It was overcast & cloudy with slight showers & a strongish cool breeze, but better for the people than great heat. Today was indeed a great & memorable day in our lives & one which we can never forget, but it brought back to me many sad memories of 9 years ago when the beloved Parents were crowned. May [Queen Mary (1867-1953)] & I left B.P. [Buckingham Palace] in the Coronation coach at 10.30. with 8 cream coloured horses. 

There were over 50,000 troops lining the streets under the command of Lord Kitchener [Herbert Kitchener (1850-1916) 1st Earl Kitchener]. There were hundreds of thousands of people who gave us a magnificent reception. The Service in the Abbey was most beautiful & impressive, but it was a terrible ordeal. It was grand, yet simple & most dignified & went without a hitch.

I nearly broke down when dear David [the Prince of Wales, (1894-1972)] came to do homage to me, as it reminded me so much when I did the same thing to beloved Papa, he did it so well. Darling May looked lovely & it was indeed a comfort to me to have her by my side, as she has been ever to me during these last 18 years. 

We left Westminster Abbey at 2.15 (having arrived there before 11.00) with our Crowns on & sceptres in our hands. This time we drove by the Mall, St James’ Street & Piccadilly, crowds enormous & decorations very pretty. On reaching B.P. just before 3.00. May & I went out on the balcony to show ourselves to the people. Downey [William Downey,(1829-1915)] photographed us in our robes with Crowns on. 

Had some lunch with our guests here. Worked all the afternoon with Bigge [Arthur Bigge, 1st Baron Stamfordham, his Private Secretary] & others answering telegrams & letters of which I have hundreds. Such a large crowd collected in front of the Palace that I went out on balcony again. Our guests dined with us at 8.30. May & I showed ourselves again to the people. Wrote & read. Rather tired. Bed at 11.45. Beautiful illuminations everywhere.

—- King George V, writing in his diary on June 22nd, 1911

Source: Roads to the Great War

James (“Jim”) Patton BS BA MPA is a retired state official from Shawnee, Kansas and a frequent contributor to several WW1 e-publications, including "Roads to the Great War," "St. Mihiel Tripwire," "Over the Top" and "Medicine in the First World War." He has spent many hours walking the WW1 battlefields, and is also an authority on British regiments and a collector of their badges. An Army Engineer during the Vietnam War, he did work for the US World War 1 Centennial Commission and is affiliated with the WW1 Historical Association, the Western Front Association, the Salonika Campaign Society and the Gallipoli Association.