The Coronation of Queen Victoria was one of the greatest events of the 18th Century. Here coronation was done a year after she succeeded the throne that was at the age of 18.
It was held in London and 400,000 people came to attend the ceremony from all over England and other parts of Europe.
Pre Coronation Ceremonial Processions
The Royal Ceremony of the Coronation of Queen Victoria was held on 18th of June, 1838. Even though it was a Thursday, a huge crowd of 400,000 people attended the Grand Ceremony. The Ceremony took place at the Westminster Abbey in London.
At six o clock in the morning, passengers moved from all over to meet one point. This was a day when the entire London was awake at the earliest. Sight watchers started filling up from the ends of the Hyde Park to the Westminster Abbey.
From the time of the announcement of the ceremony, seats were being sold at very high rates. They reached their peak on the eve of the ceremony when they were being sold at 2 guineas each.
The hoisting of the Imperial Standard flag – the flag of the monarchy, was done in front of the Westminster Abbey along with the salute with 21 guns at 10 am in the morning. The procession began with the march of the trumpeters and preceded by the Life Guards – senior Regiment of the British Army and a part of the Household Cavalry.
These were followed by the carriages of the ambassadors and the Dukes. The Royal Family was also a part of the procession. The Foreign ministers and other members of the House of Lords were a part of the march past too.
The last was Queen Victoria’s carriage guarded by the Household members and officers of the Army. She appeared with excellent spirit and utmost elegance. Bouquets of flowers, handkerchiefs, and scarfs were waved in the air by the people in a way that expressed their enthusiasm.
Queen Victoria was moved by the kind of love and affection she received from the people and expressed and emotions and gratitude to the Duchess of Sutherland.
The procession led them inside the Westminster Abbey.
Coronation Ceremonial Celebrations at the Westminster Abbey
The Westminster Abbey was a huge palace enough to accommodate more than thousands of Dukes and Duchess who came from distant areas of Europe to join the ceremony. They were arranged to live at the Westminster Abbey for a few days.
Galleries of the Abbey were occupied by the members of the House of Commons, the Judges, foreign ambassadors, Masters of the Chancery, Knights of the Bath, the Lord Mayor, and many other members of the corporation.
Shortly before noon, the procession entered the Westminster Abbey. This procession was headed by the DeanWestminsternter and the great officers along with the Household of her majesty.
The entry of Queen Victoria into the Abbey in all her majesty was the most mesmerizing scene of all. All the Dukes and Duchess, the Prince and Princesses of different lands were dressed in their best attire. A gorgeous attire was worn by Prince Esterhazy which was covered with diamonds from top to bottom.
The musicians in the Hall sang trumpets of “God Save the Queen” and “Long Live Our Majesty”. She reached the recognition chair which was towards the south of the Altar. She knelt at the Royal Faldstool and said her prayers asking for the strength to shoulder her responsibilities. Tears were shed by many of the subjects at this moment.
The scholars rose up altogether and acclaimed their Sovereign. In a loud voice that echoed across the walls of the Westminster Abbey, they recited ‘Victoria! Victoria! Vivat Victoria Regina!’
The Arch-Bishop of Canterbury, the Lord Chancellor and Earl Marshall came together toward the platform and made recognition of the Queen to her subjects in the following words,
“Sir, I present unto you, Queen Victoria, the undoubted Queen of this realm; wherefore; all you who are come this day to do your homage, are you willing to do the same?”
To this, there was a huge response with a general shout of “God save Queen Victoria!”
After this, the National Anthem of the country – “God Save the Queen” with loud trumpets and drum beats. An air of patriotism flew throughout the place during this time.
Religious Services at the Coronation of Queen Victoria
The Bishop placed the patina, the Bible, and the Chalice over the altar and now began the religious ceremony before the coronation. The Bishops of Canterbury, Wells, Durham, and Bath attended the presiding of the religious service. The Dean of Westminster, the Nobles, and the State Officers bore the regalia.
Queen Victoria knelt on the purple velvet cushion to make her offerings which included one pound weight of gold, alter- cloth made of gold. These offerings were made to the Arch-Bishop of Canterbury.
The bearers of the Regalia came towards the altar, with the Crown of St. Edward, orb, spurs, dove and the scepter. They presented all these royalties to the Arch Bishop. The Dean of Westminster presented them on the Altar.
The Litany was read by the Bishop of Worcester and St David’s. The Communion Service was read by the Arch-Bishop of Canterbury. The Holy Sermon was given by the Bishop of London. The Sermon was based on the Bible, II Chronicles XXXIV 31.
The Coronation Oath
This Ceremony was presided over by the Arch-Bishop. In the Ceremony of the Oath, Queen Victoria promised to govern the people of Great Britain and Ireland which is the United Kingdom, according to the statues in the Parliament.
She promised to execute all judgments with her power, law, and justice. She also promised to maintain the Laws of God in her utmost power and the true profession of the Gospel and to also favor the Protestant reformed religion instituted by Law.
Finally, the Arch-Bishop questioned, “Will you maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the United Church of England and Ireland, and the doctrine, worship, discipline of the government, thereof, as by law established within England and Ireland, and the territories thereunto belonging?
And will you preserve unto the bishops and clergy of England and Ireland and to the churches there committed to their charge, all such rights and privileges as by law do or shall appertain to them or any of them?”
To all of this, she replied in a firm and clear voice, “All of this, I promise to do.”
Then with a lot of confidence, along with Lord Chamberlain and some other officers she moved towards the Altar, placed her hands upon the Holy Bible and kneeling on the Royal Faldstool, she declared,”The things which I have here before promised I will perform and keep, So help me God!”
After this, she sat in King Edwards chair surrounded by four Knights of the Garter. They held a rich cloth over her head when the Dean of Winchester took the anointing oil and poured it into the Golden spoon of anointing. The Arch Bishop anointed her head and hands.
The Arch Bishop now pronounced prayer and blessing over the Sovereign. Lord Melbourne bought the sword along and placed it before the Queen, followed by the Royal Robes and the Orb.
Crowning of the Queen
The Arch-Bishop took the Crown in his hands and placed it on the Altar and delivered prayers again. Then the Crown was again passed by the Dean of Winchester to the Arch-Bishop who placed the Royal Crown on Her Majesty’s head.
The Crowd shouted in excitation, “God Save the Queen!” A double Royal Salute of 41 guns was fired. The sounds of the Orchester broke forth in the whole of London. There were Trumpet sounds everywhere and there were tears of happiness all around.
After this, an anthem was sung after which the Bible was presented to the Queen. She was then enthroned into the chair of the homage by Arch-Bishops, Bishops, and officers present. The Arch-Bishop of Canterbury then knelt and kissed the Queens’ hand and so did all the other Bishops and officials.
As the conclusion of the homage, the choir sang the anthem ‘This is the day that the Lord has made’.
The Communion Service was also led over by the Arch-Bishop of Canterbury. The Gospel and the Epistle were read by two Bishops. The Queen made her offering of the bread and wine.
She received her Holy Communion kneeling on the faldstool. She put her crown on and walked back to the throne. The Choir sang the song ‘Hallelujah! For the Lord omnipotent reigneth.’
Royalty at The Altar
The Queen gave the scepter with the dove to the Arch-Bishop who placed it on the Alter. She was then disrobed of the robe she was wearing and a new purple velvet robe was put on her by Lord Chamberlain. The Orb was placed in her left hand and the Gold Spurs and the Staff of King Edward were placed in another.
The Queen emerged from the western entrance where crowds of people and official applauded to her with happiness and pride.