Family Ruth Lyons reported Queen Elizabeth's coronation for The Enquirer. Here are her words
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’s reign lasted more than 70 years, from 1952 until 2022. And in 1953, Cincinnati’s beloved television queen, , traveled to London to witness the coronation.
Lyons was a pioneer of daytime television. Her show, “The 50-50 Club” on WLWT-TV, was the top-rated daytime program from 1952 to 1964. But it was a bit of luck that nabbed her an invitation to the royal ceremony.
The British government allotted NBC six seats, with five going to the network’s top newsmen, according to reports from The Enquirer. For the sixth seat, Lyons’ name was picked from a pool of NBC subsidiaries.
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Queen Elizabeth II:
The queen at the Kentucky Derby:
In addition to filming footage for her program, Lyons served as correspondent for The Enquirer. Lyons “will speak her reactions to the royal show – then air-express her recorded voice to us to put into print,” The Enquirer wrote.
Lyons, accompanied by her husband, Herman Newman, and, sent back regular dispatches about her trip, visiting the festive shops on and the ruins from the .
The, although it was difficult for Americans to watch the proceedings due to the time difference. Plus, television was still in its infancy. The networks experimented with trans-oceanic TV techniques (this was before the first satellites) and nothing was in color.
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But readers could picture the beauty through Lyons' reporting.
Queen Elizabeth II's coronation from Ruth Lyons' perspective
Lyons’ observations gave Enquirer readers a seat inside Westminster Abbey for the coronation.
“It was a moment in history of indescribable color and magnificence – this coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, a moment of fanfare in a setting almost wholly medieval,” Lyons reported. “... The only thing not medieval in character was the occasional wrist watches on several of the lords.”
Some of her descriptions:
“The lovely lady whose picture has graced every British home for the past month, Queen Elizabeth II, moved into this historic pile of stone for Britain’s glorious ceremony.
“Her dress put to shame every fairy tale, and the ermine-edged train was carried by six of the kingdom’s most beautiful maids.
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“The queen scarcely looked 18, but when the grand moment came to take the crown and the royal jewels, she carried them with the regal dignity with which she is endowed.”
After the ceremony, Lyons viewed the procession:
“Regimental colors waved in the damp air of London. Splendid horses from every nation of the commonwealth tramped by, and carriages of every description rolled along. Last was a coach, something from 'Cinderella,' and there, more magnificent than my wildest dreams had imagined it, was Her Majesty, Elizabeth II, smiling from the red velvet depths.
“At her side was the handsome Prince Philip, and from their royal coach they received the adoration of their people in a display of commonwealth solidarity and enthusiasm for a sovereign of dignity, charm and regal beauty.”
The world was a much different place during the queen’s coronation than it was at the time of her death on Sept. 8, 2022. But reporters like Lyons gave everyone a glimpse of the day's unique beauty.
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer:
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