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The Coronation of Queen Victoria

28 June 1838

After a fraught road to inheriting the throne, Queen Victoria was crowned on 28 June 1838. Her procession to and from Westminster Abbey was witnessed by unprecedented crowds, as the invention of the railways made it much easier for the estimated 400,000 people to attend from all over the country. The procession was certainly well-worth witnessing, as this was only the second coronation procession to feature the Gold State Coach (built in 1762 and still earning its money today.)

The event itself, although considered generally to have been a success, has been described as “the last of the botched coronations” before an improved programme was put together and used since 1902. There had been very little rehearsal and Benjamin Disraeli commented that those with parts to play "were always in doubt as to what came next, and you saw the want of rehearsal." The coronation lasted a total of five hours, involved two dress changes, but there was one especially painful moment for the young queen. As she later wrote in her diary: "The Archbishop had (most awkwardly) put the ring on the wrong finger, the consequence being that I had the greatest difficulty in taking it off again, which I at last succeeded in doing, but not without great pain.”

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