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The last time Britain had a coronation was 70 years ago. Here's what it looked like

At Queen Elizabeth II's coronation, the royal family pose at Westminster Abbey in London on June 2, 1953.
Universal History Archive
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Getty Images
At Queen Elizabeth II's coronation, the royal family pose at Westminster Abbey in London on June 2, 1953.

As Britons prepare for the coronation of King Charles III, we take a look at the United Kingdom's last coronation — for Queen Elizabeth II.

That was 70 years ago, and Charles is making some changes for his own event.

The parade route will be shorter than his mother's. The ceremony will include a nod to other faiths besides Christianity. And all of the U.K., not just aristocrats, will be asked to swear allegiance to King Charles.

Elizabeth's coronation was on June 2, 1953, when the country still had some of the marks of World War II. The start of the 25-year-old's reign was widely seen as the dawn of a new era. And many citizens got to watch the coronation for the first time on an emerging medium: television.

See the pictures we found from Queen Elizabeth II's coronation.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

The procession from the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II approaches the Marble Arch.
Daily Herald Archive / SSPL via Getty Images
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SSPL via Getty Images
The procession from the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II approaches the Marble Arch.
Queen Elizabeth II walks down the aisle at Westminster Abbey, on her coronation day.
Universal History Archive / Getty Images
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Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth II walks down the aisle at Westminster Abbey, on her coronation day.
Queen Elizabeth II poses with her Mistress of the Robes and the six Maids of Honour after her coronation.
Universal History Archive / Getty Images
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Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth II poses with her Mistress of the Robes and the six Maids of Honour after her coronation.
Queen Elizabeth II leaves Buckingham Palace before her coronation ceremony.
NCJ Archive / Mirrorpix via Getty Images
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Mirrorpix via Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth II leaves Buckingham Palace before her coronation ceremony.
At Westminster Abbey, Queen Elizabeth II is coronated in June 1953.
Universal History Archive / Getty Images
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Getty Images
At Westminster Abbey, Queen Elizabeth II is coronated in June 1953.
A bus in Newcastle is adorned with Queen Elizabeth's insignia to celebrate her coronation.
NCJ Archive / Mirrorpix via Getty Images
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Mirrorpix via Getty Images
A bus in Newcastle is adorned with Queen Elizabeth's insignia to celebrate her coronation.
Children enjoy a bicycle race at their North East street party for Queen Elizabeth II's coronation.
NCJ Archive / Mirrorpix via Getty Images
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Mirrorpix via Getty Images
Children enjoy a bicycle race at their North East street party for Queen Elizabeth II's coronation.
Lilly Lee, a weaver at Warner & Sons, Braintree, Essex, hand weaves the velvet that will go to make the coronation robes for Queen Elizabeth II, Nov. 18, 1952.
William Vanderson / Getty Images
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Getty Images
Lilly Lee, a weaver at Warner & Sons, Braintree, Essex, hand weaves the velvet that will go to make the coronation robes for Queen Elizabeth II, Nov. 18, 1952.
Crowds in central London celebrate during the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
Universal History Archive / Getty Images
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Getty Images
Crowds in central London celebrate during the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
A coronation goblet is engraved by W.J. Wilson, director and chief designer at the Whitefriars Glassworks.
PA Images / Getty Images
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Getty Images
A coronation goblet is engraved by W.J. Wilson, director and chief designer at the Whitefriars Glassworks.

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Alex Leff is a digital editor on NPR's International Desk, helping oversee coverage from journalists around the world for its growing Internet audience. He was previously a senior editor at GlobalPost and PRI, where he wrote stories and edited the work of international correspondents.