As the Coronation gets closer it will fill the airwaves, the TV and the media, and there will be many celebrations up and down the UK and overseas too. I’ve already noticed supermarkets are selling products ready for you to have your own ‘Coronation Tea Party’. If you are wondering, there were loads in the Range in Swindon.
While it’s not my thing, I probably will watch the highlights on the TV, as I do recognise that this is an important moment for the UK when all eyes will be on us.
That’s not surprising, since it’s the first Coronation we have had in the UK for almost 70 years, and we are the only monarchy in Europe that still practices Coronation.
In 1953, 8,000 people attended the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, and despite King Charles III planning to host a more modest event, he is still inviting 2,000. Those guests will include many crowned representatives from foreign royal houses. This is unusual, because for the last 900 years, the tradition has been for the coronation of British monarchs to be held in an intimate ceremony in the presence of their people and God.
Each aspect of this R0yal Family event will be poured over and over. From their clothes, to the guest list, to their body language, lip-reading, predictions about this and that. I’ll even be interviewing someone about all of this myself! Check out my latest podcast on here – https://scottmedia.uk/podcasts/
It seems strange therefore, that the day I met the King was a very low key affair, with no real pomp and ceremony. He was not, of course, the King then. He was Prince Charles and he lived relatively locally to Wiltshire, in Highgrove, Gloucestershire. I was asked by a local magazine to cover the opening of a community post office in Sherston, a village about five miles outside Malmesbury.
I was part of a local press ‘scrum’ – possibly three of us. We waited outside for ages and when the Prince turned up, he was very charming and I got chatting to his press aide for the day, a lovely lady. The story for this was all in the picture and I didn’t get any 1-2-1 time with the Prince, yet that was quite normal for a Royal visit. I took notes of what he said which mostly were comments from talking to the locals who also turned up and to the people running the community post office.
Yet my impression was that he’s quite happy to chat at both big and small events and he has a particular love of his local community as it was then.
I have admired the Prince over the years for his steadfast attitude to saving the planet, and also for the Princes Trust which I think is a fantastic organisation – as I also admired the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme. I did the bronze award back in the day as have two of my children.
Since becoming King, I’ve admired a few things about him – his gradual way of stamping his authority on the monarchy. He’s moved various titles around his siblings so that it becomes clear where his feelings lie – he’s also moving towards Queen Camilla and away from Queen Consort. I admire his quiet movement towards ensuring the woman he loves is Queen and putting to bed that antiquated rubbish that someone who was married previously is not ‘suitable’. Something he saw in his own childhood with his uncle who abdicated as Edward VIII and his partner Mrs Simpson. Neither were really accepted back into the Royal Family and were very much kept at arms’ length.
King Charles has also sent invitations to his Coronation to people working in the community and charity. In fact, more than 850 community and charity representatives from the UK have been invited. These include 450 British Empire Medal recipients and 400 young people representing charitable organizations, nominated by King Charles and Queen Camilla.
Are you going to be watching this historic event on the day, or even having a Coronation Party?