3 Jun 2013

Quiet Coronation anniversary day for Queen

2:52 pm on 3 June 2013

The Queen marked the 60th anniversary of her coronation in private after a day at the races.

She and Prince Philip spent Saturday at the Epsom Derby, the event that began her diamond jubilee party a year ago.

The 87-year-old took the throne on 6 February, 1952, upon the death of King George VI and was crowned on 2 June 1953 in Westminster Abbey.

The anniversary is being staged with far less fanfare than the diamond jubilee celebrations last year.

The Queen will be joined by the royal family and 2000 guests at the abbey on Tuesday for a service celebrating the anniversary.

She and Prince Philip marked the actual anniversary day on Sunday in a low-key fashion at Windsor Castle.

"They are spending the day privately," a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman told AFP. "The main focus is obviously on Tuesday's service."

They will return to duty on Monday, and attending a reception for the Royal National Institute for the Blind at St James's Palace.

Tuesday's service will mark the first time the couple have attended an event at Westminster Abbey since their wedding there in April 2011.

The Coronation in 1953 was the first to be televised. The ABC reports more than 20 million people in Britain watched it live while another 11 million listened on the radio. The event sparked the popular growth of television in Britain.

The Mail on Sunday newspaper said in an editorial: "We couldn't have known it at the time but 60 years ago today we crowned one of the greatest monarchs in our history.''