The Death of King George VI and Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II

Death of King George VI - February 6th 1952

The nine o'clock lecture had finished and as usual we strolled across the quadrangle to the Students' Union for coffee and a chat. Everything was the normal chatter and laughter; then we heard whispered "the King is dead ... the King is dead ... the King is dead!" As the word passed around a hugh descended on the whole cafeteria as though everyone held their breath. Shocked, we each quietly left.

On arriving home, I found my mother greatly saddened by the news. In respect she wore black for a few days and when a friend asked her if she had lost someone she replied "Yes, the King!"

Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II - June 2nd 1953

Coronation fever engulfed the country! Times were wretched so soon after WW2. Bomb sites were everywhere, food was still rationed and no-one had money to spare. So it was like a wonderful fairy tale for whole nation to have the Coronation of a beautiful young queen.

My parents went to London to join in the crowds and see the processions. However, I could not spare the time to be away so I asked a friend who had a television whether I might invite myself to watch the spectacular events. Her mother then kindly decided to ask several others too, so we had a great time.

As we watched the new Queen standing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace waving to the crowds an older lady in our party was heard to say "Poor luv!" knowing what an onerous task lay ahead of our very young sovereign.

Jean Kinsey