Can photographs tell us more about past coronations than paintings?

These teaching resources will help pupils learn about British coronations since 1821, their significance to people in England and the changes through time in the ceremonies and celebrations. They include photographs and paintings as sources of evidence and suggestions for how the images can be used in the classroom. They also include activity sheets and timelines that can be printed for classroom use.


Teaching ideas

Pupils will learn about British coronations from the past 200 years by looking at photographs and paintings of ceremonies and celebrations. They will use them as sources of evidence and interpretations of the past.

Pupils will be able to compare images of different coronation ceremonies and celebrations and explore the similarities and differences through time.

Pupils will be able to compare photographs and paintings, questioning their reliability as sources of evidence and interpretations of past events.

Pupils will be able to use the timeline templates provided to create their own timelines, using the paintings and photographs or draw and paint their own pictures.

Learning aims and outcomes

  • To learn about British coronations and their significance in British history since 1821
  • To develop skills in chronology using timelines and historical images
  • To learn the different ways images of events from the past were recorded
  • To learn about and question photographs and paintings as reliable sources of evidence and interpretations of the past

Prior knowledge

  • A basic understanding of what a coronation of a monarch means and that King Charles III and Camilla, the Queen Consort will be crowned in May 2023.

Extended learning and useful links

Compare King Charles’ coronation to that of his mother by exploring the route and archive images of Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation Procession

Explore the story map