A LETTER from a child reveals the excitement people felt ahead of the Queen’s coronation almost 70 years ago.

Letters from 1953, held by the Mass Observation Archive at The Keep at the University of Sussex, reveal how members of the public felt ahead of the coronation of the first queen since Victoria.

The coronation in Westminster Abbey was the first to be televised, with millions watching the event live after buying or renting television sets for the occasion.

One child wrote: “On Thursday morning, June 2, 1953, I woke up feeling very excited because I was going to watch the television broadcast of the coronation.

“It was 60 miles to Granny’s house where we were going so we had to set off early.

“Every member of our family had been invited, including Freckles our spaniel puppy and Jimmy the kitten.

“I did not read in the car as usual, but I looked out for processions and decorations. At the entrance of the Mersey tunnel were some beautiful red roses.”

The university has had a long association with the Queen, officially opening the university’s library in 1964.

She returned with her late husband the Duke of Edinburgh almost 50 years later in 2013, opening The Keep - the £19 million home for the university’s Special Collections archive and for the Mass Observation Archive.

Reflecting on how today’s students react to footage from the coronation, Professor Martin Francis from the University of Sussex said: “Watching film of the 1953 coronation ceremony, my students are amazed at the extent of religious ceremony and symbol. 

"Elizabeth was anointed and not merely crowned.

“This is why she will never abdicate, but this is also why when she finally passes, we will have lost our last significant link to a lost world.

"Only then will memory finally eclipse history.”