UK

Queen's Coronation Anniversary Marked With Gun Salutes

British military personnel fired gun salutes to mark the 68th anniversary of the Queen's coronation.

British military personnel have fired gun salutes to mark the 68th anniversary of the Queen's coronation.

The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery fired a 21-gun salute at Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, London, at midday.

Seventy-one horses pulled six First World War-era field guns on to the parade square, placing them in position before each of the guns fired blank artillery rounds at 10-second intervals.

Elsewhere in London, the Honourable Artillery Company, the City of London's Reserve Army Regiment, drove through the city in a ceremonial procession to the Tower of London.

Three L118 Ceremonial Light Guns were placed into position on the bank of the Thames, overlooking HMS Belfast, before firing a 62-gun salute.

Royal Navy personnel in Devonport also fired a gun salute for the coronation anniversary.

Watch: The Royal Navy's gun salute in Devonport.

Historically, gun salutes were customarily fired both onshore and at sea as a sign of respect of welcome, but today gun salutes mark special occasions, many with royal associations.

While a royal Salute today normally comprises 21 guns, this is increased to 41 if fired from a royal park or residence.

Uniquely, at the Tower of London, which is a royal residence, a total of 62 rounds are fired on royal anniversaries, because this also includes an additional 21 guns for the citizens of the City of London to show their loyalty to the reigning monarch. 

The gun salutes take place on Accession Day, the Queen's birthday, Coronation Day, the Queen's official birthday and the Prince of Wales's birthday.

Honourable Artillery Company Army troops perform gun salute for Queen's coronation anniversary at Tower of London 020621 CREDIT ALAMY
A gun salute was also performed at the Tower of London (Picture: Alamy).

They also take place on the State Opening of Parliament, after royal births and when a visiting Head of State meets the Sovereign in London, Windsor or Edinburgh.

The Queen took the throne in 1952 at 25 years of age, with the parade led by Colonel Burrows of the War Office, now known as the Ministry of Defence, and four regimental bands.

Her Majesty's coronation took place the following year, on 2 June 1953.

A Gold State Coach with the newly crowned Queen was escorted by the Household Cavalry in its role as Sovereign's Escort – a role it still fulfills on state occasions today.