102-year-old North-East woman reflects on Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation in 1953

Written by on 5th May 2023

70 years on from the last Coronation, the North-East are preparing to celebrate the crowning of King Charles III this weekend but many doubt that the event will be appreciated as much as in the past.

Local 102-year-old woman, Edna Bateman, was 32-years-old at the time of Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation back in 1953 and has desribed the historic day as an ‘event of great pride.’

Edna has always been proudly dedicated to the Royal Family, saying: “At the time of the coronation, I worked as a parachute packer in the air forces. I really enjoyed my job as I got the satisfaction of saying I worked for the Royals.”

Despite taking place all the way back in 1953, the ceremony was the first to be televised and managed to bring the nation together with 27 million people watching it across the country.

Edna continued: “I remember the day of the Coronation and the street party we had back in 1953, everyone was so proud and united as a country. I got a lot of respect from everyone around me with working in the forces.”

“When I got the letter through from the Queen on my 100th birthday, it made me feel like all of my hard work over all those years had paid off.”

However, despite looking back on the previous Coronation with great pride, Edna fears that this Coronation will not be appreciated as much as she says: “I believe the younger generation don’t look up to the royals the way myself and my friends did when I was growing up.”

To really experience what it was like to celebrate the 1953 Coronation, Beamish Museum have arranged plenty of events over the weekend to give an insight into the historic day 70 years ago.

A selection of bands and choirs, such as Backworth Colliery Band, will be performing over the course of the weekend in the Town Park.

Backworth Colliery Band

Backworth Colliery Band look forward to paying tribute to the Royal Family and have said: “We are very much looking forward to our performance at Beamish Museum on the date of His Majesty’s Coronation. The band will be playing a selection of music appropriate to the period setting of Beamish Museum and to the event of the Coronation.”

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