The first performance was presented at the Royal Opera House, London, in 1953. The Queen attended.
The New York Times reported on the premiere in a special dispatch from London.
From the beginning of her 70 year reign to its end, she did her duty.
You can download that premiere performance here, with thanks to David Nice for spotting this.
With thanks to my friend Curt, here is the Queen (when she was still a princess) dancing:
I also concur with this statement from Bev Jackson, who, along with Kate Harris, is a personal hero of mine. Both are courageous and fighting a truly righteous fight right now.
Also excellent is this column By Amanda Taub, from which the below is an excerpt:
“Watching them, I was reminded of another gray day when London mourners gathered: the vigil last March in honor of Sarah Everard, a young woman who had been raped and murdered by a London police officer.
“Both gatherings were somber. But at the vigil for Everard, there was also a powerful current of anger running through the crowd: at the male violence that had been tolerated for so long, and at the expectation that women should curtail their own freedom to avoid it. At the police’s failure to protect women’s safety, and their access to public space.
“There is ostensibly no reason the two deaths ought to be twinned in my head. The queen could not have protected Sarah Everard. Her role was ceremonial, not political, so she had no authority over police governance, or any related policy matters. I do not recall anyone mentioning the queen by name or office during that gathering.
“Yet, in my mind, the two deaths refuse to be separated: The queen, a shining projection of a woman in power. And Ms. Everard, a painful reminder of how little that projection was able to change for others.”
I laughed aloud at the line “They…will enjoy the continuous charm of this music that even deviates into melody here and there.” When I watched the coronation as a child of seven — on our first television set! — the pageantry was enough. Today, it’s been delightful to see that iconic event from perspectives that I couldn’t have appreciated as that child.
Yes, there were at least a couple sly comments tucked into that review, weren’t there? It’s quite a shock to think of a world without her, even though it was inevitable. Another sly wag, of today’s world, said this about it, which I confess made me laugh: “Can’t believe they are going to make a MAN queen. This woke nonsense has gone too far.” Though I’m not a “royals” person (that would be my Mom, who is close to the Queen in age), the Queen was a grown-up in the room and for that reason among many I will miss her.
Hi Susan – I shall enjoy coming back to listen to these. It’s been a tumultuous week for us … lots of music, lots of history and plenty of sadness. The King seems to be starting off on the right route … we are also in other interesting times. Her death came so quickly … very sad, yet as you say inevitably fairly soon – just sooner than we expected. With thoughts – Hilary
Hi, HIlary: yes, a tumultuous time for the UK, for many reasons. I wish you well.