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Coronation Street

May 8, 2023 | The Grand Adventure | 6 comments

I bet you watched it. Or at least part of it. It was hard to miss, and it wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But no one can deny that if there’s one thing the Brits do well, it’s pomp and ceremony. And as ceremonies go, this was all pomp.

I was working on May 6 2023. At home, in listening range of the TV.

I’ll just make a coffee and watch it for five minutes, I told myself. I sat there, glued, for the whole spectacle.

I wanted to find it faintly preposterous. I wanted to be slightly scathing about the unnecessaryness of it all. But I wasn’t. I felt quite proud and sentimental.

I felt sorry for Prince/King Charles because I reckon he’s sacrificed more in the name of duty than anyone should have to. But I also felt enormous respect for his stoic loyalty to crown and country.  So I went through the gamut of emotions, from eye-rolling embarrassment to tearful affection, and I’m very glad I watched it.

It was all so silly, so British, and so impressive. There isn’t another country in the world that can pull off a show like The Coronation while millions watch in awe.

These were a few of my favourite things, mixed in with a handful of absurdities:

  • The celestial music.
  • A ridiculous overabundance of velvet, fur and gold robes, especially on the clergy.
  • The Australian-built carriage that took the King and Queen Consort to Westminster Abbey, which had been updated to include electric windows and air conditioning.
  • The crescendo of music and heralding trumpets. It was like watching a drama-filled movie. 

  • A solemn Prince George, determined not to drop his grandfather’s train.
  • Queen Camilla looking a bit wobbly in her new crown, but surprisingly glamorous.

  • The magnificent choirs (but why do the boys get to wear gold and red soldiers outfits, or flowing white robes, while the girls wear what looks like a school uniform with, God help us, a tie!).

  • The joyful black gospel choir.
  • The silly proclamations and traditions. Within the space of a minute, the King accepted the sword, handed it back to the church, who then accepted money from the crown, and handed the sword back to the king. Why?
  • Anointing the king behind screens. Weird.
  • The congregation shouting, “God save the king!” with such gusto.
  • The magnificent Kate.
  • The absence of Meghan.

The next day, Russell and I joined in The Coronation festivities in our village of Dennington, which happened to include a picnic on the village green right outside our house. Similar community celebrations and street parties were taking place around the country.

It was a very British way of showing loyalty and support for the new King, but for us, it was also a perfect way of getting to know a few more neighbours.

There was an added bonus. The church bell ringers were showing off their skills (bells were ringing up and down the country), which meant the door to the church tower was open, allowing us to climb the terrifyingly narrow stone spiral staircase to the roof. From here we got a unique view of our village and the surrounding countryside, with our cottage front and centre.

We finished the day, and celebrations, with a jug of Pimms at our local, The Dennington Queen.

God Save The King!

6 Comments

  1. Dale, you disappoint me. I can just see you with a cup of tea and a cucumber sandwich, watching the Coronation!

  2. My mother in law had a coronation tea at her place with a couple of Union Jacks hanging off the front of the house. I wasn’t there.

  3. Hi, Sue. The dress rehearsal would have been interesting to watch. So much detail! I missed the dogs on Camilla’s dress, but I thought she looked very glamorous.

  4. I wasn’t going to get up in the middle of the night to watch but …. by accident we ended up seeing the full dress rehearsal of the coronation parade taking place in the middle of the night on BBC news. London looked very strange with few people around in the wee hours and virtually no traffic. The parade was fantastic. Then saw endless highlights on all the news programmnes so I think we saw most of it. Loved the embroidery of the two dogs on Camilla’s dress. Some super details.

  5. It was all very British, Shelagh, but we enjoyed the picnic, the bell ringing and ending our day at the pub!

  6. Like you.. I Wasn’t going to watch..but I did. As always the pomp and ceremony is second to none. It was some good telly…
    The picnic would have been fun…

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