Jean Bennett, a resident of Rogers House Residential Care Home in Wigmore, recalls her memories of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, 70 years ago.
Back in 1953, Jean, now 87 years old, was a teenage girl living in London with her family. She remembers how it was a very special year indeed, as it was the year Queen Elizabeth II was set to become Queen.
“Much like many other households, we didn’t have a television at this time,” Jean recalls, “but my dad went out and bought us a television set, so we could watch the coronation. I can remember how excited I was to be able to watch it from our own front room.”
The broadcast of the Queen’s coronation did more than any other event to make television a mainstream media for families. More than 20 million people watched the coronation on television, outnumbering the radio listeners for the first time.
“Some of our neighbours, who didn’t have televisions, came and joined us to watch the broadcast.” Jean says, “At the time, I felt very proud that we had been able to get the television for my family and our neighbours to enjoy this special occasion together.”
After the service, Jean’s parents took her into the city to join the celebrations.
“I remember it was cold and rainy that day, but it didn’t dampen our spirits or those of anyone else who had come to celebrate. Some people had even camped overnight to get the best spot to see our new Queen.” Jean continues, “I can still remember seeing the shop doors lined with sleeping bags and the camper’s belongings!”