Gun salutes mark British queen's coronation anniversary

3rd June 2013, Comments 0 comments

Gun salutes were fired across London on Monday to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation.

The guns were fired from the Tower of London and in Green Park.

The queen, now 87, took the throne on February 6, 1952 upon the death of her father king George VI, but to allow for a period of national mourning she was only crowned on June 2, 1953 in London's Westminster Abbey.

The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery fired a 41-gun royal salute from Green Park, near Buckingham Palace, in honour of Sunday's anniversary.

By tradition royal gun salutes are not fired on a Sunday but on the following day.

Seventy-one horses pulled into place the six World War I-era 13-pounder field guns, which fired blank artillery rounds at 10-second intervals.

It was followed by a 62-round royal salute from the Tower of London fired by the Honourable Artillery Company, the oldest regiment in the British army. The guns were last fired in anger during the 1982 Falklands War between Britain and Argentina.

The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery are based at the southeast London barracks outside which a soldier was hacked to death on May 22, in an attack that has shocked Britain. The queen toured the barracks on Friday on a long-planned visit.

The monarch and her 91-year-old husband Prince Philip spent Saturday watching the Epsom Derby horse race and Sunday's anniversary day privately at Windsor Castle, west of London.

The queen will be joined by the royal family and 2,200 guests at Westminster Abbey on Tuesday for a formal service celebrating the anniversary.

The coronation is being marked with less fanfare than last year's diamond jubilee, the 60th anniversary of Elizabeth's rise to the throne.

A four-day "coronation festival" showcasing British industry, design and entertainment will be held in the grounds of Buckingham Palace next month.

© 2013 AFP

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