Westminster Abbey has been Britain’s coronation church since 1066. From William the Conqueror through to Queen Elizabeth II, all except two monarchs have been crowned in the Abbey.
Since the 14th century every coronation ceremony has followed the same order of service laid down in the Abbey’s magnificent medieval illuminated manuscript, the Liber Regalis, and every ceremony takes place on the Cosmati mosaic pavement.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, public spectacle sometimes overshadowed religious significance. At George III's coronation some of the congregation began to eat a meal during the sermon, and George IV's coronation was a great theatrical spectacle but he flatly refused to allow his estranged wife Caroline into the Abbey.
William IV had to be persuaded to have a coronation at all and spent so little money that it became known as 'the penny coronation'.
By the time Queen Elizabeth II was crowned the world was able to witness her coronation on television.
It’s a privilege to live and work here – the Abbey really is the heart of the country and its history.