The festivities actually started on 14 January - when the coronation procession marched down the steets of London, carrying Elizabeth in a golden litter. Throughout the procession, five pageants took place to welcome the arrival of the new queen. The first pageant stressed Elizabeth's 'Englishness,' as opposed to her predecessor's 'Spanishness' - both by her ancestry and her unpopular marriage. The second pageant showed Elizabeth's government demonstrating the four virtues - True Religion, Love of Subjects, and Wisdom & Justice trampling their opposite vices, including Superstition & Ignorance. The third pageant involved the Lord Mayor of London presenting Elizabeth with a gift of gold, to symbolize the interdependence between the Crown and city. In the fourth pageant, the decaying commonwealth of Mary I was contrasted with the thriving state of Elizabeth. In the fifth and final pageant, Elizabeth was compared to Deborah, the Old Testament prophet who rescued the House of Israel and ruled for forty years. She would be compared to Deborah for the entirety of her reign. During these festivities, Elizabeth said to the Lord Mayor:
"And whereas your request is that I should continue your good lady and be Queen, be ye ensured that I will be as good unto you as ever Queen was unto her people. No will in me can lack, neither do I trust shall there lack any power. And persuade yourselves that for the safety and quietness of you all I will not spare if need be to spend my blood. God thank you all."
The coronation itself took place on this day - 15 January 1559, at Westminster Abbey. The ceremony was a compromise between the traditional Catholic ritual and the Protestant features that Elizabeth was slowly introducing. She was crowned in Latin, but with certain parts of the ceremony being read in both Latin and English. When she left the Abbey, carrying her orb and scepter and wearing her crown, she was met by her adoring fans with cheers and applause.
She was now Elizabeth Regina - the first Elizabeth to rule England, and the last monarch of the Tudor Dynasty. Hers was a lavish coronation met with great joy and acceptance. After twenty-five years of confusion and fear, Elizabeth Tudor finally had her rightful place on the English throne. The dark days of England were over, and the Golden Age had arrived!
Chant with me... God Save the Queen! God Save the Queen! God Save the Queen!