Day in History – 20 February: Coronation of Edward VI

On 20 February 1547, the Coronation Ceremony of Edward VI took place in Westminster Abbey. The nine year old King was the only son of Henry VIII and his third wife, Jane Seymour. Edward VI’s coronation featured many new and unique aspects created or adapted specifically for him.

Edward VI of England

Edward VI of England

The pre-ceremonies actually started the day before. On the afternoon of Saturday the 19th February, the boy King processed out of the Tower of London. He was dressed in white velvet embroidered with silver thread and decorated with lovers’ knots made from pearls, diamonds and rubies. Even the horse he was riding was decorated: it was in crimson satin adorned with pearls. The procession consisted of the King’s messengers, the King’s gentlemen, his trumpeters, his chaplains and esquires of the body, all walking. Then came the nobility and members of the council along with foreign diplomats, followed by gentlemen ushers and Henry Grey, the Marquis of Dorset (the Constable of England) bearing the sword of state. Finally, there was the boy King himself escorted by the Duke of Somerset and followed by the Sir Anthony Browne (the King’s master of the horse), the henchmen, the Gentlemen of the Privy Chamber, the pensioners and the guard.

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Coronation of The Queens Consort: History and Ceremony

The Coronation of the British Monarch is an elaborate and relatively well-known ceremony. Every detail of the service is full of tradition and symbolism, every element is carefully thought through and has a deep meaning. Yet very little information exists on the coronation of the Queens Consort; their simple ceremonies are simply lost in the midst of splendour of the King’s coronation.

Uncrowned Queens of England and Britain

Uncrowned Queens of England and Britain

Before the Norman conquest of England, few Queens were actually crowned. In fact, the only Anglo-Saxon Queen Consort who is known to have had a coronation was Aelfthryth, the wife of Edgar the Peaceful. After William the Conqueror came to power and established a new Royal House new traditions appeared as well, including a coronation ceremony for his wife, Matilda of Flanders. Since then, only eight Queens Consort had no coronations, and four of them were married to the same man: Margaret of France (second wife of Edward I), Jane Seymour (third wife of Henry VIII), Anne of Cleves (fourth wife of Henry VIII), Catherine Howard (fifth wife of Henry VIII), Catherine Parr (sixth wife of Henry VIII), Henrietta Maria of France (the wife of Charles I), Catherine of Braganza (the wife of Charles II), Caroline of Brunswick (the wife of George IV). (more…)