somewhere BritainHalf a dozen people gathered on a field to see the coronation of the queen Isabel II by television. ,It is a tiring day for him. Two and a half hours in Abbey. it’s really all day”, said one of them. ,I hope you pack a couple sandwiches”, commented another. someone added: “I want some escort ladies to visit and give us some fun.” Later: “When they anoint him they put an umbrella over him, it’s good for him,
This scene, which was recorded by an informer mass inspection (a kind of benign sociopolitical espionage network), it could be a clip”royal family“A 90s comedy in which people sit to watch TV, or the most recent variation,”goggleboxIn 1953, like today, British audiences couldn’t help but focus on more mundane matters. Won’t the Queen go hungry? Oooh, how nice it is to give her a canopy. They were sarcastic, though not insulting. In some respects Not much has changed since then.
However, his country has changed. In the year of the coronation, residents of Britain They lived and acted in ways that seem as strange today as the later Victorian years would have done to those who watched the coronation on a blurry black and white screen. what Britain There’s so much good historical data, you can see how different it was.
young queen ruled sparsely populated and young country, of the 50.6 million residents of United Kingdom In 1953, 21.6 were under the age of 30 and only 8 were aged 60 or over, a ratio of 2.7 to 1. Since then, the country has crossed 67 million, and has aged, The ratio of young to old is 1.4 to 1, and it is still going down.
The Queen married at the age of 21 and gave birth to her first child, Charles, at the age of 22., In this respect, she was quite typical of her contemporaries. In 1953, 65% of births were to women under the age of 30, up from 40% today. Only 5% of births took place outside marriage; Today the ratio is 51%. but isabelle She had three more children, which made her unusual. He was born in 1926. The average woman born that year had 2.2 children in her lifetime. Monarchs did well to get out of line: English history is littered with examples of the havoc that occurred when the line of succession is unclear.
isabelle He was also unusual enough to have a job despite being a prodigy. In 1953, 32% of the working population were women; Today they are 48%. It was especially rare for mothers of young children to work outside the home. The 1951 census showed that only one in six did.
His first public role was before he began giving speeches. auxiliary regional service, where he learned to repair and drive ambulances and jeeps. And he spent most of his life in the company of military and ex-servicemen. In this sense, she was typical of her generation. In the year of the coronation, the British government still expected men to perform national service, and would continue to do so for the next decade. The armed forces absorbed a major part of the public expenditure. In 1953–54, 9% of Britain’s national income went to defence, one and a half times more than National Health Service and public education together.
Some foods, particularly meat and dairy, were still subject to wartime rationing in 1953. And British diets were frustratingly heavy. The average person – men, women and children – eats 63 ounces (1.78 kg) of fresh potatoes a week, which is almost five times more than today. The second most important vegetable was cabbage. People consumed six ounces a week, which was six times more than people in modern Britain. The smell of sulfur must have come in the kitchen.
However, it is possible that people did not realize this, as there were two other smells everywhere in the year of the coronation. One was of burnt tobacco. Almost all men and many women smoked: a 1951 survey showed that 87% of physicians over the age of 35 were smokers. A year after the coronation, the same study produced strong evidence that smoking was associated with lung cancer. The long decline in smoking began a few years later.
the other was the ubiquitous smell coal smoke, Coal-fired factories and trains. Britain, produced their own electricity and heated homes. In 1953, the country removed 230 million tons of rock, more than four tons per capita. About 700,000 people worked in the coal industry. In 1966, when the Queen visited eberfan, a Welsh town devastated by coal pilings, was at the heart of the British economy. But the coal production in 2019 Britain It was only 1 million tonnes.
Britain Some aspects not recorded have profoundly changed. For example, it was a more white country in 1953. But it is not known exactly how white it was, as the census did not ask about caste until 1991. Same-sex couples were shrouded in secrecy. In the mid-twentieth century, less was known about people’s faith than is known today, although religion was far more important at the time than it is now.
In some respects, British society appears to be returning to the pattern of the year of the coronation., Divorces were extremely rare in 1953, when there were only 30,000. The number continued to rise thereafter, reaching over 160,000 in 1992, the year the Queen’s two children separated from their spouses. But divorce has become rare again, perhaps because people are far less likely to marry unless they are absolutely sure of their partner. Currently, the annual number of divorces is around 100,000. population of London This is more or less the same as in the middle of the 20th century. Meanwhile, it lost 2 million residents (due to the hasty policy of moving the working class from the capital to new suburban cities) and then returned about the same number.
Seven decades have passed since the coronation of isabelle Until his death, he set a record that will probably never be surpassed. Successive coronations again could not be so different. Barring very dramatic social upheavals, or new technologies that prolong life, Britain less would change during the reign of carlos, guillermo hey George than he did isabelle,
© 2022, The Economist Newspaper Ltd. All rights reserved.