The Largest Crowds Ever Recorded That Gathered For Royal Events
In 1953, Elizabeth II was crowned queen in a ceremony millions tuned into by radio and television broadcast, per BBC News. But a whopping 3 million people crowded the streets in London to watch the queen travel to and from Westminster Abbey, where the ceremony took place. She ascended the throne only 16 years after her father’s own surprise coronation, and seemingly, Buckingham Palace was unprepared for the transition, People explains. King George VI’s death, which occurred in his sleep (per BBC News), seemed to come out of nowhere, and so the coronation was delayed in order to prepare properly. However, it was also delayed in order to honor an appropriate mourning time for the queen’s grandmother, Queen Mary, who died three months before Elizabeth was crowned, according to Mental Floss, and also to schedule the ceremony during happier, sunnier weather in June, reports BBC News.
The ceremony was unprecedented since it was the first British coronation to be broadcast on television, with an estimated 27 million people tuning in, per People. In fact, it was the first time many people had watched an event on television, according to the royal family’s official website. Top it all off, there were 8,251 in attendance at Westminster Abbey, including her son Prince Charles.