London may have gone all out for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, but there’s plenty to celebrate this year, too. England’s second longest-serving monarch came to the throne on February 6, 1952 following the death of her father, King George VI, but it wasn’t until 16 months later, after the official period of mourning had elapsed, that Elizabeth II was crowned. This month, the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace (July 11 to 14) marks 60 years since that momentous event took place.
As well as the rare opportunity to explore the beautiful Gardens of Buckingham Palace, Coronation Festival visitors can browse and buy from more than 200 companies with Royal Warrants of Appointment. Royal Warrants are awarded to firms, which have supplied goods or services to the Royal Households of the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh or the Prince of Wales for at least five years. A wide range of trades and industries will be represented at the festival — stop by to sample the culinary delights of Walkers Shortbread, admire the fine lines of clothing brand Gieves & Hawkes, and learn about historic British innovation by the likes of Roberts Radio Limited.
Also participating in the royal extravaganza will be Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel The Ritz London, which received a Royal Warrant from the Prince of Wales in 2002, the first hotel to be awarded this honor. To celebrate its involvement, the iconic property has put together a package fit for a prince. “Festival Fantastic” includes a two-night accommodation with English breakfast to start the day, a dinner at The Ritz Restaurant, tickets to the Coronation Festival, a festival gift, plus, champagne and canapés at the event.
On the evenings of July 12 and 13, the Coronation Festival Gala will take place at the Gardens of Buckingham Palace. Sixty years of music, film, television and dance will be celebrated with some of the UK’s top stars and companies performing such as Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins, the English National Ballet, and rock band The Feeling.
The Coronation fun continues later this month when Buckingham Palace launches a special exhibition to mark the 60th anniversary of the event. The annual Summer Opening at the Palace this year (July 27 through September 29) sees the magnificent ballroom taken over by the robes and uniforms worn by the Royal Party during the Coronation ceremony from 1953, as well as the jewels worn by the Queen during that time. The rooms of the palace will be transformed to give a sense of how they were used in the days following the crowning, from the Green Drawing Room, where photographer Cecil Beaton took the iconic Coronation portraits, to the State Dining Room, which hosted Coronation State Banquets on June 3 and 4, 1953.
Photos Courtesy of Royal Collection