The Queen is receiving instruction from two church dignitaries on the meaning of the Coronation ritual.
Both the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Dean of Westminster have spent some time with her, both at Windsor and at Buckingham Palace, going informally through the service and explaining the spiritual meaning of the various rites, and, in particular, the scared implications of the various promises her Majesty will make.
The Queen has spent much of her time considering the order of the service and has not hesitated to ask about every detail with which she is not fully conversant.
One of the best sellers of 1953 may be “The Form and Order of the Coronation Service”. Editions were brought out by three publishers this week and within two days nearly a quarter-of-a-million copies had been sold. Everywhere the rush has been for the popular editions at 1s 6d, which will be invaluable to viewers following the Coronation service on TV.
Meanwhile, the brickbats are beginning to fly. Inevitably, as a national occasion of such magnitude as a Coronation gets under way, the time comes when the voices of criticism begin to be heard.
When Sir Hugh Casson was appointed to take charge of the decorations along the Coronation route, nothing but praise was heard on all sides. And when Sir Hugh revealed his plans, they were received by all sections enthusiastically. But now, as lamp-posts are being painted according to these designs, people are starting to protest. Why lavender for the lamp-posts, people are saying? “It is a colour which blends with nothing.” And the lilac and green for the crush barriers, now being painted, are also being looked at coldly.
[The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II took place on June 2, 1953, in Westminster Abbey.]