Royal Coronations

Royal Coronations

London's Westminster Abbey has been the venue for the coronation of almost every English and British monarch since that of William the Conqueror in 1066. The abbey hosted four coronations during the 20th century.

Queen Victoria died on 22 January 1901. Her eldest son Albert, then 59, became the second oldest person in British history to ascend to the throne. He chose to reign under the name Edward VII.

Edward's coronation was originally scheduled for 26 June 1902. However, two days before the ceremony, Edward developed appendicitis. Sir Frederick Treves performed a potentially life-saving operation on the king. Edward and his queen, Alexandra, were eventually crowned at Westminster Abbey on 9 August 1902.

When Edward VII died on 6 May 1910, his eldest son George ascended the British throne. King George V and Queen Mary were crowned at Westminster Abbey on 22 June 1911.

Edward VIII ascended the throne when his father, King George V, died on 20 January 1936. He became the first British monarch to fly in an aeroplane when he flew from Sandringham to London for his Accession Council. However, Edward was never crowned since he abdicated in order to marry an American divorce, Mrs Wallis Simpson.

Edward VIII formalised his abdication on 10 December 1936. In a historic radio broadcast the following day, he said: 'I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as king as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love'.

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