Nightly News   |  June 02, 2013

Sixty years of Queen Elizabeth

Sixty years after Queen Elizabeth was crowned, the 87-year-old still reigns as a timeless symbol in the digital age. NBC’s Annabel Roberts reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> it was on this day in london 60 years ago that a young woman just 26 years old was crowned at a coronation ceremony. people watched around the world in black and white , of course. now 87, queen elizabeth still reigns, a timeless symbol in a dinl t digital age. more tonight from london .

>> this is "today," june 2nd , 1953 , tuesday. coronation day .

>> reporter: nbc's broadcast of the historic event 60 years ago.

>> the big event is now under way.

>> reporter: in a solemn ceremony with a history stretching back almost 1,000 years, queen elizabeth ii was crowned in westminster abbey . a 4-year-old prince charles looks on.

>> she looked completely untroubled, unfazed by that whole thing. like it was the most natural thing in the world to stand in the middle of the abby receiving the crown.

>> reporter: one of six maids of honor who carried the queen's train, 20-year-old lady jane felt the public's great happiness. a return of optimism after the hardship of war.

>> somehow it was the sort of beginning of something new and different and better.

>> reporter: the queen was just 26 years old when she walked through the doors of westminster abbey for her coronation. in the 60 years since then, the world has changed and the monarchy, especially the queen, has had to change with it. her children's broken marriages, the death of diana, the pressure of the paparazzi, and increasing public scrutiny.

>> i think probably the greatest challenges for her has been to recognize the public need at certain times and to adapt to them.

>> reporter: but today the future of the monarchy is safe. the birth of william and kate's first child is imminent and the royal family is very popular. the queen may be delegating some duties to prince charles , but the promise she made her people --

>> i declare before you all that my life, whether it shall be long or short, will be devoted to are your service.

>> reporter: this is a promise she has kept. nbc news, london .