Giant arches for the Mall
A full six months before the coronation, Westminster Abbey was closed to the public and the transformation of the church commenced. Decorative arches for the Mall, a major thoroughfare along the processional route, were fabricated.
Made from tubular steel, the coronation arches were floodlit and adorned with coronets, unicorns and lions and golden cane fan-shaped designs added lightness to the uprights.
Sources describe the arches as being 70 or 85 feet (21 or 26 m) tall. After the coronation and in a laudable recycling gesture, the coronets, unicorns and lions were sent to Canberra to be fabricated into new arches to welcome the Queen in 1954.