but a muddy greenish colour and the picture was very grainy even though the screen was quite small - I think it was 12".

We saw all the processions to the Abbey and had coffee and biscuits served via the French window. Then there was the service in the Abbey and the procession back to the palace. There was a break while we had lunch. Everyone had brought a contribution because food was still rationed, so no-one went hungry. The Royal Family came out onto the Palace balcony later, including the Queen Mother, Prince Charles and a very lively Princess Anne. A few weeks later we went to the cinema to see it all again in full colour.

Veronica Pillinger