Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, The 96 Restaurant, London, 1953
This menu cover is from a meal celebrating the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, on 2 June 1953, at The 96 Restaurant on Piccadilly, London. Sadly this copy did not include the interior of the menu, so we don’t know what was served on the day.
The cover depicts the coats of arms of 19 “states under Her Majesty’s protection”, and lists many more; rulers from these countries and colonies made up a significant part of the coronation procession. As the British Empire dwindled in the decades since Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, many of these states no longer exist – or don’t count themselves as under her protection.
Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation happened more than a year after she ascended, as has been traditional in the UK since the 18th century. The Queen’s coronation is notable for being the first to be televised – for George VI’s coronation in 1937, only the procession was shown on TV.
We know very little about The 96 Restaurant, other than the magazine Billboard describing it as “one of London’s plushest night spots”. The restaurant closed for good before the end of 1953, according to Billboard.
Courtesy Private Collection.
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