The authority and dignity of the Queen is so etched upon the nation, it's hard to grasp fully the excitement generated by her coronation on 2 June, 1953.
To celebrate the moment when a nation still bearing the scars of war was treated to pomp and ceremony on an unprecedented scale we take a look back at stunning images of the occasion.
At the centre of the lavish spectacle was the radiant 26-year-old monarch, clad in white silk and laden with jewels, and her attractive young family. Sixteen months before, then Princess Elizabeth, she'd awoken to news of the death of her beloved father George VI; now her position as his successor was to be formalised.
It was the first time such an event had been broadcast in full on TV and tapes were flown across the Atlantic so that Canadians could see it on the same day.
Ahead of the 60th anniversary celebration, relive the joyous day when 8,251 guests in Westminster Abbey and millions more around the world witnessed the start of a new reign.