Sultan Yusuf Izzudin attending the coronation of HM Queen Elizabeth II, 1953

One of DYMM Sultan Yusuf Izzudin’s visit to Britain was when Tuanku attended the coronation of Elizabeth II which took place on 2 June 1953. During the coronation, the “colonial Rulers” were in the vanguard of the coronation procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey.  Respresenting the Malay states, the Malay rulers were led by  Sultan Ibrahim IV of Kelantan[1], followed by Sultan Yusuf Izzudin, Sultan Ibrahim of Johor and finally Sultan Hisamuddin Alam Shah of Selangor.

Sultan Yusuf Izzudin upon reaching Southampton. (Photo courtesy of the family of DYAM Raja Di-Hilir Ekram)

The only problem on the coronation day was the typical British weather – it poured down with rain! Nevertheless, that did not stop people all over Britain holding parties in the decorated streets of their towns and cities. In London, the roads were packed with people waiting to see the procession that took place.

DYMM Sultan Yusuff Izzudin walking alongside DYMM Sultan Ibrahim of Johor (right) upon arriving in Britain. (Photo courtesy of the family of DYAM Raja Di-Hilir Ekram)

Sultan Yusuf Izzudin arrived in Malaya from Britain on 23 July 1953 on the Willem Ruys[2]. Upon reaching Tanjung Malim, where he was greeted by the Menteri Besar, Dato’ Panglima Bukit Gantang, there was a big welcome for Tuanku. He was given a royal salute of 21 guns.

Letter from HM Queen Elizabeth II expressing her gratitude for Sultan Yusuf Izzudin's attendance to her coronation. (Source: Family of DYAM Raja Di-Hilir Ekram)

When asked by a reporter about the coronation, Sultan Yusuf Izzudin’s reply was that his visit to Britain was made all the more memorable by the knowledge that his rakyat were celebrating the same event at the same time. During the interview, Tuanku mentioned that he was particularly impressed with the orderliness of the London crowd. Tuanku also said,”I enjoyed every minute of the coronation. It was most impressive. I shall never forget it.” While in London, Tuanku also saw a good number of Malayan students and spoke to many from Perak.

Willem Ruys, the passenger liner that transported DYMM Sultan Yusuf Izzudin for the coronation. (Source: Google Images)

In 1955, Tuanku went to Britain again for three months, of which he spent two weeks in a London clinic for recuperation.  During the trip, Tuanku was accompanied by his physician, Dr. Megat Khas and his aide-de-camp, Captain Raja Amir. While in London, Tuanku, together with Sultan Ibrahim of Johor, attended a buka puasa at the Malaya Hall. Sultan Ibrahim was already in Britain for eleven months. Both Sultans  returned to Malaya together  on the Willem Ruys. Apparently, a 17-gun salute was shot as Sultan Ibrahim’s car crossed the causeway from Singapore.

Footnote:
[1] Click here to see a photo in LIFE magazine of Sultan Ibrahim IV of Kelantan at Westminster Abbey.
[2] Willem Ruys was a passenger liner that was built between 1939 and 1947. In 1964, her name was changed to Achille Lauro. She is most remembered for her 1985 hijacking. However, in 1994, the ship caught fire and sank in the Indian Ocean off Somalia.

_________________________________________

Reference:
1. 4 Malay Sultans for crowning. The Straits Times. 1952 October 24.
2. Big welcome for Sultan, home after C-Day. The Straits Times. 1953 July 24.
3. Sultans to attend Malaya Hall party in London. The Straits Times. 1955 June 8.
4. A big “welcome home” awaits Perak Ruler. The Straits Times. 1955 August 17.

Note: All the references were made available with permission from Singapore Press Holdings ©www.sph.com.sg.

One thought on “Sultan Yusuf Izzudin attending the coronation of HM Queen Elizabeth II, 1953

  1. Pingback: 32nd Sultan of Perak: Sultan Yussuf Izzudin Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Abdul Jalil Shah (1948-1963) « SembangKuala BLOG

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