On religion: The discreet but public faith of Elizabeth II |

Before wearing the Imperial Crown, Queen Elizabeth II knelt at the altar in Westminster Abbey for a moment of silent, private prayer.

The three-hour coronation in 1953 contained a myriad of oaths and symbols, but the oldest rite – Archbishop of Canterbury Geoffrey Fisher anointing Elizabeth with holy oil – sought the highest blessing possible over the work of his life and eventual death.

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