1953 Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II Baton and Armband

1953 Coronation Armband of Brigadier Leonard Thornton. 1978.2524 National Army Museum Te Mata Toa.

As the Commonwealth awaits the Coronation of King Charles III, we thought we’d share a Hidden Treasure from the last coronation – the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.
This armband and baton were used by Brigadier (later Lieutenant General) Leonard Whitmore Thornton during the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey on the 2nd June 1953.
Brigadier Thornton had recently been appointed to the position of Senior Army Liaison Officer based in London and was heavily involved in co-ordinating the New Zealand contingent during the coronation. Consisting of 135 members of the New Zealand Defence Force, they marched as part of the coronation procession and took their turn (alongside the other Commonwealth nations) standing guard outside Buckingham Palace. Brigadier Thornton had also been chosen to serve as a member of the golden staff during the ceremony. This involved helping to guide guests to their seats in Westminster Abbey and assisting in the procession arrangements.

1953 Coronation Baton of Brigadier Leonard Thornton. 1980.6621 National Army Museum Te Mata Toa.