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  • Place of origin:

    Buckingham Palace (photographed)

  • Date:

    02/06/1953 (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Beaton, Cecil (Sir), born 1904 - died 1980 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed to the Museum in 1987 by Eileen Hose, secretary to the photographer

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Colour photograph depicting Queen Elizabeth II on her Coronation Day, 2nd June 1953. Seated upon a throne, the new Queen is crowned and holds the orb and sceptre. She is dressed in an elaborately embroidered gown and wears a long dark cloak. The cloak, like the gown, is embroidered with golden threads. It is trimmed with a thick white and black fur and fastened with broad, golden braids and knots. Her jewels, crown and clothing glisten. The scene is framed by a heavy draped curtain, which is tied back to reveal a painted backdrop depicting the grand latticed naves of Westminster Abbey (where the Coronation ceremony had taken place shortly before this sitting).

Place of Origin

Buckingham Palace (photographed)


02/06/1953 (photographed)


Beaton, Cecil (Sir), born 1904 - died 1980 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques



Width: 41 cm image, Height: 51 cm image, Width: 42.3 cm paper, Height: 52 cm paper

Descriptive line

Royal Portrait by Cecil Beaton (1904-1980). Photograph depicting Queen Elizabeth II on Coronation Day, Buckingham Palace, 1953.

Labels and date

Queen Elizabeth II
2 June 1953

In this glittering portrait the Queen wears the Imperial State Crown, re-made on several occasions since the 17th century. In 1937, the Crown was remounted by the royal jewellers Garrard for King George VI, and then further adjusted in 1953. The Queen holds the Sovereign's Sceptre with Cross in her right hand, balanced by the Orb in her left. On her right hand she wears the Coronation Ring, a symbol that the Sovereign is ‘wedded’ to the state. On both wrists are the Armills, golden bracelets signifying sincerity and wisdom.

C-type print, printed 1987
V&A: Ph.311-1987

Production Note

Cecil Beaton photographed members of the royal family from 1930-1979.




C-type colour photography


Photographs; Portraits; Royalty


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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